Saw this pie chart on Twitter (yes I know it was more of a joke) on what group projects are supposed to teach us:


But this is how we really feel:


As a person who has been spending the last two years working on a huge “group project” I felt in a way that this was true in my life. But why? Is it because the right people haven’t been included or more that it’s hard for us to pass tasks off to others. My answer, both. I started over communicating to the point others probably created a junk rule on my emails. I only collaborated with putting documents and Visio drawings in Sharepoint. The in person meetings felt repetitive when tasks were stalled on any given reason and we couldn’t move forward anymore. Eventually we finished the core tasks so that we could move forward with production.

Now how do we fix the root of this problem?

Accountability, done effectively, is a skill you can develop just like any other skill, and while it is not a difficult skill to acquire and hone, it does require a high degree of conscious effort. When you do it right, you’ll also find it the fastest way to improve morale…

Is it morale? Obviously when I do something wrong (forget to change subnet on NAS/iSCSI, doh!) my morale is low but I don’t let it destroy my ability to function. Your morale needs to be a personal encouragement every day. Hold yourself accountable to the group. You were asked or assigned to it for a reason. If you feel like you cannot, ask why you were brought into the project.

Getting people engaged in their work so that they invest in and take personal ownership of the results you need to achieve is a fundamental management imperative.

While the above quote says management, I feel that is our personal obligation as well. If you are the leader of this group then it is also your responsibility to try and keep everyone involved. But ultimately this day and age we shouldn’t need someone to keep us involved. (Unless you are an evil Project Manager!)

If you feel I am off base or agree please let me know.