Natural Workgroup

A Natural Workgroup is smaller entity within the organization where work gets done. These teams are focused on specific deliverables and objectives. The size of each work group is typically 5 to 9 people. Fewer than 5 people reduces diversity. More than 9 people usually results in more than one team. The work group personnel normally work in close proximity and have process or functional connections that tend to pull team members together.

Traditionally an organization’s structure relied on leadership making the decisions and giving direction to all areas and departments. The people in the area rarely had a chance to give input or offer ideas to improve things.

With a true Lean structure, it is imperative the organization be transformed and leadership empowers individual areas to become the owner of their activities, performance and continuous improvement.

A good Natural Workgroup structure allows the group to self-manage and improve:

  • The visual controls necessary to simplify performance management
  • Discipline to focus on and improve performance day by day
  • Timely measurement and corrective action
  • Employee involvement in operational problem solving
  • Long term improvement objectives

A truly defined and functional Workgroup will become a “Self-Directed Team,” provided they receive the training, development, coaching and time to evolve that is needed.

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