Parallel teams are different from work teams because they
are not part of the traditional management hierarchy. They are run in tandem or
parallel to this structure. Examples of parallel teams are:
teams brought together to deliver quality improvement (for
example, quality circles, continuous improvement groups);
teams that have some problem-solving or decision-making
input, other than the normal line management processes (for example, creativity
and innovation groups);
teams formed to involve and engage employees (for example,
staff councils, diagonal slice groups);
teams set up for a specific purpose such as a task force
looking at an office move.
These teams have variable longevity, and are used for
purposes that tend to be other than the normal ‘business as usual’ management.
They are often of a consultative nature, carrying limited authority. Although
not necessarily responsible or accountable for delivering changes, they often
feed into a change management process.