South-Western - Management  
How to Succeed with Self-directed Work Teams
Topic Managing Teams
Key Words Self-directed teams
InfoTrac Reference A83452275
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A self-directed team can take the place of supervisors and fulfill many management functions. Many attempts to use self-directed teams, however, fail because the teams don't have the experience or skills to succeed. Following these guidelines can increase the success of self-directed teams.

  1. Have a well thought-out vision of how these teams will fit into the scheme of the entire organization.
  2. The entire organization must be prepared to change the culture to support the teams.
  3. The organization must have the resources necessary to commit to this type of change in time, money and people.
  4. Training is an extremely significant part of developing the teams.
  5. After the training takes place, it will take time for the teams to get used to one another and develop their new-found skills.
  6. Performance expectations of the teams must be developed so they will know what is expected of them.
  7. A feedback method must be developed so they can see what they are doing and make corrections where necessary.
  8. Boundaries must be set in which the teams will operate.
  9. Do not develop the thinking that self-directed work teams are "leaderless" or never need management intervention.


What is a self-directed team?


Why is training important with self-directed teams?

Source "How to Succeed with Self-directed Work Teams," Supervision, Feb. 2002, p. 25.
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