Self-managed teams are defined as "groups of employees who are responsible for a complete, self-contained package of responsibilities that relate either to a final product or an ongoing process (Attaran, Nguyen 1999)". The team is charged with monitoring and reviewing its own overall process as well as assigning problem-solving duties to group members. Each team is unique and creates its own climate to work under opening up the opportunities for free thought and risk taking.
The self-managed team concept has been around since the 1940's and since then numerous books and papers have been written illustrating their usefulness. One such illustration suggests that a standard model should be used to describe the role of the self-managed team:
"Uphold organizational and personal values and principles; accomplish the team's work; organize the team's work environment; manage the team's work processes; Participate in organization wide systems; Participate in organization wide strategies; and Manage team processes.
(Silverman, Propst 1996)"
The above mentioned roles each play a part in how the team functions. To uphold organizational and personal values and principles is defined by the organization and its culture and several responsibilities fall under this role including exhibiting behavior that is consistent with the company's personal values and principles, and communicating organizational values and principles to customers and suppliers.
In order to accomplish the team's work, group members need to have an understanding of the team's processes and the activities within each process including identifying what work needs to be done by the team, prioritizing the work, obtaining resources needed, and meeting deadlines.
Organizing the team's work environment is an approach for controlling and managing a team's total work environment and is based on the Japanese 5-S model. The 5-S model is sort, straighten, shine, standardize, and sustain. "Organizations such as Boeing and...