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A U.S. House of Representatives working group on addiction (2019)

A working gro

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;[citation needed] 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.[1]

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:

  1. To elaborate, consolidate, and build on the consensus of the decision makers; and
  2. 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.[2]

Quality circles 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 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

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;[citation needed] 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.[1]

Examples of common goals for working groups include:

Working groups are also referred to as task groups, workgroups, or technical advisory groups.