Working group
A working group is an interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers working on new research activities that would be difficult to develop under traditional funding mechanisms (e.g. federal agencies). The lifespan of the WG can last anywhere between a few months and several years. Such groups have the tendency to develop a quasi-permanent existence once the assigned task is accomplished; hence the need to disband (or phase out) the WG once it has provided solutions to the issues for which it was initially convened. Such goals to be achieved may include:
  • creation of an informational document;
  • creation of a standard, or
  • resolution of problems related to a system or network.

The WG may assemble experts (and future experts) on a topic together for intensive work. It is not an avenue for briefing novices about the subject matter. Occasionally, a group might admit a person with little experience and a lot of enthusiasm. However, such participants should be present as observers and in the minority.

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


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
Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs
The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs is a group within the executive branch of the U.S. government, and is responsible for promoting achievement of positive results for at-risk youth...

 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 February 7, 2008.

Musical working groups

Although any artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

 or artist
An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only...

 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, 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
    Dave Holland is an English jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader who has been performing and recording for five decades. He has lived in the United States for 40 years....

     (Trio, Quartet, or Quintet);
  • Die Like A Dog Quartet;
  • Gary Bartz Quartet;
  • Vandermark 5; and
  • William Parker Quartet (Trio/Quartet).

Technical working groups

In many technical organizations, for example Standards organization
Standards organization
A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization , or standards setting organization is any organization whose primary activities are developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpreting, or otherwise producing technical standards that are...

s, the groups that meet and make decisions are called "working groups". Examples include:
  • IETF working groups (which are subordinate to Areas)
    • HTTP WG, original led by Dave Raggett
      Dave Raggett
      Dave Raggett is a computer specialist who has played a major role in implementing the World Wide Web since 1992.He has been a W3C Fellow at the World Wide Web Consortium since 1995 and worked on many of the key web protocols, including HTTP, HTML, XHTML, MathML, XForms, and VoiceXML.Raggett wrote...

  • ISO working groups (which are subordinate to an SC (subcommittee), subordinate to a TC (technical committee)
  • W3C working groups
    • Device Description Working Group
      W3C Device Description Working Group
      The W3C Device Description Working Group , operating as part of the World Wide Web Consortium Mobile Web Initiative , was chartered to "foster the provision and access to device descriptions that can be used in support of Web-enabled applications that provide an appropriate user experience on...

    • Technical Architecture Group
    • SVG Working Group
      SVG Working Group
      The SVG Working Group is a working group created by the World Wide Web Consortium to address the need for an alternative to the PostScript document format...

In some cases, like the Printer Working Group
Printer Working Group
The Printer Working Group charter is to develop standards that make printers, operating systems and applications work better.In 1991 a consortium of printer and network manufacturers formed the Network Printing Alliance...

, 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.


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 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.

Some Techniques of management of Work Groups are:
- Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which a group tries to find a solution for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members...

- 6-3-5 Brainwriting
6-3-5 Brainwriting
6-3-5 Brainwriting is a group creativity technique used in marketing, advertising, design, writing and product development originally developed by Professor Bernd Rohrbach in 1968....

- Five Ws
Five Ws
In journalism, the Five Ws is a concept in news style, research, and in police investigations that are regarded as basics in information-gathering. It is a formula for getting the "full" story on something...

- Six Thinking Hats
- Mind map
Mind map
A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Especially in British English, the terms spidergram and spidergraph are more common, but they can cause confusion with the term spider diagram used in mathematics...

- SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses/Limitations, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture...

- Dilemma
A dilemma |proposition]]") is a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is practically acceptable. One in this position has been traditionally described as "being on the horns of a dilemma", neither horn being comfortable...

- Coaching
Coaching, with a professional coach, is the practice of supporting an individual, referred to as the client or mentee or coachee, through the process of achieving a specific personal or professional result....

See also

  • Action group
    Action group
    In sociology and anthropology, an action group or task group is a group of people joined temporarily to accomplish some task or take part in some organized collective action....

  • Facilitation
    The term facilitation is broadly used to describe any activity which makes tasks for others easy. For example:* Facilitation is used in business and organizational settings to ensure the designing and running of successful meetings....

  • Facilitator
    A facilitator is someone who helps a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan to achieve them without taking a particular position in the discussion...

  • Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument
    Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument
    The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument is a system claimed to measure and describe thinking preferences in people, developed by William "Ned" Herrmann while leading management education at General Electric's Crotonville facility...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.