Guest Blogger: Jean-Baptiste Bacot
Our international team finally completed the X-project, somewhat at the last minute. There were several procrastinators in the team, which made the end of the project a bit stressful. Four days before the due date, less than half had been written and it already appeared that some final work would have to be done to get over contradicting parts.
Among the many challenges was to keep the team focused on the chosen project. About ten days before the end, one man wanted to choose another subject. (Although not much had been written then, I guess most people had already spent a lot of time thinking about what they were going to do.) That man claimed he had found out very important things that made the project infeasible, and that he had very important ideas for another project. We convinced him that our project was good and that it was definitely not a good idea to change it at this time. As one woman told him, we did not have time to think about his very important ideas.
Another difficulty was to have the team really collaborate instead of having each people doing his/her part without caring whether or not it would make a good match with other parts. Two days before the end, one woman asked me to summarize what the others had done, as she claimed she did not have time to read other parts. I still wonder how one can do team work like that. (But she did a good job.)
At the end, I thought one very short part done by one woman really to be rewritten, as it was really contradicting several other parts. I asked what the team members thought about it, probably a bit too late. As I had no answer, not even from her, I did change it. Maybe, she now really thinks I would have disrespected her (see other blog), but this is not what I intended and I really thought I had to do it. Maybe I should have first asked only to her, but as she was never communicating on anything since quite some time, I was thinking, maybe wrongly, she was not really concerned anymore by the project.