Essay on Team Project Contract
Number of words: 879
This paper will outline the team task assignment, decision-making, dispute resolution and communication process that will be used to manage the instructor-assigned team for BUS 437 Business Plan Development. This team project contract will apply over the course of the class’s four phases with deliverables due at the end of Weeks 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Division of tasks among team members
The assignment of project tasks should be conducted in a fair manner in alignment with the strengths and skills of each team member. For example, team members that excel at writing should be in charge of compiling the final assignment, while team members which are better at quantitative analysis and data analysis should be assigned to work on the financial projections for the startup. An equitable allocation of tasks would ensure a healthy working environment where team members do not suffer from burnout or overload. In addition, each group member will be held accountable for delivering their part of the project. Task division will be conducted through a group discussion in the first half of each week.
Decision-making process for team activities
Effective decision-making for a team involves the use of consensus building and involved participation by all team members. Foremost, a common time must be found to reach a consensus on specific decisions, such as the choice of business, the selection of risks or the forecast method for the firm’s financial projections. In this regard, the discussion board forum will serve as a helpful common platform for communication. Secondly, schedule conflicts and personal emergencies should be made known to the rest of the team via the discussion board. Thirdly, each team member should be fully involved in the decision-making process, while also being willing to compromise on certain decisions and considerations in order for the team to effectively reach consensus.
Dispute resolution process for team members
Disputes may arise as a result of a number of factors, ranging from methodological and knowledge-based disputes on the right way to complete an assignment or research task, to personality-driven conflicts that arise from differences in tone. Furthermore, disputes can also arise as a result of cultural differences or ethnic and gender based discrimination. Generally, to forestall and mitigate the negative impact of such conflicts on the team’s productivity, all team members should strive to adopt a spirit of humility, empathy and mutual respect in collaboration. Furthermore, all team members should aim to be transparent and earnest in their communications, and to address all problems or concerns upfront before a decision is made.
In the event that a conflict or dispute does break out, it is important for a third-party mediator (for example, the team member who is not involved in the conflict) to step in to negotiate and mediate a resolution. A request for the intervention of the instructor in the team dispute should only be used as a last resort. Furthermore, the team leader has the authority to coordinate activities, discussions, deadlines and team responsibilities, and should be used for producing the final judgment call for any disputes.
Weekly check-ins and regular communications via the discussion board would also allow for any misunderstandings to be addressed in a timely and efficient manner. As demonstrated by Driskell et al (2018), this would help the team to be more cohesive and effective, and to be clearer on their expectations for the assigned tasks (Driskell et al, 2018).
Team communication process to facilitate collaboration
The team will use the Ashford Instructure discussion board for communication, and all team members are expected to regularly check in on the platform with their thoughts, opinions, concerns and disagreements. Furthermore, as demonstrated by Godin et al (2017), alignment by the team on the chosen form of team communication and collaboration is important (Godin et al, 2017). The team should align by the first week on the choice of virtual work platforms, such as Airtable, Google Drive and Microsoft Office. Generally, Google Docs should be used as an easy and free platform to quickly capture inputs and comments for a given assignment in real time. The team’s communication will also be facilitated by the team leader, who will be in charge of mediating discussions by the team accordingly, and assuring that there are no misunderstandings on the expectations of the tasks at hand.
Effective teams need clear project assignment, decision making, dispute resolution and communication processes, and the above processes outline a clear workflow that should allow for a collaborative and productive working relationship within the team across the four phases of the course.
Driskell, J. E., Salas, E., & Driskell, T. (2018). Foundations of teamwork and collaboration. American Psychologist, 73(4), 334. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000241
Gibbons, G., Hisrich, R. D., & DaSilva, C. M. (2014). Entrepreneurial finance: A global perspective. Sage Publications.
Godin, J., Leader, L., Gibson, N., Marshall, B., Poddar, A., & Cardon, P. W. (2017). Virtual teamwork training: factors influencing the acceptance of collaboration technology. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology, 10(1), 5-23. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJICT.2017.081003
Xiao, Y., Parker, S. H., & Manser, T. (2013). Teamwork and collaboration. Reviews of human factors and ergonomics, 8(1), 55-102. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557234X13495181