Wow, this is it already. Feels like it was just yesterday when we got introduced to our NGO and did research on their work. I can speak for all of us when I say that the past 8 weeks haven been a constant up and down.
We are now finishing up on our video and our ideas are coming to life. The teams are getting together and again, everything revolves around teamwork.
There is no I in team (or is there?)
One of the main lessons of the project was the importance of teamwork. Not only using it but more importantly coordinating it. While we were working in a team, communication was the factor that was pulling us down. We aimed to distribute work and collaborate but sometimes ended up falling back into a stage of individual work. We did not reach our full potential this way and the advantage of a bigger creative pool was only used partly.
We started working across our NGO group from the get go and had a collective result in mind. While this made working easier towards the end, retrospectively it was significantly harder to coordinate and distribute work between 15 people. We achieved great results but I believe that a more effective use of team sizes and workload distribution could have resulted in an even better outcome.
Especially different cultural backgrounds seemed to contribute to the barrier in group work. It was obvious that we could sometimes not agree on specifics and also the work ethic was varying heavily.
What could we do better?
Especially using the lessons learnt in our Cultural Differences class should have been used in order to create a more unified team that achieves more and communicates better. It would be a great addition to the weekly focus to add intercultural influences on group dynamics. However looking back at what did not work, we gained invaluable experience and will be sure to bridge these differences in our next group work. After all there is only lessons, no mistakes.
There could not have been a better introduction to the IDE course than project communities. Even though everyone got to a point of pure frustration and confusion, it did introduce us to one of the most important aspects of a designers work – Collaboration. If we like it or not, we will work in teams again and again. Learning from the beginning how to engage with others is a great way to combine all that was learnt so far in the course.