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Self-Directed Teams: Case Study

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Background
Amasi’s executive education course on work force education and Team structures, he learnt that the SDTs (Self-directed teams) model would improve productivity and quality of units by 30% to 40%, and returns on investment evidently improved by 3 times compared with industry average. After bringing 35-year-old Jay Winslow, the plant manager, on board, they both believe a flattened and simplified organizational hierarchy and committed workforce with a high level of satisfaction would enhance the employees’ commitment and sense of ownership, and therefore inspire the workers to continuously improve processes, and increase productivity and quality, eventually.

Since they have focused on removing hierarchical layers, increasing employees’ involvement, and pushing the decision process to a lower level within the organization, Qwersy. (2013) “The Corpus Christi experiment” was a huge success comparing to other plants, 80% to 82% vs. 65%-70% productivity. However, the SDTs at the new plant have not been able to achieve the expected goal of 95% design capacity. It seems that some existing difficulties on job definition and management hinder the further improvement, including: individual recognition and performance evaluation, Clarification of job definition and decision boundaries between management and workforce.

Review & Analysis
• Individual recognition & Performance Evaluation

While they are successful at group recognition, it seems that little attention has been
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