Empowered/Self-directed work groups

Subject: Empowered/Self-directed work groups
From: Jill Hietpas <jsh -at- MAYBERRY -dot- CRAY -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 May 1994 12:16:12 CDT

I work in a publications and training department whose major function
is to write hardware computer manuals and train our Field Engineers
that support our hardware products. Our department consists of over 60
people that are either instructors, writers, editors, illustrators,
video technicians, and managers (which oversee the various work

Because of our rapidly changing business environment and because we are
trying to support more products with shorter development cycles, our
department is trying to set some goals to foster a more empowered work
environment. In our efforts to set goals, we have encountered many
questions which I am hoping some of you might be able to help us
answer. So, if any of you have experience at implementing an empowered
workforce or self-directed teams, could you help us out by answering
the following questions. Any additional info would also be

1. Do your self-directed teams do peer reviews and if so what training
(if any) was required for the team members doing the reviews?

2. Did you provide your teams/workforce with any training and if so

3. What level of involvement do your self-directed teams have in
scheduling their own assignments and planning their own work?

4. How much involvement do your self-directed teams have in budget and
planning decisions?

5. What is the process your self-directed teams need to follow to
eliminate an individual from the team who is not fullfilling his/her

6. How much involvement does your workforce/teams have in selecting
new dept. or team members?

7. What types of decisions do your empowered workforce make that are
not directly related to the manual writing process or course
preparation/teaching process?

8. When decisions are made by non-mgmt. teams/individuals, are there
problems with other teams/individuals/mgmt. not adhering to the
decisions made? If so, how do you encourage adherence?

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