Working in groups and teams
Group projects are a common feature of university study, although they hold their own particular challenges. As you know, working with others to achieve a goal is a reality of Business, but we have a few tips and tricks to get you through the process and succeed in your projects.
Group work or teamwork?
There is a big difference between working as a group and working as a team. A group is individual people who coordinate their individual efforts to achieve a goal. A team is a group of people with a shared goal who work together to achieve it.
You can make good progress in your group project by being either a group or a team, but a team can produce a better designed, thoughtful project and achieve more coordinated success together.
- You can achieve more as a team
- You can build on a larger range of skills and knowledge
- Having a wide range of opinions will make sure your project is considered from all sides and increase your critical thinking skills
- You can develop your communication skills
- You can develop your collaboration skills
- You can practice academic discussion
- It will help you self-reflect on how you work in a team; for example, whether you like to be in charge or if you are a good listener. This awareness will be beneficial in the workforce.
- Conflict between members
- Difficulty sticking to deadlines
- Lack of planning
- Unclear roles in the group
- Limited communication
- Dominant members of the team
- Not enough discussion on topics and roles within the group
- Unbalanced work distribution with some people doing more than others
- Lack of delegation of tasks – everyone doing everything together will rarely work
So, what should you do?
- Spend time getting to know each other
- Check that everyone has the same understanding of the assignment
- Create a communication plan. Include how you will meet online and your main form of communication (e.g. Whatsapp, Facebook group)
- Check that everyone understands the expectations of each other in the project
- Ensure that everyone has been allocated tasks
- Create a timeline for completed tasks, feedback, editing and submission
- Set up and share a Google doc
- Discuss and discuss guidelines for editing, review and feedback
- Select editing teams and set up editing time frames