Pragati is an individual contributor in her organization. Her role is dynamic, meaning she gets to work with other teams and departments. She learns something from each of them, later applying her learnings to improve her skills.

She has experience working with different types of teams that work toward a common goal—whether it’s a departmental team like product or cross-functional teams like marketing and sales.

Pragati’s scope has expanded owing to her diverse experience. She has also improved her communication and teamwork skills, enabling her to get along well with others.

Read on to learn more about the types of teams and their characteristics. Learning more about how an organization is structured will give you a good idea of how things work.


  1. What Are The Different Types Of Teams?

  2. How To Manage Different Teams


What Are The Different Types Of Teams?


Every organization has types of teams based on functions, goals and requirements. Departmental teams are common across organizations. They bring order and streamline roles and responsibilities. However, sometimes organizations may set up a task force to tackle a particular issue or achieve a specific goal.

The types of teams may differ for each organization. It largely depends on interests and goals. Teams may be formed and disbanded based on performance. Organizational structures may call for a flat system, essentially meaning that there are no teams, only individual contributors working together.

Here are types of teams in an organization:


1. Departmental Or Functional Teams

Functional teams are the most common types of teams in an organization. These are based on the different functions—sales, accounting, marketing, product or engineering—in an organization. Every organization that follows a conventional organizational structure will have departmental teams. Each member of the team has unique responsibilities overseen by a manager. The goals are individual as per team and organizational goals. 


2. Cross-Functional Teams

Cross-functional teams are formed when employees with different responsibilities across functions work together to achieve a common goal. Marketing and sales often work together for lead generation, sharing sales collateral and customer relationship management. Product may collaborate with design in organizations that work online. These are effective teams as everyone has the chance to bring their best to the table. Additionally, there’s a lot to learn from how other departmental teams operate.


3. Self-Managed Teams

Usually, organizations that follow a flat structure—where decision-making isn’t restricted in the hands of a few—have self-managed teams. Various types of teams such as self-managed ones are run without a manager to oversee operations. These are self-sufficient and capable teams who know their roles well. There’s open communication, flexibility and trust. They’re high-performing, too, with shared leadership responsibilities. They may work on different things, but ultimately their efforts are toward the same goal.


4. Virtual Teams

Now, there’s another type of team that has emerged owing to technological advancements and the changing world of work. These are virtual teams that operate either partially or wholly online. They may be remote workers operating from different cities or countries. Virtual teams have regular video calls and check-ins to make sure everyone feels acknowledged. It’s also important to note progress at regular intervals.


5. Task Forces

Not as common as other types of teams, task forces are temporary teams set up to solve a problem or achieve an urgent, short-term goal. These teams have high-performing individuals to understand, decode and solve a problem. The turnaround time is quick and efficient as these are only temporary, usually on a deadline. Upon accomplishing their goal, task forces are usually disbanded.


Various types of teams co-exist in an organization. Each serves its purpose and accomplishes its goals. What differentiates them is the reason why they’ve been formed. But ultimately all types of teams are tasked with accomplishing organizational objectives and goals.


How To Manage Different Teams


Managing teams is an art that can be mastered with time. Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course will teach you frameworks like the Social Styles Model and the Bruce Tuckman Model to understand how teams are formed. Understand different perspectives and accommodate different work styles to build effective teams. The GRIN (Goals, Roles, Interdependence and Norms) framework will teach you about the four key characteristics of effective teams. Enroll today in our team management course to understand the basics of team development.

Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as All About Building a Team, Tips To Improve Team Communication, Remote Managing Of Teams and Successfully Working As a Team to become a well-rounded professional.

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