Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
...?
Joined
·
1,481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently taking an intro to business class, and we have to work in groups to invent a start up small business, and write a business plan for it. Great, doesn't sound that bad, I can make up stuff and sound convincing. But then theres the other 4 people in my group. This is where the "not so bad" part ends.

So last week in class, I'm the only one there from my group, and we had to come up with our opening day marketing promotion. Again, not a problem, I can make stuff up. Finally someone else from my group shows up 45 mins. late, and is happy with the ideas I came up with, and helps finalize it. She and I talk about meeting over the weekend, set a time, and I agree to send an email out to everyone else about it. E-mail goes out Thursday night for a Sunday morning meeting.

By Saturday afternoon, the only response I get is from the girl who came to class, so I send a text to everyone, to make sure they got the email, and telling the time and place. I get texts from the other people Sunday morning, while I'm on my way, 1 cant make it, another has the flu but will e-mail me his work so far, and the third is also on the way.

I end up getting to the library on time, to discover that its not open sunday morning (D'oh!) and tell everyone to re-locate at Panera across the street. I sat by myself for 45 minutes before 1 person shows up hung over with no completed research to contribute, and the other comes 20 minutes after. Since I had my laptop, I ended doing all the typing, and then forwarding what we did to the other members with notes on what we needed further information on, and what we should focus on next time we meet. Flu guy never sent me anything.

Tonight I get an text from one of the group members who missed class and the meeting, asking me if I thought everyone would want to meet before class Thursday, and what she should research. I tell her that works for me, but I can't speak for anyone else. I also tell her to do whatever she signed up for when we split up the task list in class. She tells me "finance but wat exactly will i b searchin 4" and "I cant find my folder so im a little lost'. I tell her to look up estimated utility bills, ect, so we can figure out our break even analysis. The last text just made me want to bash my head against the wall....
"k. can u run that idea by the others n c wat they say then jus give me a time as 2 when u would like 2 meet up"

This is awesome. Somehow, I have become the project leader. Aparently I'm the only one capable of sending out an email, or checking my email for that matter. I guess I should be happy that someone else in the group is actually trying to take some initiative, but come on! Just because I organized the first attempt at a group meeting doesn't make me the one with all the answers. They all have the same handouts explaining what we need to do as I have. And everyone has the copy of our plan so far that I typed and sent to everyone.

I'm gonna be pizzed off If we don't get a good grade for all this shiznit.
 

·
Hermia commutes
Joined
·
1,496 Posts
Does your instructor have an opt-out policy for the grading? I assign group projects in business writing, but I (a) make sure that there is tons of in-class time to do the work to minimize out of class meet-ups, and (b) require a confidential group analysis email that allows me to adjust the grades if it is obvious that someone has slacked or someone has carried the group.

Or are you just screwed?
 

·
...?
Joined
·
1,481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
chatterbox said:
Does your instructor have an opt-out policy for the grading? I assign group projects in business writing, but I (a) make sure that there is tons of in-class time to do the work to minimize out of class meet-ups, and (b) require a confidential group analysis email that allows me to adjust the grades if it is obvious that someone has slacked or someone has carried the group.

Or are you just screwed?

I seriously hope I'm not screwed. Right now I'm temped to keep carrying everyone along with me, and do the work so I know its all done, and my grade is safe. We have present our plan last class, and our teacher said she can usually figure who did the work from the presentation and Q&A session. I'm fully prepared to throw those f'ers under the bus if needed.
 

·
eminence grease
Joined
·
18,538 Posts
I feel for you, I and every one of my kids has had precisely the same sad tale of woe when faced with any group project.

And the bad news is - it just goes on forever until we can get to the place where we don't have to do anything with anyone.

Human nature sux. It sux double in groups because there are always a couple of people who care and a bunch who either just want to get dragged along or simply have no interest whatsoever.

No august advice for you, but you do have my deepest empathy.
 

·
Lemur-ing
Joined
·
18,987 Posts
terry b said:
I feel for you, I and every one of my kids has had precisely the same sad tale of woe when faced with any group project.

And the bad news is - it just goes on forever until we can get to the place where we don't have to do anything with anyone.

Human nature sux. It sux double in groups because there are always a couple of people who care and a bunch who either just want to get dragged along or simply have no interest whatsoever.

No august advice for you, but you do have my deepest empathy.
What he said.

I remember posting about being in a technical communication group where my group leader was a huge asshat AND could not speak nor understand written English properly.

To make matters worse, he typed up a report (for his part) in horrendous punctuations that are only used in IMs (no space after a period, wrong usage of crap etc etc) and thus, leaving me with a hard time trying to understand what the hell the report was about and having to re-edit it all over again. Of course, since he was an ass too (not that big as it turned out towards the end, thankfully), I used Track Changes in Microsoft Word to edit his part of the report and sent it back to him while a little more than subtly indicating that at the very least, decent work should be done.

That said, good luck Randi. I'm hoping things turn out better in time maybe. Things usually are a little rougher initially but of course, that could only be the start as well.
 

·
Non Non Cyclist
Joined
·
5,777 Posts
I think the real lesson behind group projects is to teach you how to deal with the asshats you will later be working with/for.

I feel your pain, randi. I'm currently dealing with a similar group project clusterf*ck.
 

·
...?
Joined
·
1,481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
uzziefly said:
That said, good luck Randi. I'm hoping things turn out better in time maybe. Things usually are a little rougher initially but of course, that could only be the start as well.
Thanks. It's due in 2 weeks so I'm hoping people will wake up and contribute soon. I'm sure the last minute panic will set in soon enough.
 

·
Palm trees & sunshine!
Joined
·
24,200 Posts
lets_ride said:
I think the real lesson behind group projects is to teach you how to deal with the asshats you will later be working with/for.
+1. It's NO different in the real world. It's the 20/80 rule: 20% of the people are doing 80% of the work.
 

·
Lemur-ing
Joined
·
18,987 Posts
lets_ride said:
I think the real lesson behind group projects is to teach you how to deal with the asshats you will later be working with/for.

I feel your pain, randi. I'm currently dealing with a similar group project clusterf*ck.
That doesn't sound like a cluster I want to be a part of.
 

·
Lemur-ing
Joined
·
18,987 Posts
randi_526 said:
Thanks. It's due in 2 weeks so I'm hoping people will wake up and contribute soon. I'm sure the last minute panic will set in soon enough.
You should also be prepared that they think someone else would step up when it's crunch time. So, that would prepare you and save you from further angst. Just sayin since you never know in such cases.

I was really lucky that my group leader did become less of an ass. It made things a little easier.

//my semester ends tomorrow evening! Spanish exam.
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
720 Posts
My fiancé just had this problem last semister in one of her teaching methods courses. The 2 other people never took any personal responsibility for their work. She ended up doing all the work + the presentation. Luckily she had given the instructor a heads up. All other parties got zeros.

Have a chat with your teacher and see where it goes. Usually people who half ass things get what's coming to them in the end.
 

·
Formosan Cyclocross
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
You learned the first rule of business management: Delegate Tasks and Responsibility.

Make each person responsible for one aspect of the project/report.
 

·
Steaming piles of opinion
Joined
·
10,503 Posts
I feel ya. My capstone class followed exactly the same pattern. So do most business meetings and projects.

Regardless of the grades of others, protect yours. Teachers normally can see the dynamics, but if you feel you need to add coverage, mention it after class or during office hours. "My team isn't holding up their end, what should I do" early on shows responsibility and concern and is a reason, and Teach might choose to pull a lever or two on your behalf. And if it does come together at the end, you rightfully get the credit.

"But they didn't do anything!!!" after the presentation augers in is only an excuse, and counts against you.

More important, you've learned a very valuable lesson: Decisions are made by those who show up. If you want to lead (and so eventually be the "rich boss" that everyone loves to hate) it's pretty easy. Show up with even a BS plan, and most people will be happy to be led around by the nose ring. Out in the real world, that will often enough include the boss.

-Delegate everything, follow up regularly, and have a backup plan.

-Don't feel like you have to herd the cats. Figure out what needs to happen, give each one specific tasks, specific deliverables and deadlines. But let them know that their grade and everyone else's is dependant on them getting it done right and on schedule (that is, we can't do everything at the last minute.) People won't look out for you, and they often won't look out for themselves, but even the most antisocial don't want to be voted off the island.

-Don't wait for the deadline. Bug the snot out of them for how it is going, what they are finding, if they think any changes will be necessary to your central thesis based on what they've seen so far. Hopefully, it will engage them in the project, but if not it will let you know what's falling slack.

-Don't be afraid to tell the others that Joe's work needs to be redistributed and ask for volunteers. And if that has to happen with Mary and Tom too, so be it. Once folks start to see that it's getting worse rather than better and that the slack isn't being taken up, panic will have it's intended effect sooner.

-But as best you can, have a backup plan, even if it's only a skim of data and a solid line of BS to lay over it. And keep it in your back pocket. They don't need to know about it.
 

·
still shedding season
Joined
·
8,849 Posts
The only real thing I learn from group projects is that I need to watch my back. :eek: Either the lesson is really about stuff like this or by the instructor not assigning certain people to certain roles, they've set you up.
 

·
Lemur-ing
Joined
·
18,987 Posts
On the other hand, I find language class projects to be really fun and everyone is as keen on doing their respective jobs and contribute effectively to discussions.

Maybe it's just the nature of things - people want to learn languages but in business, they just want to reap the benefits but sow nothing.
 

·
Captain Obvious
Joined
·
11,876 Posts
since you became the group's leader, start bossing people around. if they don't produce, get it done yourself and throw them under the bus (or the el).

i'm guessing you are stuck working with a bunch of people who barely made it out of the CPS system and never really learned to do anything. that blows. do whatever you need to do to get the project completed properly. if you have a final presentation, fire your co-workers for their lack of ability to complete assigned tasks.
 

·
Captain Obvious
Joined
·
11,876 Posts
i just want to add that i find this thread funny as hell.
 

·
Adorable Furry Hombre
Joined
·
30,961 Posts
KenB said:
+1. It's NO different in the real world. It's the 20/80 rule: 20% of the people are doing 80% of the work.
Yep. The only time group work is actually done by a group and not 1 0r 2 peope-is when all parties have a personal and/or professional interest in the topic and in the product of the work....otherwise "group projects" are usually like this.
 

·
Low rep power
Joined
·
6,264 Posts
IMO, most group projects suck. People either carry or ride, and unfortunately, most folks fall into the latter category. When I was in grad school, some ed majors were doing a project on "group learning process", and made a slick video presentation on how wonderful and effective it was. I was notable for being the only dissenter on the tape. Of course, nobody else on the tape had to work with the people that I did- you have to love it when folks show up for a review session having never open the books...
 

·
tofurkey hunting
Joined
·
4,733 Posts
just remember to use the new cover sheet for the tps report.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top