Five Different 
Types of Teams

Different types of teams prepare an organization for different reasons. In this section, I will run through the five different types that exist currently, and look at some of their pros and cons. 

Here are five different types of teams that currently exist:

1. Working Teams
Working teams are teams that are basic to any organization: Marketing teams, Human Resource teams, Finance Teams. They are divided according to their function and they perform ongoing tasks for any organization. Traditionally, majority of organizations are organized in such a way. 

Pros: Efficient, functional and task-oriented. Each department fulfills a clear role in the organization. Little mis-communication about cross-functional responsibilities. 

Cons: Little communication between department leads to inter-department rivalry. Clashing interests causing conflict. Lack of innovation on better procedures. 

2. Special Purpose Teams
Special purpose teams are teams that are formed to fulfil a special purpose or a one time off project. These teams include working committees for a particular event, or a committee that comes together to solve a particular problem.

Usually, these teams are not permanent and they are usually disbanded once the purpose of the team is served.

Pros: Synergistic, multi-disciplinary team set up to achieve a special goal. Members are chosen according to what is necessary; will be essential.

Cons: Takes team members away from their current responsibilities due to conflicting schedules and objectives. Takes time to build synergy. 

3. Multi-functional Teams
These teams consist of members formed from different areas of expertise. They may come together for a short term basis or sometimes they’re formed permanently. This depends on the nature of the organization they work in. 

Pros: People with different disciplines will offer multiple points of view. Expect innovation and different ideas to come out of meetings. Brings out potential in each individual. 

Cons: Only useful for project-based organizations, or for a project purpose. Make take time to build synergy. 

4. Self-Directed Teams
Self-Directed Teams do not have a clear leader. They have shared leadership and share responsibility of their work. We do not often see self-directed teams in companies and big organizations; they usually exist in small music groups like bands.

Pros: Members are motivated volunteers. Shared goals, objectives and responsibilities. Good environment for open feedback. 

Cons: May not have clear vision. Without a leader, conflicts may lead to separation. Leader is usually determined by popularity more than ability.

5. Management Teams 
Management Teams are like the board of directors of a company. The directors or managers come together to deliberate on strategic and macro-issues that affect the whole organization. This function is traditional and an necessary extension if the organization has work groups. 

Pros: Important function in organizations with work groups and cross-communication is needed. Able to see the organization in a big-picture with perspectives from different departments. Effective in making things happen. 

Cons: May not see what is happening on the ground; out of touch with realities. May turn into a fight for political power if leader does not manage it well. 

Return from Types of Teams to Team Building Techniques 

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More Articles
on Team Building

Creating a Team Mission Statement
Before your team can work effectively, you must set the vision for the team so that every individual in the team understands the purpose of coming together. Are they coming together for a common interest, a specific project, or for a long term vision?

Examples of Team Mission Statements
Here are some examples of good mission statements used in the biggest companies in the world. Learn the elements required in a mission statement and how you can draft a good mission statement.

Formulating Great Team Mottos
A team motto captures the values of a team in a few words or a phrase. Learn about some simple team mottos and how you can create a great team motto for your team.

Setting the Stage for Teamwork
Before you send your team off to do their task, you must set the context and the foundation so that your team will succeed. You need to set expectations, make certain rules within the team and more.

The Barriers to Team Success
There are several barriers to building a successful team. Learn about the pitfalls in teambuilding and how you can avoid them.

Characteristics of Good Teams
Every good team has similar characteristics. Learn six invaluable characteristics that are required to groom an effective, successful team.

Why Doesn't My Team Speak Up?
Getting your team to speak up is probably one of the greatest challenges you will have as a leader. You need to move your team's mindset from the traditional top-down decision making process into the new paradigm.

Generating a Cool Team Name
Creative, Clever and Cool Team Name is an article about choosing the right name for your team. It also provides you with a random team name generator that you can use to brainstorm for ideas!

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