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Inside Teams: How 20 World-Class Organizations are Winning Through Teamwork
by Richard S. Wellins, William C. Byham, & George R. Dixon.

The following are abstracts and lessons learned for case studies presented in the book, Inside Teams: How 20 World-Class Organizations are Winning Through Teamwork, by Richard S. Wellins, William C. Byham and George R. Dixon.

"Focusing on the Patient to Meet the Challenges of Health Care Reform" involves the Cape Coral Hospital in Cape Coral, Florida, which is part of the health care industry, where they have opted to redesign teams around patient care and business units. The teams first started in 1992, and average team size is 15 people, with 15% of the employees involved. Teams will be cross-trained so that primary care givers can learn to administer patient services normally performed by specialists. For example, registered nurses will draw blood and performing intravenous, respiratory, and physical therapies. Teams will also work on continuing improvement projects, monitor budgets, and determine schedules. This case study also covers training, selection for teams, evaluation of performance, and impact on the organization.

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"The Evolving Role of Leadership in Creating Flexible, Productive Teams"  case study of Development Dimensions International (DDI) Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. DDI is a printing, warehouse, and distribution facility for a multinational human resource company. They started teams in 1990, and 100% of employees are involved in groups varying in size from 2 to 15 people. The types of teams include self-directed teams created from natural work groups, and cross-functional process improvement teams. Team responsibilities include identifying and meeting customer requirements, planning and scheduling work, establishing improvement goals and measuring results, and helping to select new team members. Other responsibilities are selecting suppliers, recommending new equipment, sharing fiscal budget accountability, and more. This study also covers training, member selection, performance evaluation, and team impact on the organization.

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"Keeping in Step with a Rapidly Changing Market" is a case study which explores the redesigning of self-directed teams and cross functional process improvement teams for a footwear manufacturing and retailing company, K Shoes, Ltd. of Cumbria, United Kingdom. K Shoes first implemented teams in 1990 and 45% of the employees are in teams of 5 to 8 people. Their responsibilities include; managing team resources based on marketplace demand for styles of shoes, understanding the business and marketplace issues and their impact on demand, and the handling of materials and equipment budgeting. Other responsibilities are controlling team profit and loss, identifying team training needs, and conducting cross-training and problem solving during nonproduction time. Also described in the case study are the training and compensation of teams, member selection, performance evaluation, and the impact of teams on the organization.

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"Building Teams from the Ground Up by Developing New Team Skills" focuses on the Miller Brewing Company in Trenton, Ohio. Cross-functional teams and redesigned self-directed teams based on complete brewing, packaging, and distribution processes were implemented in 1991 and involve 100% of the employees. The teamsí sizes vary from 6 to 19 people. Their responsibilities are scheduling work assignments and vacations, hiring, conducting peer performance assessments, handling performance problems, assuring safety, maintaining equipment, and coordinating with other teams and policy groups. Team representatives meet every two weeks to discuss plantwide issues, using consensus decision-making principles to resolve concerns. This study also discusses training, member selection, performance evaluations, and the team impact on the organization.

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"Streamlining Business Processes to Stay Competitive" the implementation of self-directed, natural pilot teams in the manufacturing industry, at The Mine Safety Appliance Company in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. This company started the teaming process in 1992. Of the 530 employees, 21% are involved in teams of 3 to 18 people. Their responsibilities include handling materials, setting continuous improvement production goals, assigning team tasks, tracking labor usage rates, budgeting, monitoring safety and quality control, and housekeeping. This study also discusses the training of teams, compensation, member selection, performance evaluation, and the impact on the organization.

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"Making a Commitment to Involve Everyone in the Change"  Pfizer, Inc. of Terre Haute, Indiana is in the industry of specialty food ingredients and wanted to move to self-managed natural teams and cross-functional teams, which they did in 1991. Of the 130 employees at Terre Haute, 100% of them are in teams of 4 to 6 persons. The responsibilities of the teams include monitoring quality and costs, housekeeping, safety and environmental issues. As the teams mature they will also be responsible for peer performance management, scheduling of work tasks and production, selecting team members, choosing supplies and equipment, developing department budgets, scheduling vacations, overtime and training, and identifying team training needs. Organization wide team responsibilities are resolving problems within the plantís 13 departments, and meeting monthly to forge a plantwide consensus on issues and refer them to area forums for resolution. Other topics covered in this study are training, member selection, performance evaluations, and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"Using Teamwork to Redesign Core Processes" This study involves Sterling Winthrop, Ltd. of Sydney, Australia, a pharmaceuticals company that implemented redesigned and self-directed pilot teams in 1992. 30% of the 500 employees are in teams of 10 to 12 people. Their responsibilities are planning production, dispensing raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, cleaning and maintaining equipment, handling line changeovers, and collecting and monitoring a series of "right-first-time" quality data. Teams also schedule vacations and overtime and hire temporary labor. Organization-wide responsibilities include developing action plans and team goals that are linked to overall strategic business goals. This study also includes information on training, member selection, performance evaluations, and the impact of teams on the organization.

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"Driving Reengineering Through Empowered Teams,"  involves the UCAR Carbon company of Clarksville, Tennessee, a manufacturer of graphite and carbon electrodes, graphite specialties, grafoil, and other carbon and graphite products. In 1992, UCAR Carbon decided to implement natural and redesigned self-directed teams that complement a team approach to management and cross-functional facility wide project teams. Of the 1,600 employees, 85 to 90% are involved in teams ranging in size from 4 to 20 people. Major responsibilities of the teams include planning work schedules and assigning responsibilities, tracking key performance indicators, and determining production rate by monitoring a just-in-time production system based on current customer usage. Other responsibilities are scheduling overtime and vacations, and start and stop production as necessary to meet production standards. The business unit management also functions as a team. This study also discusses training, member selection, performance evaluations and the impact of teams on the organization.

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"Teams in Fast-Forward: Building Commitment Quickly"  In this study, the electronics company Ampex Systems, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, converted their entire production operation to redesigned self-directed work teams. There are two basic types of teams there: production teams, which configure complex electronic assemblies, and work cells, which manufacture single part cells or configure simple subassemblies. The teams, which were first started in 1990, include 95% of the employees in teams of 10 to 12 people. The teams have varying degrees of responsibility for production planning, materials management, scheduling work assignments, scheduling overtime and time off, and meeting production quality targets. Teams also do most quality assurance checks, and work closely with suppliers. They may also meet with key suppliers weekly. This study also includes information on training, member selection, performance evaluations, and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"Gaining Business Focus Through Mini-Enterprise Units" This study examines the peat extraction division of Bord na Mona in Leaburg, County Offaly, Ireland and their implementation of "autonomous enterprise teams", set up to operate as self-managing business units that contract to harvest and deliver peat to Bord na Monaís Peat Energy Division. The teams were first started in 1989, and 85% of the employees are in teams of 4 or 5 people, which are expanded to groups of 5 to 17 with seasonal workers. The team responsibilities are hiring and managing seasonal employees, scheduling work assignments, monitoring quality, achieving production targets, handling performance and discipline problems, and maintaining equipment. Organization wide responsibilities for the teams are collaborating with management in achieving peat production targets, and contracting to deliver a fixed amount of peat at a fixed price. This study also reports on training, compensation, performance evaluations, member selection, and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"The Plant Start-Up That Became the Model for High-Performance Teams" is a case study involving a liquid detergent company, The Colgate-Palmolive Company of Cambridge, Ohio which implemented cross-functional problem-solving and redesigned self-directed teams in 1988. 100% of the 200 employees are in teams ranging from 3 to 10 persons in size. Team responsibilities are making plastic bottles, filling them with detergent and packaging them for distribution. Teams are responsible for as many as nine different product lines, and make their own work assignments, schedule overtime, time off and vacations, perform preventive equipment maintenance and handle equipment changeovers, and assure quality control for all phases of production. Organization-wide responsibilities include representatives serving quality and safety committees, a selection committee that interviews and assess job applicants, and an issues committee that arbitrates employee complaints. This study also looks at compensation, training, member selection, performance evaluations, and the impact of the teams on the organization as a whole.

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"Making Teams Work in Union and Nonunion Facilities"  Case study which explores the Hannaford Brothers Company of Schodack Landing, New York, a retail supermarket and food distribution company. The company implemented redesigned self-directed work teams in 1989, and 100% of the 150 employees are in teams of 5 to 25 people. Team responsibilities depend on the maturity of the team, including inventory control, developing and delivering training, setting team goals, team budgeting, hiring new team members, safety, quality assurance, scheduling work assignments, peer performance reviews, dealing with misconduct and performance problems, and most areas that directly affect teams. The organization-wide responsibilities of the teams include elected members serving on work groups that advise management on human resource policies or recommend changes in plant operations. This study includes information on the companyís training of teams, compensation, member selection, performance evaluations, and the team impact on the organization.

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"Project-Based Teams: Creating Flexibility and Focus in a Matrix Environment" This study involves the electronics company of the Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida and their 1984 implementation of employee involvement teams for process improvement and cross-functional project teams for specific programs. 65% of the 8,000 employees are in the 6 to 10 member employee involvement fields. The team responsibilities include meeting process improvement or other goals that are usually suggested by teams and approved by management. Organization-wide team responsibilities vary depending on the type of team. The study also involves information on compensation, training, member selection, performance evaluations and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"Achieving Customer Satisfaction by Managing the Whole Business with Teams"  This study focused on the 1990 implementation of teams at the Kodak Customer Assistance Center in Rochester, New York. They created redesigned, self-directed teams work teams from two separate customer service "call centers," and various cross-functional, multilevel teams which served as links with business units and worked on improving and managing key processes. 50% of the 300 employees are now involved in teams varying in size from 3 to 20 people. The teams are based on customer regions, specialized product areas, or unique customer groups. They have responsibilities including the scheduling of shifts and work assignments, training and coaching other team members, evaluating the handling of customer assistance calls, monitoring customer satisfaction, and making ongoing process improvements. Organization-wide team responsibilities for the management system include business councils that are determine the needs of specific Kodak business units, and process councils that oversee internal operations. This study also includes information on team compensation, training, member selection, performance evaluations, and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"Using Total Quality Management as the Foundation for Teams"  The Milwaukee Mutual Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and their 1990 implementation of cross-functional and problem-solving teams, and natural self-directed teams. 100% of the employees are in groups of 8 to 10 people. Their responsibilities include scheduling work assignments and vacations, evaluating peer performance, monitoring quality and productivity, improving the process, making business decisions in geographic territories served, hiring new team members, and representing teams in company wide policy making bodies. The organization wide responsibilities are advising management on all human resource policies and many major business decisions. This study also details their handling of team compensation, training, member selection, performance evaluations and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"How Empowered Teams Helped Win the Malcom Baldridge Award" This study involves the Eastman Chemical Company- Tennessee Eastman Division in Kingport Tennessee and their implementation of problem-solving teams, natural unit teams, and empowered self-directed teams in 1983. 100% of employees are in the natural unit teams, continuous improvement teams and special project teams, and 30% are in self-directed work teams. Teams are usually 10 people, but vary in size from 4 to 30 people. Mature self-directed work teams are responsible for meeting production requirements within agreed standards and expectations, assuring safety, operating, maintaining and controlling equipment, making work assignments, training team members, and improving individual and team effectiveness by providing peer feedback. This study also includes information on their compensation of teams, training, member selection, performance evaluations and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"The Baldrige and Beyond: Sustaining Systemwide Reengineering and Empowerment"  This study of Texas Instruments- Defense Systems and Electronics Group in Dallas, Texas, and their implementation of self-directed natural and redesigned teams and cross-functional teams working on process improvements in the early 1980s. Employee involvement in these teams is approaching 100%, and the average team size is 10 people. Responsibilities depend on the type and maturity of the teams and include determining work place design, planning work schedules, reducing costs, determining and deploying training need and scheduling vacations and overtime. Other responsibilities are interfacing with other teams to eliminate bottlenecks and implement new processes, selecting new team members, evaluating team members, meeting quality and production goals, and in some cases, working with suppliers on quality issues. This study also details their team compensation, training, member selection, performance evaluations, and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"The Language of Teams Can Be Spoken Anywhere" discusses the implications of implementing self-managed work teams in Texas Instruments Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1989. All 3,000 employees are in teams ranging from 6 to 18 people in size. The team responsibilities fall into two main categories. The first is maintenance which includes equipment maintenance and daily administrative activities such as housekeeping, equipment setup, managing cost, delivery, safety, tracking attendance, and assigning daily duties and responsibilities. For the second category, teams carry out special problem-solving or ongoing process improvement activities. Except for a plantwide environmental safety and industrial hygiene team, no formal systems have been set up to include operator teams in plantwide activities. This case study also discusses training, performance evaluations, member selection, and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"Aligning Systems to Keep Teams on the High-Performance Track" This study examines the Westinghouse Electronic Assembly Plant in College Station, Texas. It details their implementation of natural and redesigned multifunctional self-directed work teams and cross-functional teams in 1983. 100% of the 185 employees are in groups ranging from 8 to 20 people in size. Team responsibilities include budgeting materials and expenses, monitoring safety, handling quality assurance, making daily work assignments, meeting production goals, scheduling shifts, vacations, and some overtime, and coaching and cross training. Organizationwide responsibilities include analyzing and recommending changes in performance evaluation and compensation systems, and playing a role in decisions affecting major human resources and process systems. This study also discusses compensation for teams, training, member selection, performance evaluations, and the teamís impact on the organization.

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"Leading Teams: Transforming Managers into Coaches"  In this study, the implementation of permanent, cross-functional and work-area continuous improvement teams, and the emergence of natural self-directed work teams at the Wilson Sporting Goods Company in Humboldt, Tennessee, are discussed. The teams were first started in 1987, and 75% of the work force is involved in groups of 15 employees. The team met weekly or biweekly to plan process improvements or solve quality and productivity problems. They also establish their own goals, which are aligned with the plantís mission. Other topics discussed in this study are team compensation, member selection, training, performance evaluations and the impact of teams on the organization.

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