Types of Teams

There are many different types of teams that are used to attack different projects.

Six Sigma Teams

Closely follow several of the other examples on this page. Also see, Six Sigma Teams and the six sigma roles and responsibilities guide.

General Improvement Teams

Some have continuity and longevity but they are generally selected by any group (dept, division) that decides to solve a quality or productivity problem. Management usually chooses the problem for the team to work and acts as a sponsor but it is up to the team to identify and choose the solution.

Process Improvement Teams

A process improvement usually includes team members from multiple departments so they can examine the overall flow of the entire process from end-to-end.

Project / Task Force / Ad Hoc Teams

These teams are usually created for and last as long as the project does, disbanding shortly after. Team members are chosen based on their knowledge and experience in a particular subject. The project is usually chosen by management and has tight boundaries for the assignment. The team can be comprised of all management personnel, all work area, or any combination there of.

Cellular Teams

These are the most common teams. Generally they are comprised of a natural work team. The name cellular comes form manufacturing where groups of people will act as a cell to fabricate or assemble parts. These teams can either be led by management or self-directed.

Self-Directed Teams

These teams often (but not always) come together on their own, operate with minimal input from management, and have more continuity and longevity than other teams. The team selects its own leader to coordinate activities, but that team leader operates on an equal footing with the team members.

Cross Functional Teams

These teams are comprised of subject matter experts and representatives from multiple departments or areas (functional, process, geographic, etc) in the organization. Selecting these team members should be done with care and though. The team is often used on a Project or Improvement tam and are best suited for Experimentation teams.

Question: Which of the following best describes a team that has members with different skills or roles from different areas within the organization? (Taken from ASQ sample Black Belt exam.)

(A) Self-directed
(B) Cross-functional
(C) Parallel
(D) Process

Answer: (c) Parallel. A parallel team has members with different skills and roles from different places in the organization.


1 comment… add one
  • mewen

    I think the sample question’s answer should actually be B. Can you verify?

    In the cross-functional team description, it reads “These teams are comprised of subject matter experts and representatives from multiple departments or areas in the organization.”

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