Saturday, October 11, 2014

5 Things Working on a Collaborative Project Taught Me

Almost a month back on a sluggish Saturday, I got an email from a Sulaiman Sait introducing himself as the Captian of Team #DynamicWordWeavers. The ten member team had already started working on a collaborative novel writing contest as part of BlogAdda's  
#CelebrateBlogging initiative and I was requested to join in. 

I could not say No to this opportunity where my two loves, writing and interacting with diverse people, were being offered to me on a platter. Although, I did have my initial doubts since I wasn't involved in the initial stages of setting up of team, deciding on the group's name, plotting and characterization of the story, the team logo and our FB page. I had missed out on much, but what I didn't know that the gains would be massive!


Designed by Ruchita

And so it began; after several messages on WhatsApp, editing and re-editing on the Google docs, tweaking our FB page now and then, creating illustrations for our chapters, pinging a fellow blogger in the middle of the night because you 'got an idea', the month flowed and yesterday we penned down the final chapter of our collaborative story 'Memory Intrigues'.

Working with this team has been a grateful and humble experience and whether we win or not, the lessons learnt on this journey will not be forgotten.

1. Play to your strengths - We were a diverse group, each talented and each having a different personality and we allowed each other the breathing space to come up with their creative best and make a contribution that they were truly satisfied with. While Swati strung all the chapters together with her effective editing, Kiran and I were notorious for asking questions and finding loopholes in the plot. While Sulaiman was the conductor of this orchestra band - unifying the team, setting the tempo, pepping us up from time to time, Ruchita and Ganga were the creative heads who put together the team logo and beautiful illustrations respectively. While Purba and Rajesh guided us through from their experiences as published authors, Madhavi with her cool head and cheerful persona stepped up whenever the group felt a little low.

2. Discipline is the key -  We were on a tight schedule here. Each day a chapter had to be posted and with each new week challenging us with a new twist, things would not have been smooth if we were not disciplined, both as individuals and as a team. Whether this meant sneaking in the office and writing, owl-ing away in the night or stepping up for a team member who had to leave due to unfortunate medical issues, we did it!

3. Appreciation boosts you up - Words of appreciation from fellow team mates can lift up your spirits and push you to do that extra bit to make your writing from good to great. It wasn't until a few chapters later that readers started showing their love, but what kept us going till then was team motivation.

4. Communicate - October brings not only the season of festivals but also a change in the weather that can result in runny noses and sore throat. While few of our team members were busy with the celebrations of Durga Puja and Eid Ul Adha, others were nursing some health issues and family emergencies. Had it not been for open communication within the team as to the difficulties being faced and helped cohesively to reach a solution, we would have fallen like a house of cards.

5. Value each other's opinion - "This doesn't seem to work", "I don't understand this", "I like his point of view better" We all had a different opinion at some point in time but a) we didn't shy away from raising our concerns because we knew the we all had a common goal and b) we took the feedback in positive light and made it our strength. 

Challenging as well as Rewarding, this collaborative project will always be treasured.





*****

You can read the entire story 'Memory Intrigues' here and also check the Facebook page for updates. 

Linking this to Write Tribe.



34 comments:

  1. Very well put Aditi. I am sure you have spoken for all the members of our group. It has indeed been a learning as well as enriching experience. To tell the truth, I too was rather worried at the outset, not knowing any of the others in the group and not knowing how the interactions would be. It was so good t to be able to work with people who were rich in team spirit and put the interests of the group over individual glory and ego. Thank you everyone @DynamicWordweavers. :-D

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    1. I agree such an enthusiastic group with great team spirit!
      And Swati Ji you have been instrumental in coming together of this story. Thank you for being with us every step of the way! :)

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  2. It's always harder to work effectively in a group of diverse people. Takes a good leader to bring it together. Sounds like you enjoyed it heaps and found it very rewarding.

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    1. Yes Suzy it was a lot of fun and truly an rewarding experience. I am already missing our indefinite chats on FB and WhatsApp ;)

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  3. Agree with you. This BA activity had been a great experience and learnings have been wonderful too!
    Having a group of people united by one purpose, collaboration is a must and all must put aside their interests and agendas, and work as a team. Great going Dynamic Word Weavers :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Shilpa! Must thank BlogAdda for coming up with this innovative idea to collaborate with fellow bloggers. What a way to #CelebrateBlogging no? :)

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  4. Agree with you totally. This activity was such a learning.

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  5. Nicely expressed, Aditi. When I received the first mail from Blogadda, I had half a mind to quit. I'm glad I didn't give in to that impulse. As I got to know the team, I understood that diversity is the strength of the team not its weakness. It was a pleasurable learning experience.
    Now, after round three it feels like an era has ended. I hope, it is the beginning of more exciting times to come.

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    1. Well said Kiran, 'diversity is the strength' So glad I met you through this project! :)

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  6. Initially, I was not happy with the deadlines, as I like to take my own time to finish creative projects. But, as the story progressed, I was satisfied and confident. Yes, it was the full involvement from all the team members that encouraged me.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Rajesh Ji, it was a pleasure working with you! :) You didn't let it show once that deadlines bothered you!

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  7. I think these points will help everyone who works in a team...I'm more of a lobe crusader and it's true for everything I do..Slowly I need to learn how to adjust to being part of a team

    Random Thoughts Naba - The End Of Year Resolutions!

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    1. I thought I was a lone crusader too until #CelebrateBlogging happened. Do go for it Naba when an opportunity comes your way!

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  8. Getting to know different people is great . But better still is the opportunity to work with them. It is in times like these that you discover your strengths, your weaknesses and find solutions to your problems.

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    1. So true Geeta, in times like these we tend to surprise even ourselves!

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  9. Oh I know how hard it is to be a team. Congratulations for having weathered all the storms together.

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  10. Not sure if my comment was captured..

    Its a make or break situation being in a team and its fun being part of it..

    PhenoMenon
    http://phenomenal-cuisines.throodalookingglass.com/2014/10/sardine-curry-infused-with-curry-leaves/

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  11. Such a pleasure to know that this collaboration worked out so well for everyone concerned, Aditi :)

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  12. Team work is the best thing that can ever happen. Loved your list.
    http://blogatcynthia.blogspot.in/2014/10/9-tips-for-better-travel.html

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  13. collaboration means a lot of hard work, but it also brings in a lot of learning, nice to read your post !

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  14. Collaboration, working with a team can always be challenging. I can imagine how it must be when it is about something as creative as writing or weaving a story! But you are right, we can learn and grow so much from such an experience. Some great lessons on team-work there, Aditi. Thanks for writing this post!

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    1. Thank you Beloo for the read and appreciation!

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  15. Very nicely written Aditi. In fact, I actually did not register for this activity assuming I will not have enough time to blog and I will have demanding partners till one evening I received a call from blogadda with some inspiring words. In spur of a moment, I registered and I am glad to have done that.

    Yes, this experience surely did teach lot of lessons to all of us. In spite of hectic schedules, we complemented each other. It feels like the beginning and not the end!!! All the best Team DWW :-)

    Good luck to you, your energy levels are worth appreciating!!

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    1. I know!! Feel like these good times are here to stay! It was great connecting with all of you at DWW! :)

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  16. I have to say the way guys co-ordinated is brilliant. I can understand how difficult it must be, but everyone pulled it off excellently . Loved the points you listed out. :)

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