August 16, 2015

Six Sigma Team Management : Types, Roles, Size, Stages & Life cycle

Resource : Improvement Teams Process Improvement teams  Self Directed Teams Quality Circles & Quality Team, Project Teams Cross functional teams Team stages Forming (Inexperienced)  Storming ( individually)  Norming ( Cooperate ) Performing (Maturity) Team Life Cycle Build Phase (Forming/Storming) Develop Phase (Norming) Optimize Phase (Performing) Steering committee role Setting the goals

Types of Teams

Improvement Teams
A group belonging to any department chooses to solve a quality/productivity problem. It will continue until a reasonable solution is found and implemented. The problem may be management selected but the solution is team directed.

May be 8 to 10 members from a single department

Can work on quality or productivity issues. A process improvement team can consist of multi- department membership and focus on process flow and product issues.

Process Improvement teams

For a process improvement team, employees may be drawn from morethan one department to look into the flow Of material and semi-finished goods required to streamline the process.

Project Teams/Task Forces/Ah Hoc Teams

Members are selected based on their experience and directed by management to look into a specifics areas such as the modernization of a piece of equipment or solution to a customer complaint.
Team membership can be all management, all work area, or a composite of the two.

Self Directed Teams

Self directed teams are the teams such that all team members are equal, energetic and self-motivated participants, Not just be led and passive members. The team meets and works together and the team leader should assume an equal position with the other team members. Some teams find it helpful to rotate team leadership to give every one Experience.

6 to 15 members, generally a natural work area teams. May need staff support

Cross functional teams


Cross functional teams are made up of individuals who represents different departments or functional areas in the organization. Individuals who represent a department or functional areas should be subject matter experts. The thoughtful selection of the members is an important aspect of building an effective team.

8 to 12 members from different areas, departments, or disciplines.

Quality Circles
Japanese started quality circles. The circle is a means of allowing and encouraging people on the production floor To participate in decisions that will improve quality and or/reduce manufacturing costs. Membership is based on Voluntary basis.

Quality Teams
American version of ‘quality circle’. But most ‘quality circles’projects tend to be employee selected. While most Quality team efforts are management selected but team directed.

May be 8 to 10 members from single department

May initially work on quality topics or overall department performance. Can evolve into self directed teams.

Project Teams:

Works on specific project such as the installation of a conveyor system. Can also focus on material related items like an improved inventory control system. Usually disbands upon the completion of a project.

Can have broad or specific member selection. May be all or part management

Team Roles and responsibilities

Steering committee role
•Setting the goals
•Identify projects
•Selecting teams
•Supporting project teams

Process Owner role
•Support team members with resource
•Share information with the team
•Participate in project reviews

The leader role
•Provide direction and suggest assignments
•Act as a communication hub and a liaison with management
•Handle administrative details like meeting sites and scheduling
•Ensure that individual needs and expectations are considered
•Recommend meeting agendas and conduct meetings
•Assess group progress to plan, evaluate and initiate action
•Take the steps necessary to ensure success

The Recorder Role
•Takes clear notes including project responsibilities
•Publishes and distributes the minutes
•May ask for clarification of issues (for the record)

The Team Member Role
•Participating in training to become an effective team member
•Attending team meetings
•Completing assignment between meetings
•Participating actively during meetings by contributing information and ideas
•Encouraging active participation by other team members
•Applying the steps of the improvement process

Management support
Mid-level management (the one who is actually directly involved) involvement is a key element in success Upper level management’s support is also very important

Upper level Management supports the team process by:
•Ensuring a constancy of purpose
•Reinforcing positive results
•Sharing business results
•Giving people a sense of mission
•Developing a realistic and integrated plan
•Providing direction and support

Selecting Team Members
There are four places to look:
•Where the problem is observed or the pain is felt
•Where sources or causes of the problem might be found
•Among those with special knowledge, information, or skill
•In areas that can be helpful in developing the remedy

Team Size
If a team is over 20, or even over 15, the team will be come toobig and may
Lose the participation of all team members.
F a team is less than 4 people, it may not generate enough ideas.

Team stages
Forming: Member are Inexperienced , excited , anxious ,  proud

Storming: Members have confrontation  , think individually , are learning roles,  have divided loyalties

Norming: Members cooperate , talk things out ,  focus on objectives , have fewer conflicts

Performing Members shows maturity,  focus on the process , achieve goals , operate smoothly


Team Life Cycle Characteristics
Build Phase (Forming/Storming)
•Group will be uncertain
•Group lacks cohesiveness
•Group will not easily develop consensus
•Leader exhibits a high task/high relationship style

Develop Phase (Norming)
•Task related work is assumed by the group
•The group must work to involve any non-participating members
•Leader exhibits a low task/high relationship style
•Team focuses on presentations, tasks and relationships

Optimize Phase (Performing)
•Members prioritize and perform tasks
•Members work out decisions in a caring way
•Conflict is accepted, but cooperation is prefered
•Team leader is a delegator and exhibits a low-task/low-relationship style
•Team exhibits a high-task/high-relationship style