Self-Managed Teams are not Leaderless Teams

Self-Managed Teams are not Leaderless Teams

Working on a team develops enthusiasm and motivation, when it comes to matters of generating new ideas and performance improvement. Self-managed teams are individuals that partner up and manage themselves with the intention of achieving desired performance (Kraft 1998). This set-up creates trust among the team members and motivates them when dealing with challenges they encounter. The focal point of these groups is ensuring good performance while working together. Success is dependent on dedication, skill advancement, and support from both the management and team members.

The teams need adequate training to ensure they adapt well to working together. Lack of preparation often results to disappointment, pandemonium, and paralysis (Kraft 1998). Training is most suitable at the initial stage when the team is being formed, and when a situation arises where the team cannot proceed without guidance. Training model gives a team a good start, but it should also be done in a continuous manner. Since teams can never be trained in every eventuality, the members ought to be flexible so as to deal with any challenge that may arise.

Implementation of self managed teams shifts the focus from a situation of a supervisor to a coach. Coaches normally provide guidance to a team on how to improve its decision making skills via experience, as opposed to a supervisor whose main role is make decisions and instruct the team how to deal with a situation. The aim is to change the focus from just getting tasks accomplished, to developing abilities of team members, that will enable them easily accomplish the tasks. It is achieved through giving out explanations that will enhance the team, and encouraging discussions (Kraft, 1998).

I have worked in a self-managed team for a manufacturing project that was used by Tavistock institute called “change everything at once”. The model was designed to depict the future state by classifying different levels self rule in self managed teams. Three main areas of performance were identified. The first one was managing core short-term responsibilities in a self- managed team area of responsibility. These includes things like; personnel administration, individual and group enthusiasm, basic job and special competencies.

The second area was managing wider short-term responsibilities jointly with others. In this part, teaming up is done with both unlike and like groups. Targets are set for performance purposes. The third and final area is managing operational process and people development. At this stage, development focuses on the organizational process, work organization, and individual people. The three stages were very helpful in identifying levels of competence and performance. They were also used to shift focus from competent internal operations via managing, to more advanced interactions with the organizational environment.

Conclusion

The study has revealed that self-managed teams create trust among the team members and motivates them when dealing with challenges they encounter. The focal point of these groups is ensuring good performance while working together. Success is dependent on dedication, skill advancement, and support from both the management and team members.

My experience on the team was very enriching. The model employed promotes a foundation for many who are pursuing current development methodologies. The self managed teams are not arrived at by default. Adequate planning is needed, and a lot of resources have to be invested in the training and coaching programs. This is a guaranteed measure in ensuring the teams reach their maximum potential. When the teams are fully operational, they are more productive than the sum of all individual members.

 

Reference

Kraft, R. (1998). Utilizing Self-Managing Teams: Effective Behavior of Team Leaders. Boston: Garland Publishers.

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