Seven Basic Quality tools documents
Definition of Quality Management -- it is a method for ensuring that all the activities necessary to design, develop and implement a product or service are effective and efficient with respect to the system and its performance. It is also a principle set by the company to endure the continuous advocacy of quality services and products, or the further improvement of it.
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Natural Work GroupsMini –Tutorial, Presented To Dr. Tom Foster
By James D. White Jr.
Original text on freequality.org
This tutorial will present the idea of Natural Work Groups. It is made up of several sections explaining different aspects of the idea. The paper will start be describing what a Natural Work group is. It will then go on to explain how Natural Work Groups work, along with where you would see them implemented. There is also an example diagram of the Natural Work Group flow, followed by some recommended sites to receive more information on Work Group implementing and application.
Natural Work Groups are teams of people that work together to accomplish a common task. The members of the team are usually assembled in a cross-functional manner including personnel from marketing, finance, research, engineering and production. Some main objectives of a Natural Work Group could be to improve customer relationships, find ways to improve market demand for products, or anything that the company might feel is needed to improve its’ well being. In short, “Natural Work Groups are teams that are organized according to a common product, customer or service.”(Foster, 332)
Natural Work Groups can be used in any organization. From the small mom and pop stores, all the way up to the Industry giants. Even committees that don’t work for a particular organization could be considered a work group. A good example of a Natural Work Group would be the Presidential committee at the White House. They are a diverse group of individuals with a common goal.
The first step in creating a Natural Work Group is selecting the team. The team should be fairly diversified and consist of members from different areas of the organization. This cross-functional design will ensure that all areas of the organization will have a voice. Once the teams are made they should follow five guidelines/areas. There are five main areas in the Natural Work Group that needs to be considered. These areas are not set in stone, but are a good starting point for a company/group to get started. The main ideas can vary to accommodate company needs and expectations. The five main areas are as follows:
Planning is the first step in Natural Work Groups. To plan, a group must set performance expectations and goals. The performance expectations and goals are for the individuals and the team to help channel their efforts so the company objective can be reached in an organized and timely fashion.
Monitoring, the second step in the Work Group, is a way of measuring performance. Feedback from the monitoring can be given, to see how well the group is progressing towards their goals they have set.
Developing, the third step in the Work Group, means constant training, delegating higher responsibilities, introducing new skills and improving work processes. By giving the employees the opportunity to learn new ideas, promotes good performance and competency in the work place.
Rating, the fourth step in the Work Group, I feel this is one of the most important aspects of the Work Group experience. By rating the employees, the company can see who their top performers are. Being that individuals are all unique, they will have something different to offer in different parts of the process. By knowing who the top performers are in designated areas, the company can put a group of members together that are diverse and proficient in different areas of business.
Rewarding, the fifth and final phase of the work group. Rewarding employees for their accomplishments is very effective. By rewarding the employees, they can see how behavior is controlled by consequences. Consequences should be formal and informal, positive and negative. Rewarding goes along with recognition. It should be an ongoing cycle. Something as simple as saying “thank you” can be a great experience for the employee. Just knowing they are appreciated is quiet a motivational factor in itself. With these five areas in place the Work Group should be very productive and have a great start on meeting their organizations expectations. (No Name, 2001)
Above is an example of a Natural Work Group flow process. As you can see, it is in a circular fashion with no ending. The cycle just keeps repeating itself over and over until the group reaches its end goal and is then disbanded. (No Name, 2001)
If your company or organization is contemplating a Natural Work Group, this paper would be a great starter to get the ball rolling. Just remember to get a diverse group of employees, preferably from different areas of the organization. After you have a cross-functional team, follow the five main areas outlined above. Remember, these five areas are not the only areas of consideration, but a general outline to get you started. There are many other sites on the Web that would be great sources of information on Natural Work Groups. I will list some sites below with links to help you get started in creating your Natural Work Group. With a little determination and employee involvement, you can be on your way to a great learning experience and productive organizational structure. Please link to the following sites to learn more about Natural Work Groups:
1. >Emerald Journals, Team Performance Management
2. Performance Management Magazine Online
3. Performance Enhancement Group, Ltd.
1. No Name, (November 15,2001) Performance Management Overviews. http://www.opm.gov/perform/overview.htm [11/22/01]
2. Foster, S. Thomas, Managing Quality: An Integrative Approach, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2001