Teamwork

Being successful in your capstone project requires you to get a good understanding of what your client wants from you and what your end-users need.  Our early lectures and adviser meetings will focus on  setting a project focus based on clients' requirement.  The next phase in the project --user research-- will focus on ways to understand end-user needs.

However, being success also requires that you learn how to work well together as a team.  To do so requires you to (a) learn each others strengths and weaknesses; (b) identify expectations around such issues as work quality, effort, timeliness and commitment to the project; (c) establish procedures for the way your team will run meetings, communicate, document work-in-progress, manage the project as a whole and individual assignments and deal with inevitable conflict; and (d) specify consequences for failing to fulfill agreed-upon expectations and failing to follow procedures. 

Although most teams generally run smoothly, some don't.  If you think your team is having problems, make this an agenda item for your next regular meeting and raise the issues in a non-threatening way with other team members. Figure out if there are problems and how the team as a whole can solve them.  Also let your advisers know about the problems, either privately or during your weekly adviser meeting, so that we can help you.

We will talk about teamwork and problems in running teams in class. Make sure that you have completed online collaborative training before class, Wed 2/1.  To do so, go to https://oli.cmu.edu/jcourse/webui/welcome.do Click on the link under the red CMU logo to sign in and register with your Andrew id and password.  Use the course key CollabDemo to enter the course.

One research finding is that internal team contracts (or process agreements) generally help teams to work together better.  Your team process agreement is due Friday, 2/3. Here is a link to a template to help you create your team contract, and here are links to a process agreements from prior years that were well done and seemed to help these teams work well together: Steeler process agreement and Beacon process agreement.