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A working group, or working party, is a group of experts working together to achieve specified goals. The groups are domain-specific and focus on discussion or activity around a specific subject area. The term can sometimes refer to an interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers working on new activities that would be difficult to sustain under traditional funding mechanisms (e.g., federal agencies). The lifespan of a working group can last anywhere between a few months and several years. Such groups have the tendency to develop a ''quasi-permanent existence'' when the assigned task is accomplished; hence the need to disband (or phase out) the working group when it has achieved its goal(s). A working group's performance is made up of the individual results of all its individual members. A team's performance is made up of both individual results and collective results. In large organisations, working groups are prevalent, and the focus is always on individual goals, performance and accountabilities. Working group members do not take responsibility for results other than their own. On the other hand, teams require both individual and mutual accountability. There is more information sharing, more group discussions and debates to arrive at a group decision. Examples of common goals for working groups include: :* creation of an informational document :* creation of a standard :* resolution of problems related to a system or network :* continuous improvement :* research Working groups are also referred to as ''task groups'', ''workgroups'', or ''technical advisory groups''.


Characteristics

The nature of the working group may depend on the group's ''raison d’être'' – which may be technical, artistic (specifically musical), or administrative in nature.


Administrative working groups

These working groups are established by decision makers at higher levels of the organization for the following purposes: # To elaborate, consolidate, and build on the consensus of the decision makers; and # To ensure (and improve) coordination among the various segments of the organization. A shared commitment to agreed common aims develops among the parties as they work together to clarify issues, formulate strategies, and develop action plans. For example, the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs is a group of twelve federal agencies within the executive branch of the U.S. government, and is responsible for promoting achievement of positive results for at-risk youth. This working group was formally established by Executive Order 13459, ''Improving the Coordination and Effectiveness of Youth Programs'', on 7 February 2008.
Quality circlesA quality circle or quality control circle is a group of workers who do the same or similar work, who meet regularly to identify, analyze and solve work-related problems. It consists of minimum three and maximum twelve members in number. Normally s ...
are an alternative to the dehumanizing concept of the division of labor, where workers or individuals are treated like robots. Quality circles can help enrich the lives of workers or students and aid in creating harmony and high performance. Typical topics are improving occupational safety and health, improving product design, and improvement in the workplace and manufacturing processes.


Musical working groups

Although any
artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly decorative, for example fur ...

artisan
or artist can benefit from being part of a working group, it is especially of great import for session players. Musicians face a variety of challenges that can impede the formation of musical working groups, such as touring and studio recording sessions. Such activities make it that much more difficult to concentrate on the developing the cohesiveness that is required to maintain a working group. However, working groups have been shown to be rewarding to the
stakeholders Stakeholder may refer to: *Stakeholder (corporate), a group, corporate, organization, member, or system that affects or can be affected by an organization's actions *Project stakeholder, a person, group, or organization with an interest in a projec ...
, as it fosters innovation. By working with the same people frequently, members become familiar with the répertoire of other members, which develops trust and encourages spontaneity. Some of the more notable musical working groups include: * Abdullah Ibrahim Trio; * Alex von Schlippenbach Trio; *
Dave Holland Dave Holland (born 1 October 1946) is an English jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues a ...

Dave Holland
''(Trio, Quartet, or Quintet)''; * Die Like A Dog Quartet; * Gary Bartz Quartet; *
Vandermark 5 Ken Vandermark (born September 22, 1964) is an American jazz composer, saxophonist, and clarinetist. A fixture on the Chicago-area music scene since the 1990s, Vandermark has earned wide critical praise for his playing and his multilayered compo ...
; and * William Parker Quartet ''(Trio/Quartet).''


Technical working groups

In many technical organizations, for example
Standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary function is developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpr ...
s, the groups that meet and make decisions are called "working groups". Examples include: *
IETF The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open standards organization, which develops and promotes voluntary Internet standards, in particular the technical standards that comprise the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP). It has no formal ...
working groups (which are subordinate to Areas) ** HTTP WG, original led by
Dave Raggett Dave Raggett is an English computer specialist who has played a major role in implementing the World Wide Web upright=1.35, A global map of the web index for countries in 2014 The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an inf ...

Dave Raggett
*
IEEE-SA The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE SA) is an Operating Unit within IEEE that develops global technical standard, standards in a broad range of industries, including: Electrical power, power and Energy ...
working groups **IEEE WG
802.3 IEEE 802.3 is a working group and a collection of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards produced by the working group defining the physical layer and data link layer's media access control (MAC) of wired Ethernet. This ...
, Ethernet Working Group **IEEE WG
802.11 IEEE 802.11 is part of the IEEE 802 set of local area network A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that interconnects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, laboratory, university campus or office buildi ...
, Wireless LAN Working Group *
ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task w ...
working groups (which are subordinate to an SC (subcommittee), subordinate to a TC (technical committee) * International Conference on Harmonisation *
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries. It is a member of the International Science Council (ISC). IUPAC ...
(IUPAC) *
International Astronomical Union The International Astronomical Union (IAU; french: link=yes, Union astronomique internationale, UAI) is a nongovernmental organisation with the objective of advancing astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally mea ...
*
W3C The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary f ...

W3C
working groups ** Device Description Working Group ** SVG Working Group * Bioethics Council *
Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) was founded in 1982 for governmental and quasi-governmental space agencies to discuss and develop standards for space data and information systems. Currently composed of "eleven member agen ...
(CCSDS) *
European Cooperation for Space StandardizationThe European Cooperation for Space Standardisation (ECSS), established in 1993, is an organisation which works to improve standardisation within the European space sector. The ECSS frequently publishes standards, to which contractors A general co ...
(ECSS) In some cases, like the
Printer Working Group The Printer Working Group (PWG) is a consortium of printer and network manufacturers with the charter to develop standards that make printers, operating systems, and applications work better. In 1991, a consortium of printer and network manufactur ...
, an entire consortium uses the term "working group" for itself. The rules for who can be a part of the working groups, and how a working group makes decisions, varies considerably between organizations.


Mechanics

It is imperative for the participants to appreciate and understand that the working group is intended to be a forum for cooperation and participation. Participants represent the interests and views of stakeholders from disparate sectors of the community which happen to have a vested interest in the results of the WG. Therefore, maintaining and strengthening communication lines with all parties involved is essential (this responsibility cuts both ways –
stakeholders Stakeholder may refer to: *Stakeholder (corporate), a group, corporate, organization, member, or system that affects or can be affected by an organization's actions *Project stakeholder, a person, group, or organization with an interest in a projec ...
are expected to share what information, knowledge and expertise they have on the issue). Programmes developed should be evaluated by encouraging community input and support; this will ensure that such programmes meet the community's vision for its future. The WG should also regularly seek community feedback on their projects. Apropos questions to be asked during such meetings include: * What were the objectives of the program? * What were the results of the project? * What effect did the results have on the identified problem? * What unexpected results — desirable or otherwise — were observed? * How were the results achieved? (Was it by the methods and techniques originally intended, or did these evolve with implementation?) * Was there an effective use of community resources? * Should our objective or methods be changed? Depending on the lifespan of the WG, involved parties (at the very least) convene annually. However, such meetings may happen as often as once every semester or trimester. The managers are constantly called upon to make decisions in order to solve problems. Decision making and problem solving are ongoing processes of evaluating situations or problems, considering alternatives, making choices, and following them up with the necessary actions The Decision‐Making Process by John Wiley & Son

and now with this managed to reach a
continuous improvement A continual improvement process, also often called a continuous improvement process (abbreviated as CIP or CI), is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. These efforts can seek "incremental Increment or incremental may refer ...
.


See also

*
Leadership Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and B ...

Leadership
* Action group * Facilitation *
Facilitator A facilitator is a person who helps a Social group, group of people to work together better, understand their common objectives, and plan how to achieve these objectives, during meetings or discussions. In doing so, the facilitator remains "neutr ...

Facilitator
*
Herrmann Brain Dominance InstrumentThe Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) is a system to measure and describe thinking preferences in people, developed by Ned Herrmann, William "Ned" Herrmann while leading management education at General Electric's Crotonville facility. It is ...
*
Adhocracy Adhocracy is a flexible, adaptable and informal form of organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a company, an institution, or an association – comprisin ...
*
Interdisciplinarity Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other fields like sociology, anthropology, psychology, ...
*
Workers' self-management Workers' self-management, also referred to as labor management and organizational self-management, is a form of organizational management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for ...
*
Learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discipline (academia), academic discipline, profession, or a group of related disciplines such as the ...
*
Professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) usually seeks to further Further or Furthur may refer to: *Furthur (bus), ''Furthur'' (bus), the Merry Pranksters' psychedelic bus ...
*
Scientific community The scientific community is a diverse network of interacting scientist A scientist is a person who conducts scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterize ...
*
Parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
*
Public participation Public participation, also known as citizen participation, is the inclusion of the public in the activities of any organization or project. Public participation is similar to but more inclusive than stakeholder engagement. Generally public partici ...
* Skills management *
Syndicate A syndicate is a self-organizing group of individuals, companies, corporations or entities formed to transact some specific business, to pursue or promote a shared interest. Etymology The word ''syndicate'' comes from the French word ''syndicat ...


References


External links


IETF Working Group Guidelines and ProceduresTools To Support Participatory Urban Decision Making
a component of the United Nations' Urban Governance Toolkit Series (PDF)
Establishing and Supporting the Working Group Process
A source book for the Sustainable Cities Programme (PDF) {{Authority control Research Negotiation
Types of organization{{Commons category, Types of organization : This category collects articles on types of organizations. See :Organizations by type, which collects categories of organizations by type. Organizations Types, Organizations ...