When I finished my undergraduate degree, I thought that would be the last time I would be involved in an educational group project. I would dread being put in a 'bad group' and get stuck doing all the work however, I've picked up some tactics over the years for successful collaboration that I applied to this group scenario and have learnt new skills I will consider when working in industry with other individuals and teams from different discipline backgrounds. I picked up on six factors that helped us create a successful product influenced by our same agenda of Critical Design but also encompassed aspects of our separate agendas.
six factors that kept team placebo on 'top'
Leader & follower - Some group projects I have been involved in our controlled by one person, there have even have been times where I feel I have taken on that role, however we each took turns, when applicable, to stir the project in the right direction, make decisions and keep to our timescale. This leaders on to the second point...
Multi-discipline - We all have very different backgrounds and we utilized those previously acquired skills while learning new ones off others in the group. I learnt capabilities of other rendering software from Najla's experience and presentation techniques I would have never previously considered from Phoebe. When our discipline was needed we would take the role as the leader, as the other two members would use that members creation in their own discipline i.e. moving renders into Photoshop or CAD files into 3D MAX.
Flexible - Although we each had the correlating theme of Critical Design we also had at least two other agendas we wanted to inspire the project. However, in a collaborative project their must be compromise somewhere as we can not compensate everyone's opinion. We were each strong and vocal about what we felt was important but also learnt to settle or let others make the final decision to keep moving forward in the project.
Communicate - Communicating both in person and away was a key element to our successful outcome. We planned meetings ahead of time and utilized out time together in university to make use of the resources. Using email, Dropbox and mobile group chats we could work away from the group successfully as well and still be able to transfer information, ideas and suggestion.
Learn & teach - As mentioned earlier, we are each from a different backgrounds not only from a discipline perspective but are also from different ages, cultures and walks of life. We each learnt sometime from interacting and seeing another member of the group contribute to the project. We have discovered different approached, influenced different perspective and shared different stories that have all aided in our design of TOTEM.
Independent - Although it was a collaborative project, the unit was individually marked therefore we all considered our personal agendas and direction for design in addition to that for the group as a whole. We each managed to work on our independent element and contribute an equal amount of work to the collaboration on TOTEM.
Overall, I feel we worked well as a group where everyone provided their fair share and even managed to broaden our capabilities by learning from one another.
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