TEAM WRITING A!!!! There’s no I in TEAM, but there is an

There’s no I in TEAM, but there is an A!!!!
Let’s talk about your Team Writing
Image courtesy of Tumblr, strikebackbubbles
Chad writes:
Jessica and Dave have not both shown up to class on the
same day, much less on time, within the last two weeks. I
am beginning to feel like a babysitter. I also feel like the
weight of work has shifted onto me. Our presentation is
only five days away. Dave is trying to work on a new
survey, but this time for professors. Jessica doesn’t have a
freakin’ clue what is going on. This has not been a fun
Resa writes. . .
My biggest complaint is with Gene. All of the reprocessed
information he brought to class was not usable. I think I
spent more time making his contributions fit than he spent
doing it the first time. I tried to get his input, but it took so
long to get responses out of him and then they were
worthless. . .I really do feel that the project they are taking
credit for is about 90 percent mine.
• A teammate misses a meeting.
• A teammate misses a deadline.
• A teammate turns in incomplete work.
• A teammate turns in poor-quality work.
• A teammate disappears completely.
• My team doesn’t trust me to do good work.
• My team isn’t listening to me – or is taking a direction I
disagree with.
• Other team members are not committed to a high-quality
• My teammates do and say thing I find disturbing or
• My teammates criticize my work excessively.
• Team members are not open to revisions to their work –
or team members ignore the suggestions I make for
• My team is destroying my work.
• Team members are not giving adequate feedback.
• I’m not sure how to give good feedback to team members.
How many of us have had these experiences?
Image courtesy of Tumblr, confessionsofabadchemist
Three Principles of Successful Teams
1. Effective teams works on the result before the
Don’t jump straight into action.
Collectively define the process so you’re all on the same
2. Any method is better than no method.
Some type of structure is needed for effective team writing.
3. Constructive conflict is appropriate and necessary.
Conflicting opinions should be welcomed and encouraged.
Focus on the issue and not the people presenting them.
Defining the Process
Consider how the typical report is written. Sections are
parceled out to team members, all of whom see
themselves as responsible for their one section, rather than
for the whole product. Each person writes their section for
a different audience, in a different tone, and probably in a
different font in a different software package. Sections
often overlap in coverage, not always treating the same
topic in the same fashion. The different parts of the report
– each of which is likely a first draft – are slapped together
the night before the due date. Everyone scrambles to
assemble the missing pieces (the executive summary,
graphics, the cover) and edit the document. The product is
turned in, and each member walks away from the process
vowing to never again repeat that team process.
Image courtesyof Tumblr,animinsensa
What does the project entail? What is its
How long should the project take?
How many group members are needed or
required, and what should each one do?
What will be each group member’s role?
Break down the project into tasks for the entire team.
Help team members to understand their individual
responsibility as well as his/her responsibility to the
Makes sure each team member takes a broad view
of the entire report, not just their section.
Every phase of the report is planned and assigned.
Assume responsibility for coordinating the entire
Keeps the team on schedule.
• Begin by reviewing the components of the assignment
and the project.
• Determine how to best delegate the responsibilities to
each member. (What are each team members’
• Set up a timeline of the tasks and when they will be
• Determine what technologies you and your group will
need to facilitate the project collaboratively, and set
deadlines for tasks.
Long-Form Proposal Due FEB 15th
Don’t leave compiling your assignment until the last minute!
Meeting with Me (Sign-up Sheet)
Tuesday February 11th (Ring)
Wednesday February 12th (Butterfield)
E-mail your draft to [email protected] by Sunday, February
We will meet together as a team for 10 minutes to troubleshoot
any writing issues or team working issues.
Strategy 1: Assign different color fonts or highlight colors.
Strategy 2: Use Folders
Strategy 3: Insert comments or footnotes
Strategy 4: Notify your collaborators using the SHARE option.
Strategy 5: See revision history
Other ideas for collaborative tech?
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