Accomplishing goals and tasks with others is an arduous task. A course I was taking in college required research work, and to make the task attainable and undemanding with the limited time, the professor decided to divide the class into groups.
Deciding on what topic to conduct research on was hard enough, but accomplishing the research work was the hardest. Our research work required field work – school visitations, floating surveys, statistical calculations, and result interpretation. There were four of us in a group.
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The problem was we could not figure out how we would conduct the tasks due to our conflicting schedules and extra-curricular activities – we have different schedules, one works in the office, and one is busy with familial responsibilities.
The problem was how can we conduct research and accomplish all tasks as a team, balance research work with other responsibilities, and assign tasks equally to all members of the team. During class, we sat together and talked about our problem.
We set a time where all of us were available so we can talk about how we can go about conducting research. Once we were able to talk as a team, we laid out our schedules and our free time and listed all the tasks that we need to accomplish – chronologically, from simple to complex – in order to finish the research.
Perhaps, this was the most important strategy that we employed in solving our problem, that is breaking down the main problem into simple ones in order for us to get a clear picture on how we can accomplish the smaller tasks to fulfill greater tasks.
Another strategy was arranging our plan of action to make it fair and amenable to all team members. So we made it a point that everyone will be assigned simple to complex tasks and that all team members will consent to the task assigned to them. Moreover, the tasks were assigned to team members with related background knowledge and expertise. For instance, one member volunteered to do the statistical calculations because he was familiar with the chi-square).
Once we settled the distribution and delegation of tasks, we talked about the importance of each task assigned to us to complete our research project. It was important for us to finish the research project, so everyone agreed to do his part responsibly. Finally, we made it a point to meet once a week in order to put together everything that we worked on individually. We also asked for each other’s contact numbers so we can communicate and confer with each other regarding the research.
The most important approach that we employed to solve the problem was the planning and discussion process. It was important during that time to divide the research work into smaller tasks, and distribute and delegate these tasks in order to ensure that we can finish the project together as a team, while making sure that we do not neglect our extra-curricular activities.
Moreover, our meeting as a team allowed as to communicate how we felt about doing each task, so the tasks were delegated to team members who were amenable to the responsibilities being assigned to them, while assuring the others that they are capable of finishing their duties. With these problem-solving strategies, we were able to finish our research project efficiently as a team.
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