Wait did we just learn something? – Reflective post #2

What a week it has been again. If this project was a rollercoaster we would still be on a long way up before the fun ride starts. As Nancy said to us this week – don’t expect the breakthrough yet. It will come soon enough. In the meantime we have learned some absolutely invaluable lessons.

tumblr_nglkdqvvOF1qlq9poo7_500Groups involved – their sizes and dynamics

Even though our group size was predetermined, we decided to make most of our capabilities and vary the group size at different stages of the project. As we are currently coming up with ideas for the IWFs social media campaign, we agreed to pursue the thinking process individually and then in a group of 5 discuss the ideas and further develop them. Chris Corrigan’s input on group sizes as a big help and made us aware that a 5 person brainstorming session can quickly end in chaos.

During this project a lot of different sub groups will collaborate and work together and Christopher Allen’s theories on group thresholds and size again helped simplify the challenge of making these teams work. After our first group meeting with all people working for our NGO we quickly realised that the group size of 15 people is anything but ideal for group discussions. People started to feel left out and not all ideas were given enough consideration.

As we are working towards one final result with a group of 15 people we have to find ways to distribute tasks and work effectively. Whether it be through groups of experts, researchers or roles, we will need to make clever use of group sizes and workflows.

Our group size of 5 works well when splitting in even smaller teams due to different tasks. On Tuesday our client service assistant Daria and Yasin – a Tech Steward had a very smooth and helpful conversation with Allan on skype, which will definitely help while improving our blog. As well as, we contacted Nancy for the first time as the whole group. She proposed to get in touch with another interesting person, so that opens new paths for us… 😉

Lessons learnt

The Collaborators are going strong when it comes to internal communication and task distribution. Everyone is doing a fantastic job at following their responsibilities and delivering what is due on time – a great foundation for a productive team. Communication with other teams within the NGO team can definitely be improved when looking at future weeks.

Also, there is something what we will do differently, next week we want to combine two ways of our work, which we kept separated until now. So far we have been trying to find solution for our NGO’s challenge and on the side work on the weekly tasks. We have been treating them as separate tasks with the weekly focus being more of a chore. After reflecting on it’s place within our work we realised that we should utilize the weekly focus on the way to help our NGO. It is a powerful tool and cannot be seen separately from our creative process – it adds immense value to it.



2 thoughts on “Wait did we just learn something? – Reflective post #2

  1. I think this week has been a real eye opener to the way we work together. Not only did we learn the better utilisation of the weekly focus but also structured our approach towards the end goal.

    We have been very output orientated so far not realising that the steps in between will help us create better results. Of course the fear of being stuck in confusiasm (or more confusion) is enormous but trying not to escape by running towards the goal but reaching around us for answers is an extremely valuable lesson.

    This also reflects on the challenge our NGO has given us and the way we are trying to approach it. He simply asked us to develop a social media strategy for young people. We instantly started to brainstorm what this campaign would look like. Great idea right?

    Not really. Looking back we should have asked more questions about the background and objective of the campaign. Problem solving is mostly not about the problem you have been given but checking if this is the actual problem. And most of the time it is not. The actual question we should have asked ourselves was:
    How can we get young people to get involved with the IWF? From this we would have worked further and figured out in what sense we can use social media to achieve our goal.

    As you can see – most things can seem really easy in the beginning until you start digging deeper and question things. But that is the exciting part isn’t it?

    Did other teams have similar experiences? Did your objective become clearer the more you researched and discussed?


  2. I love how this page emphasizes on showing the importance of working as a group. That i think is a huge step before furthering your interaction with your NGOs. Using Chris Corrigan’s input on group sizes is a brilliant idea. Thanks for exposing this valuable method to us and to answer your question. Yes we had the same problem, we got even more confused the more we drove deeper in our project. That is because the closer we get the more questions and problems we face. Like you said that is the fun part solving it.


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