“Top 10” components of Team Readiness Management

Published on April 5, 2010 in "Top Ten" Lists | No Comments

Team Readiness Management (TRM) is a system for capturing and sharing the knowledge and information that team members need to do their jobs and do them well. Extended team members such as suppliers, customers, and first responders can also use the TRM system to equip them with the capabilities they need. The list below articulates the main components of a TRM system.

(The listing is not prioritized)

1. Reference documentation

  • Team members need documents that they can reference that provide instructions, direction, and guidance for how to perform their duties. It may be check-lists, procedures, plans, reports, and policies. Examples include: how to operate a machine, what to do in the event of a fire, input templates for incident reports or end-of-shift reports, techniques for finding the the root cause to a manufacturing problem, etc.

2. Training Materials

  • Team members need training & testing for the skills they need to have to do their jobs. Testing can provide motivation and can demonstrate that they have the required skills. A certification program can provide further motivation for learning and foster esprit de corps.

3. Collaboration

  • Team members need a means of sharing information and working together to solve problems. Interactive online collaboration tools can help team members document and share information that facilitates problem solving and continuous improvement.

4. Communications and Alerts

  • Team members need to be informed of what is happening and have access to the latest news, information, changes, updates, etc.. Having an online location where team members can go to get up-to-date information can greatly improve the quality and capability of the communications process for sending and receiving information. Automated alerts can notify team members in real-time that there is information they need. The information is preserved in one location and not lost or deleted as with emails or text messages. Additionally, administrators can determine who has and has not viewed the information and can automatically remind team members to take the desired action.

5. Easy-to-Use

  • Any TRM system must be easy to use for both team members and administrators. It must provide for easy knowledge capture and sharing. If it is difficult to access information, use system software, or requires excessive learning curves and resources, it will get little use. If the content is not relevant or lacks value, a TRM system will not provide much benefit.

6. Easy-to-Understand Content

  • Documents and training materials must be clear and easy-to-understand. Use of pictures, videos, and graphics typically makes knowledge transfer more effective then just text alone. It must be complete and have the necessary information so that people besides the author can understand it.

7. Easy-to-Implement and Administer

  • Implementation, system updates, process changes, documentation & content changes, and administration must be quick, timely, and cost effective. To the extent that special training and special resources must be allocated the organization will resist adopting the system and realizing its benefits.

8. Benefits

  • Benefits must be realized for both team members and organization managers. For team members, the TRM system must help them do their jobs safely and efficiently, on-time, and without mistakes. It should help reduce stress and instill confidence . For managers, the system must reduce incident risk, insurance claims, and legal liabilities. It must be cost effective and easy to manage. It should be a driver sales growth and customer satisfaction because it enables a more capable organization.

9. Enable Strategy

  • A TRM system should help make achieving organization strategy (e.g., corporate, functional, operational, etc.) possible. It should help provide the knowledge and capabilities necessary for team members to carry out their duties, in support of strategy. It should preserve and transfer knowledge, allowing capability and competency to reside within the team and not just in the heads of individual team members. It can be utilized for each link in the value chain, including suppliers and customers. As a safety tool, it can be used to prevent or respond to incidents to mitigate the risk of loss of life, injury, and devastating law suits. What ever the strategy, the TRM system should be an integral means by which it is achieved.

10. Privacy and Data Security

  • Any online system must be secure and private. Only those who have been authorized should have access to the system. User must know that data will not be shared with third parties and that measures are taken to prevent illegal access by unauthorized people. Additionally, there must be authorization provisions so that content assigned to specific users within an organization cannot be viewed or be visible to other users in the organization who are not authorized (e.g., users from engineering cannot see content from finance). Online systems should have the same security and privacy capabilities as online banking and investing systems.


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