This report is to critically evaluate the applications workshop project and how our group worked together. Our main objectives were to design the database for The Pine Furnishing Warehouse to the satisfaction of the manager of the company. We had to update or modify the system each time we received feedback from the manager. This was to ensure a more efficient and durable database for the company and to give all the employees of the company more convenient access to the product and customer information.
These main objectives of our project were reached through discussions and interacting with our team members. We had five members in our group. Our first meeting was of great importance to the overall project as we were able to simply sit down and discuss the project and how we could work our way around it. We were able to specify what task each individual group member was completing before the next meeting. After the first meeting, the rest of the group and I were certain as to what was expected of us and how much effort hard work was required.
This meeting set the tone for all the later meetings and we elected a chairman and a secretary and agreed that all work will be shared equally. The overall task looked to be very challenging at the start of the semester but it became easier as we came to realize that if we kept up the pace and were able to complete each of our individual tasks weekly we were striving towards completing the overall objective. Our main priority and common goal was always to make sure we complete task to show that we can work together as a group and produce excellent results.
We have previously studied the make up of groups and how we react in different ways when placed in a group situation. The Belbin s team skills inventory gave us an insight into how team members will react in group or team situations. In this theory there are various roles that a team member can play . This entails the reactions of the team, how each individual deals with the project and strives to achieve their goals. It also gives an insight on how each individual will interact with other team members and contribute to the project.
An example of one of these team roles is an Innovator who will produce imaginative, unorthodox ideas. The innovator can be described as imaginative and clever but may need careful handling in respect to how you react to the input. Other roles are investigator, chairperson, shaper, evaluator, team worker, organizer and finisher. Each role describes the different qualities that are needed to make a good team that is efficient in planning and completing any given project.
When we first studied Belbin s team roles it was easy to assume that it would be more fruitful to have a group that has a lot of innovators. This giving way to the assumption that this will create a group atmosphere where there are a lot of ideas created and would thus lead to a better project. It has become more apparent in our group projects since then that you need to have a lot of differing personalities that can take on these roles in the group. It is apparent in life that your strength could be another person s weakness. In our group I could see that we were always working to each other s strengths.
There were many problems that we came across, especially with attendance to group meetings due to clashes with classes as some our group were based on a different campus of the University. These problems did arise very regularly and it was sometimes extremely difficult to even arrange a meeting with our tutor to present our progress. We did at some points not make any positive progress more than a week because of these difficulties. The way we solved these problems was to make sure that we did not lose contact with the group. There would always be e-mails from our secretary to remind us of our next meeting, a phone call to make sure we remained focused on the task.
Although we did have many minor disagreements it was always decided that the chairperson s decision was final. This worked well as we had all come to a joint decision on who the chairperson should be. By the end of each meeting we always resolved any disagreements the team had. There was never a time any disputed issue was carried over to the next meeting.
This whole project will without a doubt stand us in good stead for all future group work at university level. I can also envisage that it will be great help in any future employment in our field as we were thrust into the deep end of producing this database formally in a time scale suited to the specific needs of the company that employed us. There will be many valuable lessons that each individual will take away from this project. We have learned to communicate, help and encourage other group members. We have seen how an extensive project like this one can be broken down in to small bursts of hard work. Sometimes it was not always easy to see that we were heading in the right direction, as the overall project does not come together till the last few weeks. But as with everything the hard work has lead to a very satisfactory conclusion to our project.
If we had the chance to take upon this same coursework again using the same team I am sure that everyone in the group would not change our overall approach. We certainly would not have as many problems to deal with as all the mistakes that we have made in this particular project have given us the necessary experience to improve on our team skills. Every member will have realized their strengths and weaknesses and would work to exploit each other s strengths and hide each other s weaknesses.