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Chapter 9. Your Team Is Not Alone > Your Niche in the Company Structure - Pg. 102

Your Team Is Not Alone 102 · Depending upon the projected length of the project, the committee meets one or more times a week to report on progress and resolve problems that arise between teams. · Upon completion of the project, the committee is dissolved. If the same group of teams starts another project, it's a good idea to form a new committee. This gives different team members the opportunity to benefit from the experience. Internal Customers and Suppliers To foster a better relationship among the various teams in an organization, team members should treat the teams with which they interrelate as either customers or suppliers. Internal customers are the teams or other units of the organization that your team serves. Internal suppliers are teams from which your team obtains what it needs to do its job. For example, the market research team supplies the sales department with data it needs to make sales decisions. If the market research team thinks of the sales department as its customer, the members of the team will do all they can to provide it with the best service. If the sales department looks at the market researchers as suppliers, they will deal with them more objectively. Team Terms Internal customers are persons or units in the organization to whom a team provide materials, information, or services. Internal suppliers are persons or units in the organization that provide the team with materials, in- formation, or services. A team will be a customer in some aspects of its work and a supplier in others. Your mindset is different when you look at the people, other teams, or departments that you service as customers rather than just another part of your company. You become more alert to their needs; you take the time and effort to provide them with quality service; you go out of your way to keep them happy. Review in your own mind how you deal with the people in units your team serves. Ask yourself these questions: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Have you and the internal customer jointly assessed what is wanted from your team? Has your team discussed the best ways to meet the internal customer's needs? Does your team develop standards for the products or services you provide that meet or surpass the internal customer's requirements? Do you make a point of looking at things from the customer's point of view? Do you set priorities on the basis of what is important to the internal customer? Do you get regular feedback from internal customers on how you're doing? Do you hold periodic meetings to discuss ways of being of even greater service to customers? Do you reward team members who provide over-and-above-the-line-of-duty service to the team's customers? Have you established a means of easy communication between your team members and the internal customers? Do you take immediate steps to investigate and follow through on complaints from internal customers?