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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Can We Manage Organizational Knowledge??

The question here is if we can manage organizational knowledge. If someone were to ask us if we could manage money for example, they are definitely not asking us if we could JUST safeguard the money or accrue more of it. They are, in simple terms asking us if WE are capable of controlling the influx and outflow voluntarily, according to our preferences and not involuntarily or in a way that is out of our control.

I feel the same applies to knowledge management as well. It is important for us to realize not just the methods to store the knowledge but also effectively handle it, both in situations of successful achievements- which could be a result of effective knowledge management in the organization and in times of failure- which could also be a derivative of poor knowledge management.

Many influential businesses around the globe consider knowledge to be one of the most important organizational assets and the answer to maintain a competitive advantage (Davenport & Prusak, 2000, p. xxiii). Although organizations recognize knowledge as a key component, they little know how to create and enforce it (Wenger, 1998). Many companies think knowledge management & information management to be the same (Gupta & Govindarajan, 2000). They further mention that such a perception that an IT infrastructure development would automatically result in better knowledge management is misleading.
Seeley also mentions in a study that many organizations tried to realize effective knowledge management with development of information technology applications (Seeley, 1999, p. 18). However, the efforts of many such organizations to manage knowledge could not be very successful. Wenger also mentions the same that, many conventional and modern knowledge management approaches attempt(ed) to capture existing knowledge within systems, such as a database (p. 2). However, he also says in contrast that, it is the “involvement of people that makes a difference in knowledge management”

So, what do the above examples tell us? The authors and their examples are trying to tell us that those methods that related to direct manipulation of knowledge through passive means as described above could not be very successful. They created a need for further practices in addition to existing ones making it more complex
For example, Let us consider a major IT infrastructure project to handle all knowledge building, sharing & usage through an interactive database. This is definitely a positive step in view of effective knowledge management within the organization. An initial build of knowledge that could be shared between individuals across the organization is good, however what would happen to updates in the organization that occur at different times and in-between different people and how do we account for different perspectives and the correct one among those?
This would require resources to validate the knowledge that needs to be updated and programs to keep the whole effort going. This could make the program complex and boring and unless people knew how to use that knowledge, it would be worthless.

Nonaka & Takeuchi (2002) focused their work on how knowledge was created in an organization and the importance of organizational culture that impacted organizational knowledge. They concentrated on two types of knowledge- Tacit and Explicit. They considered tacit knowledge to be more significant as this is gained by experience and is efficient in terms of gaining a competitive edge. Explicit knowledge however is more procedural and passive. Tacit knowledge being a product of human interaction, Nonaka & Takeuchi thus found “organizational culture to be the key to the effective knowledge management”

In the same context, Davenport and Prusak explained that a company is nothing more than a group of people organized to represent the company through its products or services or both. Their ability to represent the company and its products depends on their knowledge and operation procedures that govern the production or services
(Davenport & Prusak, 2000, p. xxii). If people did not know how to represent or handle the products and methods to produce or improve; the company could be a failure regardless of all passive knowledge forms.

Organizational culture, however, is believed to be very intricate and many-sided. It is very important as it governs the employment of certain individuals, following guidelines, policies, interaction of its people within and outside of organization, market influence and many more factors. An effective culture is a crucial component of knowledge management in an organization within which people function (Gupta & Govindarajan, 2000). While most business leaders recognize the importance of this culture, they find it extremely difficult to enhance and enforce a relationship between knowledge and culture for effective results (De Long & Fahey, 2000).

So, why is it so difficult to build a relationship between culture and knowledge that would help achieve and sustain great results?
In a study conducted by De Long & Fahey (2000), the authors concluded that most organizations fell short of a culture that encouraged mutual work because people thought individual ownership of knowledge as a scheme to guarantee job security (De Long & Fahey, 2000, p. 113). As a result, knowledge sharing became a constrained effort

Conclusion:
Many authors agree that organizational culture holds the key to successful knowledge management (Gupta & Govindarajan, 2000). It is important for organizations to coin organizational culture in way that would ensure what kind of organizational knowledge is important, how it could be utilized and based on that; create methods to ensure knowledge is converted in to action, reused and processed. It would thus share an inherent bond with action in all forms.

IT-driven solutions, although important, mostly failed to achieve the true purpose because cultural factors were not considered critical to effective knowledge management and people enjoyed their personal ownership of knowledge which provided them with job security in turn. Just as knowledge management is crucial to an organization's success, organizational culture is crucial to an organization's implementation of its business strategy & procedures within and outside of an organization. Thus, knowledge management cannot be effectively attended to without considering organizational culture. However it is feasible.

In short Organizational Culture should be used to build an effective knowledge sharing environment rather than just an IT-driven solution which could be considered as a support alternative.

References
Botkin, J. and Seeley, C. (2000). The Knowledge Management Manifesto.

Davenport, T.H. and Prusak, Laurence. (2000). Working Knowledge: How
Organizations Manage What They Know. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business
School Press

Antonina Holowetzki, Dec. 2002 The relationship between knowledge management and organizational culture

De Long, D.W. and Fahey, L. (2000). Diagnosing Cultural Barriers to Knowledge
Management. Academy of Management Executive

Martin, B. (2000). Knowledge Management within the Context of Management: An
Evolving Relationship. Singapore Management Review

Nonaka, I. and Takeuchi, H. (1995). The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese
Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation. New York, New York: Oxford
University Press

Rastogi, P.N. (2000). Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital - The New
Virtuous Reality of Competitiveness. Human Systems Management

Wenger, Ettienne. (1998). Communities of Practice Learning as a Social System

Gupta, A.K. and Govindarajan, V. (2000). Knowledge Management's Social Dimension

KMS and IT supporting Organizational KMS

Knowledge Management in an organization is defined as systematic and disciplinary ways that an organization takes to advantage from the knowledge available to it. Knowledge in this context refers to both experiences and understanding of the people who are involved in the organization and the information artifacts such as documents and reports, available within the organization and in the world outside [2]. Information Technology (IT) has made the process of knowledge management easy; many organizations are investing in IT to facilitate the sharing and integration of knowledge. KMS is a form of information systems for managing organizational knowledge. Now a days, IT is the important and critical element of every successful organizational knowledge management system as it is used in the process of knowledge creation, storage/retrieval, transfer and application.

A wide variety of successful IT solutions are coming into the market ranging from new varieties of documentation (to support the flow of tacit knowledge from one individual to other), new generation of artificial intelligence systems (to support the knowledge creation process when a uncertainty and ambiguity situation arises ) apart from the use of various collaborative technologies such as internet (which acts as a platform for so many technologies like wikis, blogs, second life etc in the process of sharing and transfer of knowledge). However, Information Technology (IT) by itself is not a Knowledge Management System but it acts as a facilitator to KMS to increase the efficiency and capability of KMS by encouraging the free flow of ideas (knowledge transfer).

But IT alone will not result in the successful KM; which implementation also depends focusing on the non-technical issues such as human factors, organizational culture, multidisciplinary skills of the staff etc. Whatever may be the knowledge (tacit or explicit), IT tools are used to leverage the KM process in the organizations. These tools range from Internet, Intranet, Extranet, Email, Database Management Systems, Decision Support Systems, Expert Systems, Groupware, Blogs, Wikis and other network based technologies. Therefore there should be a balance between the KM initiatives and IT tools in order to exploit the benefits of knowledge management to the fullest in the organizations [1]. IT supports both organizational KMS (tools like second life, internet, groupware etc) and Personal KMS (with the tools like blogs, wikis, second life etc).

Internet and Intranet:- These two protocols facilitates the users to access the information anytime, anyway facilitating the flow of knowledge in the organization and provides a platform and format for many other knowledge tools document management, decision support etc which will play a critical role in sharing and creation of organizational knowledge. Almost all of the technologies are dependent on these protocols which makes these key technologies in organizational KMS.

Groupware- Lotus notes: - Groupware products like Lotus Notes are used to create discussion databases which allow the members to access the organizational memory as well as current news feeds in different areas. When creating new knowledge existing knowledge can be assembled from the archive and guided by an expert system in the front end, while tacit knowledge is added through the discussion databases.

Document Management: - Documentation is the primary form of information sharing, creating and managing in any organization. Through documentation explicit knowledge is shared. With the annotation and reading facilities, they become knowledge repositories which help the team members in different projects.

Mapping Tools: - There is increased number of mapping tools which are used to help and develop ‘shared mental models’ which is a critical part of knowledge management in the organization. By using these shared mental models, the future problem scenarios can be anticipated and conflicts between different stakeholders can be solved etc.

IT in Organizational Knowledge Management System (KMS) with reference to Nonaka’s Model:

Tacit to Tacit: - Tacit knowledge is the knowledge stored in an individual in which IT plays a minimal for its transfer. But as the world progresses, the word mobility has gained immense importance which allows the individuals to communicate even they are farther away, i.e. through online meetings which allows the virtual face to face communication (tacit to tacit). Groupware is a tool used for the online meetings which allows the individuals to work together in groups or teams. An example of current groupware is, Lotus notes which facilitated the sharing of documents and discussion and allow various applications for it. Another approach to share individual’s knowledge is expertise systems which are intended for suggesting the names of individuals who have knowledge in a particular area.

Tacit to Explicit: -Collaboration systems and other Groupware tools facilitate this kind of conversion of knowledge which according to Nonaka can be done by forming shared models, then articulated through individuals communication. Online discussions forums, News groups can also be seen as ways to capture tacit knowledge. This way a repository is created to by explicating the individual’s knowledge.

Explicit to Explicit: - Once knowledge has been conceptualized, there must be some prototypes that should articulate the knowledge that is converted. That is, it can be captured in a persistent form as report, an email, a presentation or a web page through which it is available to the rest of the organization. Technology can be used in this context through the use of word processing which facilitates the sharing or electronic documents via web and document management systems. Also portals provide convenient location for the storage of metadata about documents in their domain. Improving knowledge capture is a goal of many organizational KMS.

Explicit to Tacit: - A knowledge management system should allow the understanding and usage of information. For example, the system might go though the document analysis and generate meta-data to support the rapid browsing of available information [2]. Another example is generation of tacit knowledge through learning online education and distance learning. Modules of Web based courseware; self-directed learning and training will be parts of the KMS [2].

Conclusion:- In today’s knowledge management systems, IT can be used as facilitator to enhance the organization knowledge management process. Also by understanding the organizational knowledge management using Nonaka’s model it is hoped that we can integrate technologies that can, to some extent, foster the use and sharing of knowledge

References: -
1) ‘Knowledge Management Solutions - The IT Contribution’ By Dr David J. Skyrme ,David Skyrme Associates Limited
2) ‘Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) in Organization: A Collaborative Model for Decision Makers’ By Ruzaif Adli Bin Md. Daud, Principal Consultant Sigma Rectrix Systems (M) Sdn Bhd

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Knowledge Cafe

Organizations employ different strategies to manage knowledge and these strategies depends on the type of the organization, type of the knowledge, complexity and uncertainty involved in the organizations decision making. More likely the KM in complex and uncertain situations can be solved by conducting a business meeting or organizational workshop called as ‘Knowledge cafe’, which has been popularized in the recent years by David Gurteen , a UK-based consultant specializing in knowledge management.

As the name suggests it is a place where people share their ideas and get a deeper idea of the topic under discussion. It is not only a group talk but also involves bringing different people together to raise a creative conversation on some topic to answer different issues. The main objective of the knowledge cafe is to share one’s own views, to develop an understanding of the complex issues and to make the members conscious about different topics. By providing opportunities for people to move in several rounds of conversations, ideas questions and themes begin to link and connect and at the end of the conversation common theme emerge to start. This benefits the organization knowledge in decision making process, managing different ideas or strategies to answer in the unbiased situations and also helps in inculcating new ideas about different issues in each individual.

Knowledge cafe is ideal and most effective between 10 to 15 members and needs some kind of media (video or audio) to monitor and control the flow of conversation if it exceeds more than that. In this business meeting, a simple technique is used in a variety of ways to bring people together called as ‘Speed Networking’. This is intended to get to know each other before getting to start the conversation.

Usually no attempts are made to capture the information as doing so tends to destroy the conversation. The importance of cafe lays in the conversation itself and the information that each individual takes away after the conversation. So, there is no meaning in interfering in the conversation just to capture it. In some circumstances it makes sense to capture the conversation from the café depending on its purpose but this should be done with a minimal interference to the dynamic ongoing conversation.

A simple way to set up a knowledge cafe is as follows:

Preparation: - Identify the good facilitator-someone who can encourage participation
Choose a topic (complex) and invite the interested participants
Create comfortable environment- some good interactive environment

During Knowledge Cafe: - The facilitator should introduce the concept, any code of conduct that applies to the topic and finally the question
Participants should arrange themselves into groups and share their knowledge and experience without interpretation.

After a Knowledge Cafe: -The real value of a knowledge cafe is what people take away with them in their heads, and the new connections they have made with people.
Specifically employed knowledge cafe can solve the major problems of knowledge management like:

1) Helps in getting insight into the complex issues
2) Flushing out the problems and issues in a department or project especially that arises due to the lack of communication that can then be acted on and resolved.
3) improve inter-personal relationship and thus ability to work together effectively
4) a tacit transfer mechanism between young and retiring workers
5) jointly develop a policy document e.g. a code of practice (done in conjunction with say a wiki)

Though the word Knowledge Cafe looks new, I can relate my childhood schooling experiences of knowledge sharing in the same way. When I was in my schooling, we used to have lot of group discussions on different ongoing topics around the world like politics, sports, and technical issues etc which are intended for developing communication skills and at the same time educating the students. Here the teacher or lecturer acts as a facilitator who raises a topic and guides through the discussion. The students are divided into small groups and each group gets a chance to speak about the ongoing issue and will share their own opinions about the topic under discussion. This way, I have learned about so many topics in my schooling apart from developing consciousness about so many issues in the national and international frontier. I, now see the knowledge cafe as a business context to what we used go through to communicate and share the knowledge in the school days but as a organizational knowledge management strategy

Conclusion: - Knowledge cafes are intended for maximizing knowledge sharing throughout an organization. In effect knowledge cafe is an easy, efficient and low cost solution for sharing and managing organizational knowledge. It also helps developing innovative ideas and acquiring new understanding of the complex issues by facilitating merging of different ideas and work cultures

References:
1)Improvement and Development Agency for local government(I&DeA)
http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/core/page.do?pageId=8155478 (last accessed on 31st march)
2)How to run a knowledge cafe-by David Gurteen
http://www.gurteen.com/gurteen/gurteen.nsf/id/kcafe-run (last accessed on 31st march)
3) Essentials media-Gurteen Knowledge cafe Masterclass
http://essentials-media.matchpoint.nl/index.php?item=331 (last accessed on 1st April)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Classification of KM Models

Knowledge management models are the one which are used for the organisation's best to collect,store and analyze knowledge to have an advantage over their competitors.
Here I'am comparing some different models.

Wiig KM Model:
Wiig(1993) proposed his Knowledge Management model with a principle which states that,knowledge can be useful if it is well oraganized.There are some useful dimensions to be noted in Wiigs KM model.They are:

  • Completeness
  • Connectedness
  • Congruency
  • Perspective and purpose

'Completeness 'refers to check how much relevant knowledge is available from given source.The source of knowledge may be implicit or explicit(from human brains or knowledge bases).'connectedness refers to well defined relation between diferent knowledge objects.A knowledge base possesses 'congruence' when all facts.concepts,values and relational links between the objects are consistent.'perspective and purpose' is a phenomena through we know something but from a particular point of view for a specific purpose.

Wiig KM model is one of the powerful theoretical KM model which is in existence today.This model helps the practitioners toadopt a refined approach to managing knowledge based on the type of knowledge.

Boisot I-Space KM Model:

Boisot(1998) proposes 2 key points they are:

  1. The more easily data is converted to information the more easily it is diffused.
  2. The less the data is structured requires a shared context for its diffusion,the more diffusable it becomes.

Boisot's I-Space model is visualised as a 3 dimensional cube with following dimensions:

  1. Codified-Uncodified
  2. Abstract-Concrete
  3. Diffused-Undiffused

'Codification' is creation of content categories.Less the number of categories more the abstract codification scheme.Well-codified abstarct content is easy to understand and use then highly contextual content.Loss of context due to codification results in loss of valuble content.

Boisot KM model links the content,information and knowledge management in an effective way.Boisot model is different from other KM models because it maps the organisational knowledge assets to social learning cycle which other KM models do not directly address.Boisot's KM model is not widely used implementation and is less accessible.

SECI Model:

Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi theory of organizational knowledge creation is the most widely accepted knowledge management model which has four modes of knowledge conversion;

  1. tacit to tacit (Socialization),
  2. tacit to explicit (Externalization),
  3. explicit to explicit (Combination) and
  4. explicit to tacit (Internalization).

After the completion of the last process internalization, the model continues into a new level where the tacit knowledge held by an individual is shared and amplified by the spiral of knowledge through above 4 processes . Hence the SECI process of knowledge creation is also referred to as spiral model of knowledge creation. This model focuses on the challenges that organizations face to understand the dynamic nature of knowledge creation and also to establish effective knowledge transfer in program management.

My View:

Though there are some flaws with this model,I feel this is the best model when compared to the other two models.The SECI model is a widely accepted and widely used model and is still being used.The SECI model is a best approach to describe the way knowledge is generated,transferred re-created in an organisation.I would like to support the SECI model by giving an example.

Example:

In an organisation, different people in a team play different roles.Here,sharing of tacit knowledge through personal experiences is done especially in program environments where the communication is limited to within the team. So,they all discuss and share their knowledge.This represents socializtion.The tacit knowledge is converted to explicit knowledge where all the team members discuss in a group and brings out a part of project.This represents externalisation.When the team members prepare their work and and when the combine their work to finish the project that represents combination.The project is done by group of people.So when it is ready to be executed by an individual that represents internalisation.

References:

1.Wiig, K., 1993, Knowledge Management Foundations – Schema press -

2.Wiig.K 1993 Knowledge management foundations.Thinking about thinking: how people and oraganisations creatte and use knowledge .Arlington TX.Schema press.

3.Boisot.M(1998) Knowledge assets,Oxford:Oxford University Press.

4.Nonaka, I. 1991, The Knowledge Creating Company. Harvard Business Review, November-December, 96-104.





Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Knowledge Management

What is Knowledge?
Actually,the term knowledge is explained in different ways.Accoding to me,knowledge is understanding of facts related to specific area.

Knowledge is of two types :


  1. Tacit knowledge

  2. Explicit knowledge

Tacit Knowledge is not easily visible and expressible. It cannot be easily transferred. It is deeply rooted in individuals action and experience as well as ideas, values and emotions.

Explicit Knowledge can be expressed and shared in the form of data, scientific formulae, manuals, universal principles. So,it can be readily transferred from one individual to another formally or systematically.

Knowledge thus needs to be transformed into explicit knowledge so that it can be shared with others in the organisation.


What is Knowledge management?
In my view,knowledge management is a technique to congregate and disseminate knowledge.It involedge creation,storage,organize,distribute and share.

  • Knowledge is created as either explicit knowledge or tacit knowledge.

  • Knowledge is stored to enable the organization to organize and share data.

  • Knowledge is acquired and shared by people ,they can search the knowledge items.

  • Knowledge created must be utilized properly. So, more the knowledge created, more is it applied and utilized.

    There are several definitions for knowledge Management. Two of them are cited below

    "Knowledge Management is a process through which organisations generate value from their intellectual and knowledge based assets"(By Meridith Levinson in CIO magazine)

    "Knowledge Management is the discipline of enabling individuals, teams and entire organisations to collectively and systematically create, share and apply knowledge, to better achieve their objectives" (Ron Young, CEO/CKO Knowledge Associates International)

I chose to compare these two definitions which convey a similar meaning and there are several such definitions. The first one defines Knowledge management as a process, while the other calls it a discipline. Which of these is true although both of them are referring to a common term "Knowledge management"? This is the ONLY reason why there exist several such definitions. The reason being 'best practices' as observed by an individual or an organization or a group of organizations involved with similar kind of work. So it is to be understood that the defintion of knowledge mangament cannot be entirely universal as it is governed by an individual or an organization's field of work, practices, principles etc.. thus creating a definition which has a broad meaning. Trying to define it in by narrowing on it would cause the term to be accepted on a global scale due to the constraints presented by the definition. Thus IT Corporations like HP, Deloitte, IBM, etc.. have a different definiton compared to Knowledge management leaders such as Steward and Prusak. So we could co-relate and match the terms in these definitions to see to what extent they match and create a global definition. However this would become an umbrella definition without much detail.

Knowledge,Information,Data

Data:

Data is a collection of quantitative or qualitative facts with no inherent meaning. It is also "distinct pieces of information” arranged in an unsystematic way. When data is manipulated, processed manually or by automation it becomes information based on a certain logic generated from a purpose, idea, thought or similar.

I feel, data could be inadequate or futile in a given situation and may not convey the entire meaning or substance by itself . However it can be made useful by organizing, managing and interpreting in a more explicit way where it becomes information.

For example, consider a person recording the population census by moving to each and every house in a town. He collects the raw data by counting the number of persons in each family. Here the data by itself provides numbers specific to each house, which if considered with out further processing may not help much.

Information:

Data which has been processed into meaningful patterns that can be recorded and ready for communication. It is also defined as facts or figures arranged in some sort of order by different data manipulation techniques, so that they acquire meaning or reveal information between data items.

Information is the more explicit representation of data so that data becomes meaningful with respect to a given scenario. I strongly feel this is critical with respect to communication without which effective sharing of resources could not be possible.

Consider the above example of collecting population census which can be used to show particular population information for an area or city. The data is useful in providing numbers specific to a house and nothing more. However the idea is to record the population census for the entire town. This requires adding logic to the data and processing it to get the numbers and any other facts based on other criteria for the entire town. This converts the so called data before processing in to useful information that now serves a purpose.


Knowledge:

Knowledge is part of the hierarchy made up of data, information and knowledge. "Knowledge is the uniquely human capability of interpreting and extracting meaning from Information [1]. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines knowledge as "the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association[2] .I strongly agree with the above statements because knowledge only be gained through experiences and in that way we learn and interpret the things in a unique and compatible way.

It is information with guidance for actions which can also be referred as "Relationships, facts, assumptions, heuristics and models derived through the formal and informal analysis or interpretation of data”. I feel this as the more formal definition of the knowledge because we now have the knowledge processing systems that are capable of making decisions without less human interaction.

I can support the above statements by continuing the same example of data and information. When information regarding the population of a particular city is determined through census, we can easily predict the increase or decrease in the female population or male population, child birth rate etc. This can be treated as knowledge because we are analyzing and interpreting the information.



References:-

1)Leif Edvinsson and Michael S. Malone, Intellectual Capital: Realizing Your Company's True Value by Finding Its Hidden Brainpower. New York: Harper Business, 1997, pp 10-15.
http://www.gdrc.org/kmgmt/km-7.html
2) “What is Knowledge and Can it Be Managed “by Craig S. Mullins Published: March 1, 1999.
http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5108/ (accessed on 11th Feb)

3)http://sam.dgs.ca.gov/TOC/4800/4819.2.htm (accessed on 11th Feb)

Organisation

Organisation:
An organisation is a group of people organized to work collectively and systematically to acheive a common goal or set of goals.

Building the Organisational team:
What is a Team?
A team is a group of people working collaboratively.

Organisations have to find some ways to respond creatively.So,organisation's members need to co-operate with each other.
'Team building' is a process of facilitating group of people to reach their goal.
Team building activities are must in an organisation.This helps in increasing the amount of effective co-operation in the organisation.

There are some stages involved in team building:


  • Elucidate the collective goals
  • Identify and remove the obstacles that stop the team from reaching its goals
  • Place the enablers that assist them
  • Make sure the goals are acheived by measuring and monitoring the progress
In 'Team building' team members perform their work in the presence of other team members allowing everyone to be familiar with performance issues.The employees of the organisation along with the manager dicusses their purpose and objectives.If they find any obstacles in the way of achieveing these objectives they plan accordingly and solve the obstacles.
Each and every member in the team have to face some obstacles.The team members can solve the issues with the help of their team leader and team members.So,to break down the obstacle for a successful team they need to avoid aggression,stay positive and focus on the goals.
To maintain a good and effective team there should be a factor of good leadership.Good leadership is a essential factor for good colllaboration.The leaders should have the skills to maintain an positive atmosphere in the work place to inspire the members of the team to be confident.
For a team to be successful ,it needs some important elements like :

  • Good communication between the team members
  • well organized
  • Good support and guidance
  • Mutual respect
  • Adaptability

Communication between the team members plays a vital role in the team.If a team is well oraganised the team members can clearly understand their roles and work for the team effectively to acheive what their team requires in a shortest period of time.Each and every team has to face some difficult tasks in the organisation.So,the team needs a good support and guidance from the team leader or manager or the team members.Mutual respect in a team means not respecting the the friends in a team ,it's like respecting the team member's contribution to the team.Adaptability is adapting to the situations that occur in a team without disturbing the team.The team can be successful if these are followed.

I support the above objectives and responsibilities of the organization by considering the following example of an educational institution or university where there will be a chair of the organization in the team leader position who will be leading all the heads of the different departments who intern leads the professors of that respective departments. Here the chair of the organization guides and supports the members of the team in each and every aspect. As this team is a chain of positions, there must be an effective communication between the members of the team (professors of the each department and departmental heads) and the team leader (chair of the institution) to achieve the goal of offering an exemplary education by setting up some standards which will create good fame for institution which is necessary for the long run of the institution. Though this is the operational goal of the organization, there will be many tasks that are subject to time periods and required for the effective functioning of the organization. These short time goals are like assigning the professors to different courses, distributing the inventory between different departments, managing the research projects etc. If we consider assigning professors to different courses, it is the responsibility of the head of the departments and chair of the organization to assign the professors to different courses by considering the previous experiences and must assign the right professors for the right courses so that everyone is happy with what they are doing and are confined to their own job apart from playing an active role in the organization.
If they have any obstacles in achieving this, they must cooperate and communicate effectively by discussing the problems involved in it and it is the responsibility of the chair to make them understand the situation and make sure that each team member gets adapted to the situation .It is the responsibility of team members and chair to create some positive work environment and must show work enthusiasm by inspiring other team members. He as a good leader must make sure every professor is involved in the team and accepts the suggestions and improvisations from the professors by elucidating the ideas of each task which will create mutual respect between the team members. For example, if the organization decides to add a new course to the curriculum they must give high priority to decision of the professors who are already teaching in that field before they take a decision. This will inculcate the feeling of everyone is important in the team among the team members and can freely express their views and comments on different tasks which is an important thing for the creating an healthy work environment.

1. http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/tb-basic.htm (accessed on 2nd Feb)

2. Team success ingredients-What makes team great? Article by Duncan Brodie

http://ezinearticles.com/?Team-Success-Ingredients---What-Makes-a-Team-Great?&id=1960586 (Accessed on 2nd Feb)

3.The importance of teamwork - Lilly Morgan

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Importance-of-Teamwork&id=1920245

Team Management Systems

It is an integrated system of research-proven assesment which helps the organisations and teams to gain high performance in the workplace.
(www.tms.com.au)