Detailed Overview of Different Types of Teams Typically Found in An Organization


Good teamwork forms the backbone of a successful business. No matter whether you are working from home or on-site, chances are that you are part of a team. The team in question is generally a set of individuals working together to achieve a common goal.

In this article, we will walk you through some of the most common types of teams found in an organization.

Types of Teams in An Organization:

We can differentiate teams on the basis of the way they function in the organization. Operationally different teams can be categorized into seven basic types:

  1. Project teams
    1. Functional team
    2. Cross-functional team
    3. Matrix team
    4. Contract team
  2. Operational teams
  3. Virtual teams
  4. Self-managed teams
  5. Problem-solving teams
  6. Informal teams
  7. Leadership teams

This article will help you understand the fundamentals of each team and how it functions in an organization.

1. Project Teams

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A project team represents a group of individuals with shared goals and strategies. Work in a project team is structured very specifically with set deadlines, roles, and responsibilities, etc.

The members of a project team are usually assembled to work on a specific project or objective. The members can be from the same department or different departments, depending upon the requirements of the project.

Project teams are usually brought together for a specific time period and are eventually disbanded once the project is complete. The team members are under the supervision of a project manager and report to them.

The efficient working of a project team requires seamless collaboration and communication among the team members. Project teams are, further subdivided into four categories, all of which are listed below, along with a brief explanation.

a. Functional Teams

Starting with the most known type of project team- functional teams.

Functional teams comprise a group of individuals with specialized skills and education. For example, the marketing team deals with brand promotion and awareness; the sales team is responsible for driving revenue, and so on.

All the members of the functional team work towards the achievement of a common goal linked with the goal of the organization.

This team is usually permanent and is managed by a manager who leads projects. All the team members report to the manager.

b. Cross-functional team

Cross-functional teams, as the name suggests, are the teams whose members are picked from various departments for projects that require a diverse skillset. The team is united to work together on a specific project and is often split following the completion of the project.

Cross-functional teams are gaining popularity in recent years but a study reported that 75% of these teams are dysfunctional. Another article states that teams with strong support from upper management have a success rate of 76%. In contrast, teams with little or no support fail approximately 80% of the time.

The dysfunctionality arises due to the differences between individuals hailing from different teams, the variation in their skill set, and changing roles and responsibilities.

Decision-making is also a tough feat; team members can vote for a decision or work under a project manager. Leading a cross-functional team is also a challenge since the PM must make sure that the goals of all individuals are aligned with the collective goal of the team and that of the organization.

c. Matrix team

Matrix teams function according to the Matrix Management approach where team members report two more than one boss i.e., two boss matrix.

Working in a matrix team requires a lot of patience since individuals have to deal with two bosses, which can get burdensome. Also, it can create confusion in the team and difficulty in the decision-making process.

d. Contract team

Contract teams are the last of project teams. Contract teams are gathered by outsourcing resources. The company signs a contract with the team for a specific project. Once the project is complete, the organization can dissolve the team.

Contract teams often work remotely which makes it tricky for the PM to lead the team. They have to communicate with all the team members and keep an eye on their performance to make sure the team is on track.

2. Operational Teams


The operational team, in an organization, is responsible for the smooth working of other teams. The members of this team support other teams in carrying out their responsibilities with efficiency. They make sure that there are no hitches in the progress of a project and things are completed on time.

In addition, the members of an operational team have specified roles and responsibilities. So, they can have their projects as well.

The operational team manages and optimizes working in an organization to ensure profitability. It supports other teams to help them achieve their goals successfully.

3. Virtual Teams


Virtual teams do not interact in real life and rely on different tools to collaborate on their work. These teams often consist of members from different geographical regions.

Virtual teams are the future of the business world. People are on the lookout for work-from-home opportunities owing to the work-life balance it offers. As a result of remote work, virtual teams are formed.

These teams bring together creative individuals from different parts of the world, resulting in better ideas and more creativity. In addition, remote work also enhances productivity rates, a survey suggests that 77% of individuals feel more productive when working from home.

To stay connected, virtual teams rely on the use of management tools. These tools are armed with features that not only help teams communicate in real time but also let them plan, create, and track their workflows.

4. Self-Managed Teams


Self-managed teams have no managers or leaders. The team members, themselves are responsible for the decisions and working. They identify and define roles and responsibilities on their own, work together to resolve issues, and set expectations.

Self-managed teams have more autonomy and as such, are more flexible. Moreover, since they define their own rules, they can manage time and tasks according to their preferences.

The team members of self-managed teams are the most empowered. Each individual brings their skillset to the table and adds to the overall efficiency of the team. Also, It has been reported that self-managed teams can be 15-20% more productive than other types of teams.

The team members of a self-managed team have more room for improvement and continuously upgrade their skills.

5. Problem Solving Teams


Problem-solving teams are assembled temporarily. They are usually brought together in case of a crisis or an unplanned event. Such a team aims to resolve the issue at hand and bring the company out of the crisis.

The team consists of leaders and team members from different departments who sit together to carve out a solution for the problem plaguing the smooth working of an organization.

The output from these teams strengthens the structure of the organization and alleviates the risk of potential issues.

6. Informal Teams

Unlike other teams, informal teams are not formed by the company but are created by employees. These teams are not under the supervision of a project manager.

Since informal teams are formed by employees, they communicate more, have better productivity rates, and are more efficient. The individuals in an informal team share common interests and are better connected. They share a strong bond that makes work more fun for them.

7. Leadership Teams


Leadership teams consist of leaders from different departments who work together to devise new strategies for better working. The members of the leadership team are skilled and experienced individuals. Each individual brings his expertise to the table, and altogether, they carve out a plan for the betterment of the company.

What Type of Team Should You opt for?

When it comes to choosing a team for your company, you can identify the following and then make a decision:

  • The goal of the team
  • The skillset required for the completion of these goals
  • Number of resources required
  • Self-management or leadership?
  • Temporary team or permanent

Once you have identified the abovementioned things, you can successfully choose the one that suits you best.

Also, you can customize your own team according to the requirements of the work, and devise a system of work for them.

Moreover, whether you are working remotely or on-site, you should use project management tools to strengthen team communication. These tools are also helpful in tracking the performance and progress of your team.

It’s a wrap!

That’s all from our side. The types and subtypes of teams mentioned above are some of the most common ones out there. We hope the article was helpful for you.

Comment below if you have any queries or suggestions, we would love to hear from you.

Off we go. Goodbye!

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