Friday, March 2, 2012

2013 TKR: TEAM: Group projects in virtual worlds: How to make them work

Group projects in virtual worlds: 
How to make them work
  • The meetings are just a waste of time.
  • They just talk, go in circles, get nowhere.
  • Lots of good ideas get ignored.
Here is what you can do about that
  • Self managed teams
  • Tools for group projects
  • Special needs for distance collaboration
Yes. You.
The language of complaint starts with they.  
The language of solutions starts with I
Self managed teams
The main idea of the self-managed team is that the leader does not operate with positional authority. In a traditional management role, the manager is responsible for providing instruction, conducting communication, developing plans, giving orders, and disciplining and rewarding employees, and making decisions by virtue of his or her position. In this organisational model, the manager delegates specific responsibility and decision-making authority to the team itself, in the hope that the group will make better decisions than any individual. Neither a manager nor the team leader make independent decisions in the delegated responsibility area. Decisions are typically made by consensus in successful self-managed teams, by voting in very large or formal teams and by hectoring and bullying in unsuccessful teams. The team as a whole is accountable for the outcome of its decisions and actions.
Tools for group projects
Special needs for distance collaboration
  • Meeting Agenda.  TODO list for the meeting. 
  • Personal agenda.   Goals of a particular person for the meeting 
  • Group roles.   Type of actions that regularly appear in task oriented meetings
  • Group Maintenance Roles.  Types of actions that regularly foster cooperation in a group
  • Group Task Roles.  Types of actions that regularly foster progress on the task of a group
  • Group Leadership Roles: Types of actions related to organizing and managing the group operations.
  • Facilitator.  Person responsible for encouraging the group to take actions known to foster  effective functioning.
  • Action Items.  Concrete actions to be done by a specific person
  • Action item, accepted.  A concrete task accepted as a responsibility by a specific person.
  • Brainstorming.   A technique for generating ideas in a small group.
  • Planning: Develop list of concrete actions needed to reach the project goal.
  • Evaluate plans: Assess the benefits, costs, and prospects of alternative plans
  • Special Working Group (SWG):  Ad hoc group taking a single action item.
  • Delegate: Turn over a task or group role to a specific person or SWG 
Essential group maintenance roles
  • Time KeeperWatches the time reminds the group of time limitations.
  • Recorder:  Keeps and distributes record of group decisions
  • Action Items: Suggest an action item when a discussion in becoming unproductive
  • Agenda:   Reminds group of current agenda item when discussion strays
  • Consensus: Asks if consensus has been reached when that seems to be the case 

  • What do we do in Virtual Worlds? 
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  • Annotated screen shots made with Jing
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