As part of a team project for a school class, I was assigned to team Bravo. We were to figure out how to further develop a better product from an existing one. We were not given a product only told that it had to be a better product than the original. We were told to figure this out as a theoretical basis of team interaction. What we ran into was simply a matter of team boundary issues involving the chosen team leader and a control freak that just had to be in charge of everything. This is certainly a challenge when you have one person in charge and another who wants to be in charge, but there is no real authority for who is in charge. We had a good deal to work through for this project; the second person caused many challenging issues surrounding teamwork and how we would get the project completed. There were quite a few issues involving team boundaries. This was especially important when it came to how each member of the team would fit into the grand scheme of the group. Eventually, we simply had to work with the egotistical person. We really had no choice in the matter as we had to get the project completed on time. It was certainly difficult though. One person in the group eventually had to step in and assume control of the group as the first two were overly involved with bickering. Once the third person stepped in and sort of took over the process and implemented good leadership it did seem to go a bit smoother. But until that person stepped in it was not an easy process. Each team member's part should be figured from the beginning in every team effort; this will save time and problems later on down the road in trying to figure out who is in charge of what (Resolving Team Conflict 1). In resolving our team's conflict another person literally had to step in and assume control. This seemed the only way for us to solve the problem quickly so that we could move on with the project.
There are multiple general responsibilities of any team member. Of course, there are some that are more important than others but there are a few that are probably more important than others. I have determined the following 5 to be among the most important. First, every team member must be fully aware of their responsibility to and on the team. No team functions properly when its members do not understand the goals and objectives of the team to begin with. A second responsibility is ensuring a correct sense of balance between development and non-project work. This is highly important to the successful generation of timely and efficient project deadlines. Many times one is simply not involved in only one task or even project at a time, its members must be capable of prioritizing between different tasks and projects. The third responsibility is working to timescales and within cost constraints. Working within a budget is perhaps a notion that is vital to a company’s wellbeing. This helps to ensure a maximum amount of capital is maintained for the duration. Not being able to maintain these criteria not only hurts the company but all of its components as a whole; mainly the individual members. A fourth responsibility is the contributions of each member towards successful communication for the project duration. Communication is absolutely vital to the success or failure of a project. The final and central responsibility is the notion that one must be able to work in a group setting. Specific characteristics are vital to group survival. Characteristics such as openness to ideas and ego can and do have serious repercussions…everyone knows the result of a control freak on any team. Perhaps a team member's accountability would be a further runner up. With no accountability comes no way to ensure that team members will maintain schedules. As stated before these are only a few of the criteria for successful group cohesion, but they are among the most important (Resolving Team Conflict 1-1).
It is often difficult to determine if a team member should lead. In my experience a natural leader simply assumes the role; this seems a more natural process. If there is no boss and the team is a collaboration of equals it would be difficult if nobody naturally took the part as an arbitrator or in the very least the part of the facilitator. An example would be the facilitation of brainstorming; someone has to help maintain a focus orientated vision for the group.
“Resolving Team Conflict.” Mind Tools. Mind Tools Ltd, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.
Richardson, Phil. “Project Teamwork.” Project Teamwork. n.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.