Another big task for this week is reflecting on all the learnings for so far. Because everyone experienced these weeks differently I asked the following questions to everyone in the InterHague team:
- What did you learn the most from all of the past weeks reflections?
- Which team blog has had the most impact or has been the most useful to you?
I learned a lot about communication, in the beginning I thought I wouldn’t be that good in team work, but after all the (preparations of the) reflections I saw that we all worked together so well! In the beginning we all had some trouble but we came back on track and improved the result of our work so much! I’m proud of our team and proud of the process of changing confusiasm into enthusiasm! The team blog that had the most impact on me was the one of IDE Collaborators. We also had a hangout with them because they could really help us with advices based on organizing a NGO better. They used google a lot and gave us some insights in those tools. As a tech steward that is very interesting. It will bring people together at the right places and right times. Everything will go a lot smoother so time can be used better and nothing goes to waste.
It’s been one month into our project, but it feels like it’s been ages! (In a good way though) This project has been a rollercoaster in terms of defining challenges for our NGO and at the same time dealing with the challenges within our group. I am Client Service of my team, and throughout these weeks my main focus was to establish good communication between the NGO and our team. For myself I discovered several aspects of teamwork which previously I wouldn’t even take into consideration. One important revelation that I will definitely bring into my future work – it is important to establish strong relationship with your client not only on behalf of your group, but make sure that your group feels the connection with the client. In terms of our blog – I’ve mostly learned not from our reflections, but from the process of preparing our reflections. It was usually group work – we’ve always discussed key points together, and I think that allowed all of us stay on a similar track and define the important tasks within a group. In short, I think that reflection posts served more as checkpoints for our team and kept our work more or less correlated with the project manual. I think that week we posted infographic on Stahili Foundation needs was the one when we came up with strategy and direction of our team work.
Other blogs – for me, the most relevant and inspirational one was IDE Collaborators blog. I’ve been following their blog from the start. In our first two weeks into our projects I read all blog posts of all teams, and they were the ones I found to be the most serious and enthusiastic about the project. Also, what caught my eye was the language they used (pretty formal and elaborate, but with a pitch of humor), and their visual representation – they use a lot of informative pictures or gifs in their posts, so before you start reading the post, you already have an idea what it’s about. Other thing that I really like about their blog – they are not afraid to write long posts, explaining their progress and why they do things the way they do. For me, I see that I can start reading their blog from any week and get the idea of what their project is about and where they are at a given point (in terms of group work AND their progress with their NGO).
Each reflection post is a great idea to summarise our approaches and struggles we had during all past weeks. I liked and really appreciate the thing that my team really helped me a lot to prepare my own reflection post. It was really easier to reflect everything using our infographics (thanks to Manda) that showed clearly what was going on whole week. And analysing our reflections I am really happy that each week we had less struggles inside our team and group and more certain steps. Personally for me it was nice to compare also Watotomages blog to see their approaches so far. And as a good example of good blog I would mention “The ducks” and “IDE Collaborators”
Since I had a lot of problems with my health I couldn’t participate in our project as i wanted and reading the reflections in the blogs was the biggest help for me from my teammates and other teams because i could follow everything based on our NGO and NGO’s that other teams are cooperating with. So basically after a long weeks of being ill, I stood back on my legs and with a help of my team and tutor I got from confusiastic to ethusiastic. I really appreciate the fact that my team didn’t turn off and were full of ideas how should i get back and join the Project. So right now I’m doing my best to solve this big puzzle and will do everything to make the final video look great! And about the blog, since the first day, I really liked the “ IDE Collaborators” writing style, with a clearly and correctly written blogs, they still got a daring to add some humor into it. And i loved it.
When thinking about what I learned so far, the first thing coming to my mind is – blogging. I already knew there were “these blogs” on the internet and I even know some (really successful) bloggers personally as well, but nevertheless it was a revelation to me, what it is really all about. As part of Project Community I understand the entire function of a blog and how it works. I dealt with all the details like the writing style, the content, the structure and visualization. And I have to admit that it’s really amazing to me – I even think about writing a personal blog (and all my friends and former work mates want me to do this ;)). The second thing is not really a learning but a pleasant experience. As described in our blog we worked very well on giving feedback and reflect on our work and on ourselves. I was used to work together with people to whom giving feedback and reflection was normal, in my Scout Organization as well as at IKEA it was a daily faire. Hence I was surprised in a positive way that it worked so well with a group of five people from five different countries, knowing each other hardly two weeks at the beginning. I think this matter contributes a lot to our team work and especially to our very fast developing team spirit. Having a look at other teams and their blogs, there are two teams which are outstanding to me: IDE Collaborators and Split United. Both teams convinced me through their enthusiasm and their energy, it seems that you can really feel it through their blogs. I enjoy reading them because the posts are well structured but more important they are visually attractive. I like that they work with useful graphics (for example the post about “Twitch” from Split United) and that the main points are really outstanding, so you get the most important facts very easy and fast (for example “We want to rally […]” from IDE Collaborators). In my opinion the latter is the most important considering the flood of information from all the blogs 😉