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MEMORANDUM

TO: Megan Even


FROM: Thomas Howden
DUE DATE: October 28, 2016
SUBJECT: Group Work Activity Report
This memo explores areas of group work including criteria that makes for
both a positive and negative group work experience, previous experience
with group work, and an analysis of roles and traits I bring to the group.
What Makes for a Positive Group Work Experience
Group work and projects are utilized in many areas. Using them in an
educational role is the most common example of group work but outside of
school, businesses utilize group work within their companies very often as
well. This makes being able to work well in groups very important as it
applies directly to your education and career after school. But, group work
isnt always the easiest task to handle and often has many factors which
determine if the group experience is a good or bad one.
One of the most important factors is being organized. Being organized
means creating a project layout and plan before taking action on the project
work itself as well as keeping tabs on all portions of the project throughout
the entire course of the group work (Successful Group Work, 2016).
Setting up a plan before starting the work makes the project flow much
smoother and provides an outline to reference back to while working on the
project to make sure your group is still on track. This organized breakdown
also allows for group members to be easily assigned to specific portions to
insure all the project get attended too (Successful Group Work, 2016).
Failure to incorporate any of these areas can prove to be very troubling for
your group.
Another very important aspect of group work is the leadership and forming of
a team. In order for a group to work efficiently there must be strong
leadership within a body of people who can collaborate and share a common
goal (Abudi, 2011). This format of a group resembles a team with a captain.
This team with a captain format provides the best atmosphere for group
work success (Abudi, 2011). Lack of leadership will negate the driving force
of the group and may lead to a lackluster project or even missing the
deadline. Also if the group members arent willing to compromise and create
a common goal, the members may not work equally in order to complete the
project. If one members views are seen as inferior or unneeded, that
member will most likely not contribute to the group and that will make also
for a poor group experience (Abudi, 2011).
Group Work Experience

Throughout my high school career, I encountered many group projects. One


of the biggest and most important group projects I worked in was a mock
trial for my tenth grade history class. Our team of ten people had to build a
case and defend that stance in a mock trial setting created in the classroom.
Being such a large group of people and having the grade of the project weigh
so much, tensions rose and many problems eventually came up. Finding time
outside of class to get ten students together was very difficult. Students are
very busy and combating that was a challenge. Besides finding time for ten
people to meet, getting ten peoples opinions on a topic to mesh did not go
well either. In a group this large many views were conflicting of others and
being not the most mature at age fifteen and sixteen, many feuds broke out
over the trial. These feuds were commonly over topics such as what stances
we wanted to take and how we were going to prosecute. Luckily, team
leadership took control and we completed the project but unsurprisingly we
did not win the trial.
The other major group project I worked on was my annual Business
Professionals of America contest with three other classmates. BPA Is a
student organization where students create and compete in a wide variety of
business competitions. My team was the Economic Research team and our
contest was to research an economic dilemma provided to us and write a
ten-page research paper on it. We gave analysis and recommendations as to
how to tackle the issue and then presented to judges. This was the best
group work experience I had as we were all very close and shared the same
views on the task at hand. We divided up the work and put it all together at
the conclusion of the project. My task was to research a recommendation on
how to fix the given economic problem that varied from year to year. As the
competition date neared, we put our pieces of the paper together into one
seamless report and then went on to win the contest. Our cooperation and
communications skills are what excelled our group into creating such a
complete and polished project.
My Role in Group Work
In both of these group work experiences and all other work I was most
commonly describe myself as a supporter. I find that I like to normally get
the group consensus and idea molded first then dive in depth in the work.
Im not one that asks or demands for leadership and attention but will take
charge if need be. Because of this, I fall more in the supporter category. In
both the mock trial and BPA projects I took a second in command role where I
not only finished my portions of the project but then went and helped other
group members with their work to make sure that the work got completed
and was done up to the standards I had for the project.
My Group Work Skills
My skills concerning group work would include organization, flexibility,
cooperation, and project management. Organization is something I take

great pride in as I believe its critical to accomplishing all tasks efficiently. On


all my previous projects Ive been trusted with keeping all the materials and
making sure we stay on track to finish. I consider myself almost OCD about
my organization so its something I enjoy being trusted with. This also goes
for project management skills as the use of my organizational skills parallel
those displayed by management of the project. I dont consider myself the
unanimous, unchallenged leader of a group but I do see myself as a manager
of the project. For my BPA project another group member was the lead and
he delegated what he thought was best but I was the one to make sure
everything was going according to plan.
As far as flexibility I believe both my schedule and my views on topics have
room for change and can be manipulated to work with the given project. Ive
always held a laid back and calm demeanor so when it comes to creating a
group consensus on a topic, Im one to oblige quite easily. This also plays in
with cooperation. Being able to negotiate and cooperate to a shared group
view is very easy to me and doesnt affect me personally whatsoever if my
views arent shared by others.

References
Abudi, G. (2011, August 05). 5 Elements of Successful Project Teams | The Fast Track. Retrieved
October 27, 2016, from http://www.quickbase.com/blog/5-elements-of-successfulproject-teams
Successful group projects. (2016). Retrieved October 27, 2016, from
http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/study/group-projects