Learning patterns/Planning the overall direction of a project

A learning pattern forteamwork
Planning the overall direction of a project
problemWhen working in a team project, sometimes team members do not have the same overall idea for how the project should proceed, which might lead to a loss of overall direction
solutionSporadic team meetings aimed at making sure everyone is on board with the general idea and trend for where the project currently is and will be headed
created on3 May, 2015

What problem does this solve? edit

Whenever there is a number of people involved in a team project, they might have different ideas about what the project is supposed to solve, and what the primary and secondary priorities for the project should be. While in the beginning, these ideas are usually sorted out, there might be points of divegence where the idea of the overall project for the various team members might be significantly different. This would then affect the project because both the team members might be trying to the take the overall project in different directions, leading to an overall loss of time and resources.

What is the solution? edit

There could be specialised "all-star" meetings consisting of all the team members for the project, as well as advisors, if any. These meetings (preferably monthly) should be aimed at both looking back at the overall work done, and to help decide what direction the project is headed in the future. The team could also pitch in with their ideas and vision for the overall project, so there's a general sense of consistency of where things are headed.

The benefits from such an approach are -

  • While looking back at the work done so far, it helps team members understand the use of and reasons behind implementing things a certain way.
  • In terms of overall idea and planning, all the team members pitch forward their plans, and they come on generally the same page about what the most important ideas behind (and concerns for) the final project are.
  • There is a general sense of direction for the short term, where the entire team knows what are the tasks at hand.
  • For the longer term, there is a sense of overall understanding on what the project is supposed to look like
  • Cases where an idea was originally considered but later discarded would be also minimized, because the team discussed and re-iterated those ideas before implementing them.
  • Ad hoc changes to the overall structure would be minimal. The project is also overall much more adaptible to unanticipated changes, such as inability to implement ideas in time.

Things to consider edit

  • These meetings must be held at decently regular intervals and have all members of the team present to provide their Point of Views
  • Such meetings should ensure to take everyone's points of views, but also make sure that someone summarises the key ideas agreed upon, so everyone knows what the overall idea is.
  • There should also be a specific focus to ensure everyone knows their short term as well as long term responsiblities.
  • Special care might be taken for some of the members of the team to plan ahead or look at possible worst case scenarios to see overall feasbilities or provide alternate perspective to the plan of action being taken.

When to use edit

See also edit

Related patterns edit

External links edit

References edit