Make group work for you…
Whenever I used to hear group work it brung a smile to my face at college as everyone in my class knew each other quite well ! (oh memories…) and can use each other strength to our advantage but when I came to university I learnt horrible truth of group work can turn horrid like members of the team not performing. (Pain in the backside)
Don’t Panic! Make it work for you… Using tools
Group working in virtual workspace.
The traditional way of working was sending out mas emails to the group to inform of them of changes, send work to one another or even have emails sent to you that are not relevant (chain mails grrr). I stopped using email as a tool to share, collaboration or communicate unless it is crucial last-minute thing on the way to uni or somewhere… instead I use Huddle.com that allows the whole team to a workspace where you can set up events on the calender like deadline approaching, share files with version control (including editing some of them), send out meeting reminders, and white board to brainstorm ideas are just some of the features.
The main feature I use it for is Task Allocation, which is an important tool in any Project manager tool box to make sure your group is working to effective goal by completing tasks that can have specified end dates so it will make sure the person who is not pulling its weight is reminded.
No more 100s of emails informing you the same thing the other member sent or not sure what he/she had to do. Don’t think email are not an important tool but it is not effective as huddle for task allocation as it does the job well.
Use Cloud Power!
Speaking of emails, ever had to work together on one thing like a presentation. What I like about web mail services such as GMail or Windows Live Mail is that it can be accessed anywhere in the world and you will still have access to the same data. Both GMail and Windows Live Mail offer the ability to create, edit and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets it makes it an ideal online tool to use to get the work done when people say they are flying off to the exotic country for this weekend, I’m sure they can still access the internet to add those last word on what the presentation needs to make it A*.
Having online meeting save time from traveling, cost from traveling and soon as the meeting is finished you can get on with the work in hand (or have a cup of tea). Most of the tools you may already use such as Skype or Windows Live Messenger to have a video call. Make sure you have an Agenda ready and stick to it to make it an effective meeting!
You have heard of radio and TV broadcasting but have you heard of screen casting from screencast.com it is basically the idea of recording your desktop of your computer system with audio and video as optional extras to help those group members that are unfamiliar with a specialist software such as AutoCad or Rational Rose. It could also be used in many ways to walk through a particular part of presentation to help other group member see what you will be presenting on the day. the possibility are endless…
I hope the tools mentioned about help you to become more effective in a group to get the work done and party later!
Any tips, suggestions, opinions are always welcome below…