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Chapter 3. Laying the Foundation for Tea... > The Four C's of Team Success - Pg. 30

Laying the Foundation for Team Success 30 In their best-selling book Reengineering the Corporation , Hammer and Champy note that in reen- gineering, the most important phase is the process in which work is done. They define process as a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and creates an output that is of value to the end user. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, work was broken down into its simplest tasks and each task assigned to a worker. In most companies today the focus is still on the individual tasks in the process, and team members often lose sight of the purpose of their tasks, which is to provide a satisfactory product or service to the customer. Individual tasks within the process are important, but unless they contribute to the success of the total process, the objectives will not be met. Team Terms The fastest growing segment of the work force is knowledge workers . Instead of manufacturing products, keeping records, or selling merchandise, they invent products, innovate changes, develop systems, create concepts, plan projects, and keep their organizations ahead of the pack. The team concept lends itself to designing work that has the process in the forefront and looks at individual tasks as components of this process. Once the team members are oriented to appreciate the subordination of their individual tasks to the entire process, the team is on the way to reaching its goals. One way to start getting members to think "process" instead of "task" is to involve them in the writing of the job descriptions for each of the jobs the team performs. Traditional job descriptions are task oriented. They indicate how a job should be done step by step. To fit the job description into the team concept, instead of listing tasks, it should focus on the desired results. Once this is clarified, the steps needed to attain these results and the criteria by which they will be measured should be specified. More details on how a team can prepare job descriptions will be found in Chapter 7. In today's business world, more and more jobs fall into the category of "knowledge work." Unlike manual laborers and clerical workers, whose jobs can easily be categorized and broken into tasks, the contribution of the knowledge worker is difficult to quantify. Job descriptions for such people must focus on results desired, as there is no way to specify tasks. Teams of knowledge workers must clearly define the expectations they set for themselves and specify how each member can contribute to it. The Four C's of Team Success How can you recognize a successful team? It has four basic qualities. Collegiality Members of successful teams work as colleagues. Each respects the intelligence and capabilities of the other members.