A group of people working with their laptops and devices at a shared desk Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Groups projects are a great opportunity to develop valuable and practical project management skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership skills.

But working in a team isn't always easy, especially when you need to balance different schedules and work styles.

So how can you more effectively keep your group project on track?

Start With A Kickoff Meeting

A kickoff meeting is a great opportunity to get to know everyone on the team. Plan an initial meeting with your group to brainstorm ideas, ask questions, and establish a plan for how your team is going to tackle the project.

During a kickoff meeting it's important to consider:

  • The main objective of the project and deliverables

  • The criteria for a successful project

  • The roles of each group member — what task(s) each person will be assigned to

  • Deadlines for completing the tasks for the project, as well as the final project deadline

Checklist for a kickoff meeting

Discuss Roles And Responsibilities

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During the kickoff meeting:

  • Break down the project into manageable tasks and discuss who will take on each task

  • Discuss which tasks (if any) will need to be completed as a group, as well as which tasks can be completed individually.

  • Coordinate your workflow with your teamates if certain tasks need to be completed together, or in sequence.

  • Consider if you'll need to assign other roles — i.e. will it be helpful to assign a group leader or meeting planner?

Create A Communication Plan

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Discuss:

  1. How will you communicate — via chat, email, video, or phone call?

  2. Which platforms do your group members prefer to use — Zoom, Slack, etc?

  3. How will feedback be provided and received?

Schedule Regular Meetups

Image of a laptop with four people in a video call. Schedule regular meetups throughout the project.

Meetups are a good opportunity to discuss your project's progress, as well as any challenges or unexpected changes that need to be addressed.

Be A Team Player

Flaticon Icon Teamwork is a great way to bring together different points of view, and it can help to spark creativity and fresh new ideas.

To be an effective team player:

  • Be open-minded and flexible — remember to actively listen to other's perspectives.

  • Show genuine commitment to meeting deadlines.

  • Keep your team members updated and informed of your progress — communicate proactively.

  • Keep yourself (as well as other team members) accountable for the work completed.

  • Lend a helping hand to support your teammates when they need it.

Scenario: Project Curveball

You're halfway through the project and the deadline is fast approaching...

In a last-minute email, you receive news that your team will also need to add on a presentation to introduce the project to some interested clients.

You'll need to complete most of the project a week earlier to allow for additional time to create the presentation

Quiz

How can your team work together to meet this new deadline?

Take Action

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This Byte has been authored by

LC

Linh Chau

Education Assistant