The Team Handbook / Edition 3

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This book is a comprehensive resource book that provides everything you need to know to create high performing teams.

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What People Are Saying

Jackie Mead
"The Team Handbook 3rd Edition builds on information learned in the first and second edition by introducing new tools and skills for teams working to improve quality. We consider The Team Handbook a "must read" for all participants in local, national, and international training programs as well as a handy on-going reference for those working on teams."
Director of Quality, Improvement Education Intermountain Health Care, Institute of Health Care Delivery Research
Eugene Taylor
"For me it's much more than just a book. It's a valuable reference that can be used at any stage of a team's growth and development. The updates that are included in this revision help the book keep current with what is currently happening in the industry. Read this book cover to cover once; you will reference it over and over forever."
Industrial Engineer, Boeing Navigator
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781884731266
  • Publisher: GOAL/QPC and Oriel Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 356
  • Sales rank: 41,920

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2: Getting Started: Learning the Tools

What You Will Find Here

In this chapter we explore:
I. Processes and Systems
   Understanding systems, processes, customers, and suppliers can help you improve daily work.
II. Scientific Approach
     This is a systematic way to solve problems and make improvements.
III. Tools for Collecting Data
IV. Tools for Mapping Processes
V. Tools for Looking at Data Relationships
VI. The Joiner 7 Step Method™
      This is a step-by-step approach to problem solving.

Everyone uses teams, and everyone wants the teams they have to be good at solving problems. Whether your team is managing part of a business, or building a customer data base, or coordinating work in the accounting department, or implementing a merger with another organization, it's likely that you will also be improving processes or solving problems. To do this, you will need good data — and to get good data, understand what it means, and use it properly, you will need a scientific approach and some of the tools described in this chapter.

So What's Your Problem?

To some of us it may seem obvious what the problems are, but our hunches are often inaccurate. Symptoms can often disguise themselves as causes. The real culprits may in fact be very different from those that appear on the surface. Misdiagnosis can waste time and resources. That's why it helps to gather and analyze data in a scientific fashion. In this chapter we will introduce a variety of tools that will help you gather data and help you discover what the data has to tell you.Whatever the tasks of your team, these tools are sure to be valuable.

Problems Teams Encounter

Teams often encounter problems when doing their work. Whether they are doing a special project or participating in an ongoing effort to improve a process, teams may have to grapple with some of the following: mistakes, delays, and inefficiencies.
  1. Mistakes
    When mistakes or errors occur, work has to be repeated and extra steps added to correct the error or dispose of the damage. Many companies call this "scraping burnt toast," that is, fixing up the product rather than preventing the problem.
    1. When a packaging machine dents boxes, employees have to inspect all the boxes and replace those that are damaged.
    2. When a patient's ID number is incorrectly written down, the staff has to recheck many records to locate and verify the correct ID.
    These steps add no value to the product or service. The solution lies in finding ways to error-proof the process, preventing errors or defects in the first place.
  2. Delays/Breakdowns
    Sometimes even when services or products are not harmed, supply or production systems break down and real work is put on hold. Efforts are then diverted to repair work.
    1. A poorly maintained copy machine keeps breaking down. This causes delays all along the process, and much confusion as people try to keep track of exactly where everything was before the copier stopped.
    2. Key information is missing for a report, so it is started based on available information — and then put aside, to await the missing pieces. This report is handled many times to add the missing information as it comes in. Each time, the draft has to be located, missing information has to be entered in the correct places, inconsistencies have to be fixed, and on and on.
    3. Someone wants to notify people of an upcoming meeting, but the list of telephone numbers and addresses is incomplete. Many calls are needed to get the information.
  3. Inefficiencies
    Even when products and services aren't defective, nor the work flow interrupted, more time, material, and movement than necessary are often used. Often the inefficiency arose originally because something happened that upset the system and extra steps were added. But the effects have remained long after the problem was gone. In these cases, there is a clear reason why the system was established the way it was. At other times, there is no way of knowing how the inefficient system began.
    By tracing their movements on a floor plan of their work area, employees discovered they crisscrossed their paths many times to get all the material they needed. No one was sure exactly how the floor plan got the way it was. A redesigned layout eliminated a lot of unnecessary movement and complexity. (==> See work-flow diagrams on p. 2-15.)

I. Processes and Systems

We tend to think of organizations as places where countless tasks get done: putting labels on envelopes, x-raying a patient, tightening the screws on a component, calling customers, and on and on. Teams often struggle to understand how the tasks which are part of their jobs fall into a sequence of steps, or a process.

A process can be represented by the SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers) diagram above. Processes consist of a sequence of steps which transform some input (envelopes, information, components, etc.) from suppliers into a final output (letters mailed, report written, components assembled) which goes to customers. The steps in the following tasks are all examples of processes:

  • Producing a product
  • Delivering a service
  • Opening a bank account
  • Giving a medication
  • Hiring or training a new employee
  • Performing a surgical procedure
  • Filling an order
  • Processing payroll
Almost every word that ends in "ing" is a process. In this light, we begin to see that every task can be part of a process, and there are thousands upon thousands of processes in every organization. ...
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Using Teams to Meet Today's Challenges
Chapter 2: Getting Started: Learning the Tools
Chapter 3: Supporting Successful Projects
Chapter 4: Doing Work in Teams
Chapter 5: Building an Improvement Plan
Chapter 6: Learning to Work Together
Chapter 7: Dealing With Conflict
Appendix A: Quality Leadership
Appendix B: Storyboard Example
Appendix C: Team-Building Activities
Appendix D: References
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2006

    Not Thorough

    While this book contains a great deal of useful information on team dynamics and tools, it does not cover the Integrated Process and Product Development (IPPD) framwork which is the basis of co-located Integrated Product Teams (IPTs). Due to this omission, its applicability to the defense industry is very limited.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2006


    This book truly encompasses what any team will go thru in their search of their goal(s). Every company should have this book and educate their workforce as part of their culture. It is easy to read and has a ton of great content. A good reference tool for team improvement.

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