I went to UMB to meet with my IT Project Management team today. We spent all day laying out the paper we needed to present and working on an outline. In my humble opinion, we should have done this exercise weeks ago. We spent face-time working together and we took all the tools we need to use out of the box and tried them together.
This was amazingly helpful to me. It also reinforced some of the things I learned in my first class namely 1) You learn more from your fellow students than you do from the proff 2) Do your heavy-lifting up front-if you do a good job in your initial planning phase you can reuse your work later on. 3) If one person is talking someone else had better be writing .4) Bring food. 5) take breaks 6) if at all possible-work on it until it is done—take all day if you need to because you have momentum if you keep working.
This is what is happens when teams work well together. Of course, the problem with working with other people is that they are people-not computers. They have other demands on their time or they may just decide to dick you over. I had concerns walking into today’s meeting. I’ve worked with one of my team-mates before and I know he is solid-the others were unknown quantities. I had a pretty good idea they were all smart-I just didn’t know how much effort they were willing to invest in this project we had to do. One of them had to leave early because he has to work on Saturday nights, but he had already signed up to write several parts of the paper so it wasn’t like he was bailing on us. The other three of them stayed until 7:30 and were helpful the entire time. We started getting punchy around 4:30.
I am not sure how helpful I was anytime after 6:00 PM, but even though we were all tired (and sick of sitting in UMB chairs-by the end of the evening we were all standing and I was doing a lot of bouncing on my heels to work off nervous energy) we were getting it done.
I like having partners who are willing to do the work. It makes the whole thing (Spending a sunny Saturday in a classroom and eating nothing but Odwalla bars all day) worthwhile.