How do we produce it?
Often the 'process' of creating a product may be as important as the 'product' created by your group. Learning to work with others and developing teamwork and communication skills can be an important aim of a group project. The following information provides some broad guidance regarding the way a group may go about a task, or the 'processes' they can use to produce a particular 'product'. Other pages on the website give you more specific advice about both the process and the product of groupwork.
First broadly consider:
- What has to be produced
- What steps might be involved?
- When should the task be finished?
- What will the final product be like?
- Who can help?
- What resources will we need?
- How will you know if you have reached an acceptable standard?
Then, in more detail:
- Collaboratively analyse your task, break it down into manageable sub-tasks - aiming for consistent progress each week. Some types of group tasks will force this because they require weekly decisions being entered, for example into a business simulation
- Collaboratively assign individual sub-tasks and negotiate deadlines, keeping in mind the project submission date. Consider how you can utilise the strengths of group members, while taking advantage of opportunities to learn something new. Plan a strategy to ensure all members will be aware of the whole process, even if sub-tasks are undertaken by individuals.
- Plan a realistic schedule. Make a list of sub-tasks that need to be completed, estimate how long sub-tasks will take, which sub-tasks are dependent on others, and who is responsible for each sub-task. Build in some time buffers in case things take longer than you think. Allocate time in meetings for each group member to report on their progress. Leave a significant proportion of time to collate the different pieces of work and to edit your work to a high standard?students often underestimate how much time is needed.
- Plan a schedule of meetings to report on progress and consolidate work. This will help to reduce duplication of effort, or finding out too late that a member is not contributing.