Original Date: 02/24/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Best Practice : Team Building Strategy
Over the past three to five years, the Industrial Operations Command (IOC) has been implementing a team building strategy to improve operational effectiveness and customer satisfaction. The focus is on self-managed teams and is supported by effective team building tools and support systems. Previously, the IOC and its predecessor organizations were stove pipe type organizations characterized by duplication of effort, poor communication, and confusion among customers about whom to interface with at headquarters and the installations. The IOC was created from the merger of two distinct organizations that needed to develop effective ways of working together internally and understanding each other.
Under the new strategy, self-managed teams bring together cross-functional experts onto one team. This was accomplished by benchmarking and planning to put in place a structured team building methodology and support system. Personnel were trained in team concepts and skills. Each team charter provides well-defined roles and responsibilities adopted by the team members. The charter also specifies team responsibilities, team membership, personnel management arrangements, and other details. High impact start-up workshops are conducted to launch the teams. The workshops are followed up with regular team maintenance sessions. Senior level managers work with the teams as mentors, coaches, and champions to help ensure success.
Training and tools, such as Honesty, Ethics, Accountability, Responsibility, Training, Support (HEARTS), help make the team building strategy work. HEARTS is a command-wide team building training program for the IOC associates. It consists of a three-phase process that blends indoor classroom instruction with outdoor experiential learning techniques. HEARTS’ objectives focus on personal breakthroughs and shifts in traditional mind sets, high performance teamwork, and process management and improvement within organizations. Nearly 7,000 people within the IOC have completed at least phase one of this three-phase program.
Teams are being taught and applying 360 degree performance evaluation techniques. A cadre of 15 certified instructors in the Myers/Briggs Personality Trait Indicator (MBTI) technique conduct team building workshops throughout the command utilizing MBTI with all levels of the organization. A team support group has been formed to assist teams as required. These kinds of support and training tools are the foundation for an effective team building strategy.
The team approach has worked well for the IOC, resulting in greater efficiency and customer satisfaction. It is estimated that teams have reduced personnel resource requirements by one-half while maintaining productivity and quality. Employees receive a great deal of satisfaction through benefits derived from working as a team. In many cases, two to three levels of supervision and traditional management structures have been eliminated.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.