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Team Organization and Purpose

Summary: This excerpt from the third edition of The Certified Quality Improvement Associate Handbook (American Society for Quality, 2014) provides a primer on quality teams that can be used by organizations of all types and teams with a diverse range of purposes. The authors define what a team is, and what it is not; list some of the many purposes that a team may serve; identifies factors that determine how long a team remains active in a functioning mode; and explains the differences between natural teams and process improvement teams, or PITS. According to the excerpt, PITS focus on creating or improving specific business processes. A PIT may attempt to completely reengineer a process or may work on incremental improvements. If attempting a breakthrough, the team is usually cross-functional in composition, with representatives from a number of different functions and with a range of skills related to the process to be improved. A PIT working on incremental improvements is often composed of people having a functional interest in improving a portion of the overall process, such as representatives from a specific functional work unit.

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  • Topics: Certification Preparation
  • Keywords: Quality teams, Natural team, Process improvement team, Cross functional teams, Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)
  • Author: Westcott, Russell, T.; Duffy, Grace L.;
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation