Teams at Kluster - Case Study Example

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These types of teams typically work with an established completion date and are dismantled once the project is complete.
Teams that run things- Teams…
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Teams at Kluster
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1) There are three basic types of “high performance” team structures: Teams that recommend things- These teams are established to study problems and recommend course of action to solve them. These types of teams typically work with an established completion date and are dismantled once the project is complete.
Teams that run things- Teams consisting of individuals who are responsible for leading other groups. The individual team members all have differing levels of responsibility, from leading a few individuals to top management such as CEOs or other top department executives.
Teams that run things- Under this type of team structure functional work groups are in charge of ongoing tasks and deliverables. Individual team members must develop long-term working relationships with other individuals within the group and form solid operational procedures in order to perform their tasks efficiently. Additionally, the company will provide all material external support in order for the team to accomplish their short and long term objectives effectively.
In the case of Klusters “Illuminator Team” its basic format is of a team that runs things. It is also a type of virtual team since the many team members are all from different geographical locations and often meet using web based groupware instead of face to face.
There are advantages and disadvantages to a team based work environment. Some advantages of a team based approach to problem solving is that unlike traditionally structured organizations all team members participate in the decision making process instead of top management making all the decisions. As a direct result all employees are empowered to participate creating a work environment that is more efficient and effective at dealing with complex organizational problems while giving a competitive edge over the competition. Some disadvantages of a team based approach is that in many teams individual achievement is not as easily determined as in a traditional hierarchical organization which is a factor in determining compensation. Team based companys tend to focus on team achievements rather than individual performance. The lack of centralized decision making of a team based organization can lead to some disorganization and as well as control and coordination issues for management (Schermerhorn & Hunt & Osborn).
The Illuminator team has addressed some of these challenges by placing team member reward mechanisms in order to recognize top performing individuals and their contribution to the team effort. Their system is designed to provide them with financial as well as member status rewards for extraordinary individual performance. In the case of hierarchy, the Illuminator team does have a leader, CEO Ben Kaufman, but their team dynamics allow for an exchange of information and ideas to contribute to the decision making process. The ultimate responsibility falls into Ben Kaufmans hand.
There are 12 basic characteristics of effective teams:
Clear Purpose-Each team member of the Illuminator team has a clear purpose inside the team dynamics, but individual team members are allowed to contribute as necessary in order to accomplish the teams goals and objectives.
Informality- There is a level of informality to their team based approach. In order to be successful each member must stay focused and is responsible for their individual tasks and must keep all other team members informed of their efforts at all times.
Listening- Each team members opinions and views is valued equally and their input is viewed by all members as an important part of getting goals accomplished in the most efficient manner possible.
Participation- All individual members of the Illuminator team have an important role to play, without their participation the teams objectives cannot be completed effectively.
Disagreements-All team members value an individual’s opinion and disagreements are handled in a manner that will benefit team cohesiveness and effectiveness.
Consensus Decisions-Their decision making process typically involves reaching a consensus among team members as to the best way to approach a problem and find a solution.
Open Communication-It is a basic characteristic of the Illuminator team.
Shared leadership-Although Kaufman is the team leader, all opinions are valued and are participative in the decision making process.
Clear Assignments and Roles-All team members have assigned tasks and milestones and their role in the group dynamics is usually clearly defined, although many instances require individuals to work with each other in order to complete a task most effectively.
Diverse Responsibilities- Each team member is assigned specific tasks they are responsible for, although other team members can contribute in order to complete tasks most efficiently.
External Relations- Inside Kluster the Illuminator team has the support of all the companys employees and resources in order to most effectively accomplish the companys goals.
Self -assessment- The Illuminator team values each others feedback in order to better perform at their individual tasks while improving overall team performance.
The three main questions to ask before deciding to create a team are:
Is the problem defined? The problem and the goals it needs to accomplish must be clearly defined before deciding to create a team. The Illuminator team had very defined goals and tasks. The team is in charge of the companys web-based community driven product and idea development platform. This project initiative is designed to facilitate decision making, problem solving, and idea exchange for companies looking to launch new product ideas or services.
Does this problem require a team? There are instances that a problem does not need a team approach. In the case of the Illuminator team the tasks at hand are very complex and interrelated so a team based approach was the best way to handle the difficulties and complexity of the project at hand.
Will the team have the necessary resources to complete the project? It is imperative that all the necessary human and physical resources are available to the team in order to not compromise results and performance
Having time to work as individuals gives team members the freedom to concentrate on specific tasks and outcomes without being distracted by team dynamics. In certain circumstances working individually can be more effective in solving the problem at hand, especially if the tasks require concentration, focus, and undivided attention.
Works Cited
Schermerhorn, John, and James Hunt, and Richard Osborn. Organizational Behavior (8th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. 2003. Print. Read More
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