Blog #5 Reflecting on the Group
Overall I was quite thrilled with our team. I am sometimes hesitant to go into randomly assigned groups because I am not sure what to expect. Dealing with many in the past, I was more than a little nervous to place that much of my capstone grade in the hands of others. Luckily I feel like I was blessed with a good group. We were a quite dynamic and I feel that we each brought something different to the team. I also feel as though we all brought really strong ideas together to produce something that would have been difficult to envision as a lone entity. While we did goof around and laugh a lot at our meetings we also got a lot of work done in our time together as well. I credit my other groups members for being good team players and helping us build what I would argue were very strong presentations.
What I believe made this experience good is that we were placed in a long term group situation that was a major determinant on a large part of our grade for this class. In many previous cases I may have been assigned a group to work with, but the project would be small and the time frame short. Having a semester long team that worked on multiple projects brought an entirely new experience that I am glad I got to be a part of. In doing this it forced me to be more reliant on other people and trust them to get their portions of assignments done as well. I tend to be a control freak sometimes and I feel that this helped me relax those tendencies a bit.
I think the most difficult thing for our group was getting together to work with one another. We are all very busy people and with class and jobs it was hard to schedule meetings. To compensate for this a large bulk of our work was split up and done on an individual level. While this creates less stress and is probably more efficient in many ways, it also has its draw-backs. On several occasions we would get back with one another and the vision of what was assumed to be a shared understanding was not always the case. This resulted in minor frustrations of having to discuss and re-edit portions of our project so that we could all be on the same page.
If I were to do this again, I would have placed a greater emphasis on trying to complete the final presentation in advance of Thanksgiving break. While the practice of assigning parts to work on independently seems to be moderately successful in times of prolonged absence from one another, it also created a great deal of stress. Upon returning from break out scheduled meeting time did not fully work out causing us to have to wait till the last minute to finish all portions of the project. When dealing with a team one of the biggest goals is trying to find a common understanding of false deadlines as you complete a project in stages. Some people want to finish as soon as possible, others are more comfortable finishing at the last minute.
Aside from these problems I would say our group was very effective at completing our task and was quite pleased with the outcome.