Team Design

Project 3 asks you to design how your team will work on the final project. How well has your team worked together on the assignments so far? Have your team skills improved during the semester? How can you organize yourselves and plan the next month and a half to maximize productivity and minimize stress? Everyone - without exception - has a heavy course load. The demands on your time are intense, and these demands become more extreme as the semester ends. It will become harder and harder to find a time for everyone to meet as the semester continues. How might you maintain your team’s effectiveness over time? What are your individual strengths and weaknesses? How are these amplified or diminished by the other people you are working with? Can you structure your team in a way that builds on individual capabilities and allows the team to add up to more than the sum of its parts? What is your team good at and what is it not? You are subject to multiple, sometimes-conflicting demands – how will you negotiate these? What values and principles can your team agree on?


Throughout the process you should be documenting your work on your blog, and keep a diligent record to be used in subsequent presentations and reports.

Thursday, October 21st : For presentation -
A pdf document signed by all team members that includes:
•    your team’s mission, vision, values and goals
•    a SWOT analysis for your team
•    an agreed upon structure that the team will work within
•    a team calendar that shows every member’s availability until the end of the semester


Your team's task is to better understand each other and the scope of what is possible with the time and human resources available - what can realistically be achieved in six weeks? Rather than starting with WHAT you are going to make we are asking you to plan HOW you will work together. How will you make decisions? What roles will each team member have - do you need a leader or specialist sub groups? How will you manage conflict?

Your team should establish a strategic framework that consists of:
•    a mission that defines what you are doing - a precise statement of the overall purpose, motives, and intentions of the team. It should set boundaries on the team's activities. Each member of the team should be able to verbally express this mission.
•    a vision for your future - a statement about what your team wants to become by the end of the semester. It should resonate with all members and help them feel proud, excited, and part of something beyond themselves.
•    values that shape your actions - a statement about how your team wants to behave with each other. Articulating values provides everyone with ways of choosing among competing priorities and guidelines about how people will work together.
•    goals to guide your actions – a statement that sets targets the team will use to accomplish its mission and drive toward the vision. Goals set standards and expectations for each team member. Everyone should be able to see how achieving team goals will help her or him achieve their own personal goals. Goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or team. It involves specifying the objective of the project or team and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective.

Strengths: characteristics of the team that give it an advantage over others
Weaknesses: are characteristics that place the team at a disadvantage relative to others
Opportunities: external conditions that could be favorable for the team
Threats: external conditions that could cause trouble for the team