Blog or die tryin’: Group or Team?
After working together for almost 6 weeks, we tried to evaluate our process and the experiences we have made while creating our blog: Blog or die tryin’. After reading the Daft and the Katzenbach text on teams and groups, we chose to compare our workstyle to the lists they suggested.
How it all began…
At the beginning of this project, we were only a group thrown together by chance. Everybody was rather confused by the task of creating a blog, so that we all concentrated more on getting our own business done, than really communicating our problems. But after the first questions got clearer, we started to talk more and to help each other, because we knew that we had to do this together in order to pass the class. This was the main motive for the first 1-2 weeks of blogging. However, after this little time of getting used to wordpress and our group, we started to really think about what we are doing, how we’re doing it and why.
Our most dominant characteristic of being a team is definitely that we share leadership roles. Although I am the official groupleader, this does not give me any special rights or influence. All of us present their ideas and we chose what we think are best. Also we just talk about what has to be done and manage to delegate the work according to our interests and abilities. We always have great discussions and no-one is afraid to talk about their problems, fears or to criticize others in a productive way. Because we always find a win-win solution, everybody is committed to our project: creating a great blog. So we also measure our effectiveness by assessing our collective work, the blog as a whole and some fun stuff for example the author page, the video, the mindmaps and the collaborative posts. To do that, we comment on each other’s posts, give feedback and advice.
Space for improvement
Although we are already on a good way of becoming a really great team, there are still some things that we can work on. In my opinion, we always try to work together and to share responsibility for our work. This means that we remind each other when we have to write posts or do something else and give advice when something could be done better. But there is still always the thought:” well okay, if she doesn’t want to put a lot of effort into this week’s post it’s her deal.” That’s the risk if you trust others with tasks in a team, but it is also a way of creating a beautiful and powerful whole. This is something we could work on. Another group aspect that I actually like about us is that we always try to have efficient meetings. We have great discussions and everybody gets a chance to speak up, but still we want to get to a result rather fast, because we only have limited time. Despite the fact that we have realized that there are a whole lot of things we can learn while working on this blog, we don’t really have a team specific vision, but rather have the same as every other team ( at least that’s what I guess).
Some things that we really like about us, is that we for example always consider what’s going on in each other’s lives when we decide on who posts when. If someone has a really busy weekend, he or she gets to post on Monday or Tuesday and next week we’ll switch. Also, we are a diverse group because we all come from different parts of the countries, have different experiences and ideas. And even though we work hard, we always manage to do some fun things like the foto session for our authors’ page and the video we made of it.
After these 5 weeks we can definitely say that we made some huge process on becoming a great team and I bet that we will work a lot better after this development and will still improve our teamstructure.