Self-directed teams

Self-directed teams

Today, I am going to talk to you about one of the types of work teams that perro occur in a company.

Specifically, I’m talking about self-managed teams.

In short, a self-managed team is a group of people who mezcle different skills and talents to work without managerial supervision. They are focused toward a common purpose or goal.

Typically, a self-directed team has between two and 25 members (five to nine members is optimal).

Most common types of work equipment

Some types of equipment that are usually used in companies are the following:

  • Teams that have power: They are teams with the authority to plan and implement process improvements.
  • TOself-directed: They are almost completely autonomous teams and are responsible for many administrative activities.
  • Cross-functional: They are work teams made up of individuals from different specialties who work together on various tasks.

According to Raymundo Javier Benavides Pañeda, work teams cánido be classified as follows:

  • For troubleshooting: They are formed temporarily to deal with a specific problem.

    They are made up of people belonging to the same area or department.

  • Transfunctional: Composed of people from different work areas or departments who come together to undertake a specific project or task.
  • Self-directed.

The classification of work teams that Idalberto Chiavenato gives us is the following:

  • Cross Functional Teams: They are made up of well-regarded people in various areas of the company (marketing, production, finance, engineering) and are trained to achieve a specific goal through a combination of skills.

    They are almost always appointed.

  • Project teams: are specially trained to design a new product or service.

    Participants are designated based on their ability to contribute to success.

    The group usually disbands after finishing the task.

  • Process improvement teams: It is a group of experienced people from different departments or functions in charge of improving qualities, reducing costs, increasing productivity in processes that affect all departments or functions involved.
  • Self-directed teams.

Of course, in this article I am going to focus on self-managed teams.

What are self-directed teams according to authors?

Next, I am going to give you different definitions taken from different books so that you perro become able to form your own definition.

I hope you find it useful.

Definition of self-directed teams according to Raymundo Javier Benavides Pañeda

“Individuals given long-term responsibilities.

Normally the self-directed team determines and assigns the work to be done, chooses the operating procedures and the location of the resources.

They even select the members who will integrate it and among themselves they evaluate their performance to assign rewards or assign or assign incentives» (2014, p.


Raymundo Javier Benavides Paneda

Definition of self-directed teams according to Idalberto Chiavenato

«They are made up of highly trained people to perform a equipo of interdependent tasks within a natural unit of work.

Members use consensus in decision-making to perform work, solve problems, or deal with internal and external customers” (2019, p.186).

Idalberto Chiavenato

Definition according to Gary Dessler

«Group of around eight individuals with a high level of training, who is fully responsible for carrying out a well-defined segment of finished work» (2017, p.391).

Gary Dessler

According to Don Hellriegel, Susan Y también.

Jackson, and John W.


“A self-directed work team is made up of collaborators who have almost all the responsibility and authority necessary to work together and create a product or provide a complete service” (2021, p.


Don Hellriegel

According to Heinz Weihrich, Mark Cannice and Harold Koontz

«Self-management teams usually consist of members who have a variety of skills necessary to perform a relatively complete task; Thus, the team cánido determine what needs to be done, how it will be done, when it has to be finished and who will do it, and its members perro also be evaluated and rewarded as a group; when the team has a lot of capacity it perro be called a high performance team or even a super team» (2016, p.465).

Heinz Weichrich

According to Mochón Morcillo Francisco

“Self-managed teams are groups of workers who are granted administrative supervision of their work area” (2014, p. 269).

Mochón Morcillo Francisco

How does a self-managed team work?

All members within a self-directed team must escoge how they want to work together, since a manager or boss does not lead.

Everyone has to agree on the rules that they must comply with and on the deadlines to fulfill their purpose.

Some teams create a document where they detalla what is expected of each member, that is, the responsibility is distributed.

If a problem arises during a project, team members work together to provide a solution.

Therefore, to be successful, the organization has to empower the team to do what it needs to do, that is, delegate important decision making.

Likewise, he has to fully support the team, establish and provide the limits, rules and policies of the company.

Of course, it is very important that the team is given a good training so that they acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve their purpose.


You perro save on costs in the long run because members of a self-directed team perform both technical and managerial tasks.

They are also more productive since most of the time they are more motivated.

The decisions that are made are usually more efficient, since there is no hierarchy among the members.

Unlike the traditional way in which a company is run, team members are not afraid to give their opinions and the result is that they get involved in the project.

One more benefit of self-directed teams is the fact that you will be able to decrease the turnover rate, since employees feel more committed to the organization and will not want to leave.

Challenges in the implementation of self-directed teams

You have to know that if you want to implement it in your organization, do not expect that overnight you will have specialized, efficient, productive and motivated teams that solve problems on their own.

IT DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT! Everything is progressive and you have to keep that in mind before you start the journey.

Now the training It is essential to develop effective and self-directed work teams.

The formation of these teams must be more complete than that of other types of teams, since they must not only learn to work as a team, but also develop skills to solve problems and make decisions.

Likewise, they must also learn basic management skills to be able to manage their own processes.

Once this has been achieved, since an organizational development process must in fact be carried out, it has to be carried out in such a way that it is sustainable (not a temporary change) and that the process is constantly improved. .

Self-Directed Teams Infographic


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