I am glad to report this week has been the most productive so far. With our Université Paris Diderot translators due to return to college next Monday, our priority this week was to have a draft ready for them upon their return.
An important lesson learned this week was that some people will not be proactive when working on a project. They may even be reluctant to assume any form of responsibility on their part when working as part of a group project. As a result, the workload must be given to other project members who already completed their given responsibilities.
A project manager must be diplomatic when distributing these additional tasks to other project members who are already actively engaged in the project. It is important not to inundate project members who are already cooperative.
Within Team 8, both Fionnuala and I seemed to be the only project members keen to begin a draft of the instructions. As there was little activity on Slack I decided to email all team members. Jenny replied stating she couldn’t find an invitation to join our Slack site in her university email account. As a result, I also sent the invitation to her Gmail account. This incident reinforces the importance of gathering the correct contact details of all project members at the start of a project. This glitch meant that we were without Jenny’s services until this week, hence it impacted our schedule.
Upon completion of the second draft of my instructions, one U.S. project member, Andrew, offered to create graphics for my document. Katie also offered to create the graphics for Fionnuala’s document.
By the end of this week, all project members had finally joined our group in Slack. Andrew also offered to take on Katie’s responsibilities, should she not be able to complete her tasks. Project members were now offering advice to each other and willing to take responsibility for project tasks.
I look forward to next week when our French project members return and we have a team full of collaborators!.
Upon reading the Virtual Team assignment specification, I noted the importance of establishing contact in the early stages with other team members. Due to time differences and varying break times throughout the semester, I understood the need to establish contact early in the week. Using Sulis, I created a post introducing myself, however, the only other post was from my University of Limerick classmate Fionnuala. In order for the project to gather momentum and to gather input from other team members, I created two new topics in Sulis. Firstly, I asked for team member’s preferred choice of topic and secondly, I was keen to establish an agreed collaboration day and tool. I was hoping that by being proactive it may encourage responses from our international team mates.
I suggested Slack as a potential collaboration tool for our team. Slack is a free tool that enables public or private visibility of conversations within your team. It enables communication amongst team members via direct messages, exchange of files and making individual or group calls. Fionnuala agreed to test it out, therefore I created a new team in Slack called “team8-global.slack.com”. In the meantime, Li Guan (based in Paris) posted in Sulis and also agreed to evaluate Slack as a potential tool. I sent invites to both Fionnuala and Li so that they could provide feedback.
This week highlighted some issues that arise when working in an international team. Typically a team face-to-face meeting is not possible hence technology is heavily relied upon for communication. In my opinion, the lack of communication issues highlighted the need to establish a project manager who will be proactive in the initial stages, ensuring everyone participates. According to Brett Harned, “if you’re not making a strong effort to communicate with your team, you will likely fail”.
I understand that I will need to persist with contacting other team members as it is impacting any decision making thus may impact assignment milestones. A lesson learned this week is that communication is key!.