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Team Performance Models Through a two-year Teamwork in Manufacturing project, supported by the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry, the London-based Tavistock Institute has developed a guide to teamwork in manufacturing (Neumann, Holti and Standing, 1995). They define a model to help describe the future state by classifying levels of self-regulation in working groups, identifying three basic performance dimensions or key areas of competence within these: Managing core short-term responsibilities with a group area: Basic job competence.

Group and individual motivation. Personnel administration. Special competences. Managing wider short-term responsibilities jointly with others: Co-ordination with like groups. Liaison with unlike groups. Setting targets for performance. Managing operational process and people development: Develop organisational process. Develop the work organisation.

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Develop individual people. The model, copyrighted with the Tavistock Institute, is then further developed to identify the levels of competence and performance using a scale ranging from skeletal to advanced.Three stages of the model move a team from being focused and competent on internal operations through to managing ever more complex interactions with the organisational environment.

A second model used by a number of organisations including Procter & Gamble and Motorola, which applies similar thinking to self-managing teams boundaries, is given in Figure 1. Here, the team’s future work is described in terms of: Core skills, the basic doing, making or filling skills of getting tasks done.Support skills including, for example, maintenance skills which would previously be supplied by a support department.

Boundary skills, or those needed to manage across team boundaries such as training, recruitment and production planning which are typically carried out by managers. The degree of self-management or team autonomy will be limited by what management allows within a boundary and its capability to develop broader team member competencies. Exiting cultural and manager mindsets will expand or restrict the boundary accordingly.

According to this model, team development over time is achieved by the addition of new skills, starting from the core and moving outwards towards the boundary. Each new skill block comprises clearly defined competencies in technical, business and interpersonal team skills to ensure that the team is truly capable of self-management. Whilst both models above can enable organisations to develop rich pictures of how self-managing teams will operate, the next stage is to undertake a current state analysis so that gaps between present and future can be identified.

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