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Successful team

In order to implement team-working approach, Aerospace division should do the features of a team and its purpose. Simply a team is more than the sum of the individual and it can include people with different skills such as problem solving, analytical, interpersonal, leadership, time scheduling….. Natale et al. ( 1998 ), describe the team is a small number of individuals with complementary skills holding themselves mutually accountable for a commitment to quality, customer service, and productivity.

A team demands collaborative, not competitive, effort where each member takes responsibility for the performance of the team rather than just their own individual performance ( Torrington and Hall, 1995 ). Katzenbach and Smith ( 1993 ) describe a team can have between 2 to 25 members and the size of a team can vary according to the type of situations. Some teams are formed only for short term purposes and others are aimed for long term. Some teams demand higher multi skilled members but others demand specific skilled members.

For example, there are varieties of team types such as production and service teams, self-directed work teams, production and service teams, committees work teams, cross-functional management teams, problem-solving teams, that Aerospace division needs to know

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because according to those types, management empowerment, commitment and forming a team with appropriate members can vary. For example, for self-directed work teams, they are typically given the authority to select new team members, organize training required and plan production to meet predefined goals. But in production and service teams, the team will only include people with maintenance skills, specific technical skills and different types of assembly skills.

A team has agreed norms and only one common purpose that team members must try to reach this smoothly. The ultimate purpose of a team is to achieve the agreed and set goals with collaboration within the set time span. The degree of mutual understanding, non competitiveness, individual team members’ effective skills, respecting each other, positive attitudes among team members, supporting and helping each others can accomplish to achieve the targeted purpose of the team within limited time.

( b ) Explain what makes a team successful. ( 5 marks ) For a team to be successful, a clear and agreed vision, objectives and set out rules by which team members will work together will be needed. No matter how, firstly, a successful team commences by selecting effective team members carefully. Team members whether selected by the team or by others, are chosen carefully in the likeness of the team and with the right attitudes. Generally, team members should have collaboration skills, sensitive listening skills, good communication skills, respectfulness to other team members, sharing knowledge each other, knowledge and experience that is relevant to the task at hand along with the time to commit to team activities.

Trent ( 2003 ) describes that a team cannot succeed unless its members are able to contribute three types of skills and experiences: problem-solving and decision-making skills, technical or functional expertise, and interpersonal skills. According to Lundy ( 1994 ), the best types of team players are “bright, knowledgeable”, in possession of sound judgments skills, “analytic” and “creative”. Lundy asserts that team members must be able to “solicit the ideas of associates”, “welcome feedback” and possess “mutual respect” for one another’s contributions and abilities. Thus, team members must have the intellectual ability to understand what tasks are necessary to solve problems, the knowledge to successfully complete those tasks, and the interpersonal skills to work with other team members during the execution of those tasks. A team lacking members with these qualities will inevitably fail.

Team members also need to open and honest with each other and be prepared to confront difficulties and differences. Ability to tolerate conflict and use this in a collaborative way also makes a team to achieve succeed. The size of the team is also important for being a successful team. Teams should include just enough members to accomplish their tasks with above complementary skills. Too much team members could lead to potential conflicts.

Team leaders and senior managers roles are also vital factors. Team leaders find themselves with a host of new responsibilities for the support of team members and the planning and organizing of team activities. Senior managers commitment to teams in terms of support such as training and development programs also help to be a successful team. The communication among team members, team leaders and senior managers are a source of successful team.

Rewarding teams such as team T-shirts, other usable items including financially, for their efforts stimulate teams to compete each other and could lead to successful teams. Researchers suggest that teams should be rewarded according to their accomplished skills instead of rewarding job done. For example, the success factors of Digital division’s team consists of team size ( i.e. 6-12 members ), communication between product manager, payment based on skill level and sharing knowledge among team members, as we discussed above. ( c ) Explain whether Bravo is a balanced team. ( 5 marks )

In order to analyse whether Bravo is a balanced team, we should firstly discuss Belbin ( 1993 ) nine team roles which are important to a team to be balanced. The absence of some or many of these roles can cause a unbalanced team and problems in team effectiveness. Too many individuals playing the same type of role can cause undue friction in the team and again lead to a unbalanced team. These nine team roles are as follows: Co-ordinator: Mature, confident, a good chairperson; clarifies goals, promotes decision making; delegates well; inclined to be lazy, takes credit for effort of a team.

Shaper: Challenging, dynamic, thrives on pressure; has the drive and courage to overcome obstacles; a proneness to frustration, and irritation; inability to recover situation with good humour or apology. Plant: Creative, imaginative, unorthodox; solve difficult problems; preoccupied with ideas and neglects with practical matters; strong ownership of ideas. Resource investigator: Extrovert, enthusiastic, communicative; explore opportunities; develops contacts; losses enthusiasm once initial excitement has passed.

Implementer: Disciplined, reliable, conservative and efficient; turns ideas to practical actions; adherence to the orthodox and proven; obstructing change. Team worker: Co-operative, mild, perceptive and diplomatic; listens, builds, averts friction, calms the waters; indecision on crucial issues; avoiding situations that may entail pressure. Completer: Painstaking, conscientious, anxious; searches out errors and omissions; delivers on time; perfectionism; obsessional behaviour. Monitor evaluator: Sober, strategic, discerning; sees all options; judges situation accurately; scepticism with logic, cynicism without logic.

Specialist: specialist skills and knowledge; dedication and single-minded approach; ability to adopt a very narrow perspective; failure to see the whole picture. According to the above discussion, it can be said that a Bravo team consists of co-ordinator such as George, plant such as Mohammed, resource investigator such as Natasha and Anita, team worker such as Jane, Completer such as Vinod and the remaining members also have their roles. Therefore, generally, it can be said that Bravo team is a balanced team because 12 team members have 5 team roles out of 9. But inability to create problem solving, quick decision making, neglecting changing circumstances and over estimation by themselves reflects Bravo team’s overall ineffectiveness and reminds Bravo to make changes by reforming a more balanced team.

( d ) Explain the stage of development that Bravo group has reached and the useful changes that can be made when George and Jane leave the group. ( 5 marks ) Before we discuss about Bravo group’s development stage, we should discuss about what a group is and the model of group development. Hunt ( 1992 ) describes a group is any number of people who are able to interact with one another, are psychologically aware of each other, and who perceive and are perceived as being members of a team. Group development involves the investigation of group activities and how those activities change over the life of a group. The periods of time during which an identifiable set of activities occurs are categorized as stages of development ( Miller, 2003 ).

Tuckman ( 1965 ) highlights that groups develop through four hierarchical stages of forming, storming, norming and performing. Let us discuss about these briefly. Forming: Group members are involved in initial assessments of the interpersonal relationships and norms within the group. Task activities are taken up by attempts to identify the nature and boundaries of the task and to determine what information is required for the task.

Storming: Intra-group conflict and hostility arise as a result of the assertion of autonomy and leadership struggles. Individuals may show resistance to task demands by emotionally responding to the task as an imposition on the group or individual. Norming: Interpersonal activities center on increasing cohesiveness and defining member behaviour. Task work moves into a period of new openness and of exchanges of task information. Performing: Developing a subculture where members work together with a minimum of emotional interaction. Group members attempt problem solving and task completion.

It can be said that Bravo group has reached until norming stage. Because within the team members, there were few disagreements which aroused very often and was solved by Anita. The other point is management has found that the team has lost its ability to be creative in solving problems and reduced its openness discussions. These openness and effective problem solving are the main features of norming and performing. So, Bravo group reached until storming stage.

When George and Jane leave the group, there would be only 10 members. Those 10 members could be allocated by using nine-team roles as discussed in ( c ), due to their existing roles. For example, Natasha could be replaced in George role ( co-ordinator ) and Jane because of her understanding on George tasks and harmonize ability with members to be active. Mohamed, Anita and Vinod could be the same role as previous team roles as described in.

Jane role might be neglected because of Natasha and Mohamed’s problem solving skills or should be replaced by the remaining members. In addition, team’s weaknesses on inability to create problem solving skills could be solved by allocating members for co-ordinator and plant and unaware of the changing circumstances could be solved by allocating members for monitor evaluator roles. These all changes should be based on members’ agreement, specific skills and willingness to take the new roles.

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