Welcome to six sigma black belt Course 2, Module 1, Team Formation. Module 1 Lesson 1, team structure. In this lesson, we will discuss the ideal structure for Six Sigma project teams. The most effective way to improve quality and process performance is through the use of cross-functional, multi-level teams path with specific improvement goals. Team-based projects are therefore key to the effective use of Six Sigma. There are many reasons that team-based projects are more effective at problem-solving than individuals working alone. First, team decisions tend to be of higher quality and creativity than individual decisions. Did a different perspectives on the problem and the ability to openly discuss all decisions. They also generally receive stronger support for the same reasons. Cross-functional teams can help break down barriers between different parts of the organization by increasing awareness of other aspects of the business and encouraging cooperation between different parts of the organization. Participation on teams helps improve communication, leadership and problem-solving skills among team members, which they can then take back with them to help them be more effective in their jobs. If one person on the team knows the answer, then all team members learn and benefit. However, there are also a few potential disadvantages to using teams. For example, teams typically require more time than individuals to make decisions. Also, confidentiality may be an issue, especially before management has had the opportunity to make a decision on the team's recommendations. Team members must be able to work together. This often requires a strong leader as well as process and interpersonal skills training. Peer pressure to avoid certain issues may be present, and group think can occur within teams when the desire to get along or stay friends discourages individual thoughts of creativity which can result in poor decisions. Finally, everyone on the team must have some knowledge of the subject, or be able to contribute in some other way. Selection of the right members is critical. Although these problems are always possible, they can usually be avoided with proper training and effective team leadership. In most cases, the advantages of team-based projects far outweigh the negatives, which is why Six-Sigma always uses teams. What should a Six Sigma project team look like? Six Sigma project teams should typically consist of five to seven full-time team members, with other members participating on a limited or ad hoc basis as needed. Larger teams can be difficult to manage and can have a big impact on the productivity of smaller organizations during team activities. While smaller teams may not be able to carry the workload required from larger projects. But experience has shown that teams of five to seven full-time members typically works very well. Six-sigma project team members can be full-time or core members who participate in all team meetings, activities, and task assignments, but they can also be ad hoc members who only attend when their expertise is needed to advance the project. Examples of ad hoc members might include IT specialists who can help with technology questions or accountants who can help the team with cost estimates. Finally, resource only members who helped the team when resources are needed, or also an option. For example, master black belts who are highly trained and experienced with Six Sigma, are often used as team resource members for training the team or coaching the team leader. Process owners, the people who are responsible for the process being addressed by the project team, and project champions are also often used as resource members for help with meeting space, access to data information, or other resources such as financial resources. Full-time team members should typically include; first a Six Sigma professional who can lead the team. Black belts are usually used for larger scale cross-functional projects, but green belts can be used for smaller scale projects that are not cross-functional. Also needed are people who are knowledgeable of the project areas or activities, also known as subject matter experts or SMEs. SMEs can be knowledgeable, the science or technology involved, the product or process design, problem-solving tools, data analysis, the customer, safety and regulatory requirements, or any subject that can help the team be more effective. Team members should also include people who will be affected by the projects such as internal customers. Especially important are people who do the work on a daily basis, who are also therefore SMEs for the current process. People who have no knowledge of the project area are also often included on Six-Sigma project teams for their ability to look at the situation with an outsider's perspective which can help the team to avoid defaulting too, that's the way we've always done it. Finally and perhaps most important, the team should include members with a variety of perspectives on the problem. The parable of the blind men being asked to describe an elephant reminds us that what we believe to be true all depends on our personal experiences and perspectives on the situation. When the blind men and the parable are asked to describe an elephant, they all give different answers based on which part of the elephant they touched and the end, all of their descriptions are correct from their perspective, but none of them really understands an elephant. Processes and process problems are like elephants. They are multi-dimensional and they can't be fully or correctly understood unless we can see them from a variety of perspectives. Project team should always include members with a variety of perspectives on the problem to ensure solutions that are right for the entire problem and not just one aspect of it. It's also important to keep in mind that different perspectives not only refers to things like different positions or departments within the organization, or different backgrounds, different education or training. It also refers to things like different personalities, or approaches, or ways of thinking about problems. Many teams will use personality trait tests, such as the Myers-Briggs, type indicator, or Belbin's team roles test to identify member traits so that the team is assured of different approaches and perspectives. These types of tests also help teams learn how to work together with people whose approaches are different from their own. In the next lesson, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of Six Sigma project team members.