What did I learn from project management group work
Student’s Full Name
Professor’s Full Name
Reflection: Project Management
Before starting with my reflection, I shall provide a brief information about Colorectal Cancer, commonly known as “Bowel Cancer”. According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is defined as “cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine, which is the lower part of the body’s digestive system.” (NIH) Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in men and women in the United States. However, its mortality has decreased with the use of colonoscopies and blood samples.
The fun run I participated in was a Fun Run to beat colon cancer. Its primary goal was to raise awareness in the community toward the subject, so people know what is colorectal cancer, how to avoid it, and prevent it. The fun run also intended the community to start investing in programs that will convey the importance of screening, and in time checks. Colorectal cancer is not a death sentence, as its survival rate is of 90% when caught in its early stages. Sadly, many people do not scan in time. Thus, only 40% of the cases get screened in time (Colon Cancer Coalition). The message our fun run intended to show the community was that the only way to survive was through scanning, and education on the subject. The event also focused on the existent patients, to provide them, and their families the support they needed through the illness. In the same way, the families, and the patients told their stories, as to educate the community on the importance of early screening. In the same way, people should know when there is something wrong with their body, Cancer is a beatable illness, and the only thing we need to do it is education and an early checkup. In a strict sense, there is no need to be a volunteer to spread the message, and raise awareness but it is good to do something that matters.
To be an event organizer is a time-consuming experience. However, it can be fun when done right. This reflection will highlight my experience during these three months of experience completing a Fun Run on Bowel Cancer. I shall draw on my experiences; feelings, literature and observations to do a thorough reflection on me, and my partners’ behavior during the experience. To do a detailed work, I shall discuss my personality concerning teamwork situations; then compare it with the competing values framework. Afterward, I shall reflect, and observe how I and my team managed to establish a team culture to control the decisions with ease. Also, I shall reflect on the observed problems to identify them, and avoid them in the future.
My Competing Values Framework. To run, or be part of a workgroup, and avoid problems, it is important to be self-aware. That is why, drawing on existent literature, I completed the “Competing Values Competency Questionnaire”. According to the questionnaire, I am a person who collaborates, and creates. In that way, I found the survey, accurate and keen. In the project, I discovered myself being the peacemaker most of the times. I understood that I was able to communicate honestly and efficiently; negotiated agreement and commitment. In the same way, I was able to champion new ideas and managed to turn harmful conflicts into positive experiences that drew on constructive ideas to create new possibilities for me and the group. I learned that when leading a group, there is a negative vision that must be avoided. The leader is not someone who is always yelling, and pushing his vision to others. Instead, a leader is the person that can make the most of less while being able to help the others in completing their goals. That negative vision is what makes people want to be leaders. However, as we know, not everybody can lead, and every person has their set of values that make them valuable to any given team. However, I felt quite confused when did the questionnaire since I did not perceive myself as that kind of person. The word “control” sounds quite acrid in my mouth, and I did not want to exert control over others. Instead, I felt that peacemaker looks better to the leader. Nevertheless, it seems that the peacemaking position requires at least a degree of control. After reviewing the literature on the test, I saw that the test does not focus on control as a bad thing. The test aims to show how strengths and weaknesses can be used constructively when managing a team (Quinn et al. 100). In that case, if control means that I was able to step up and do the things when necessary, yes, I exerted control sometimes.
That is why, I consider so important to show my personality, and how it affected my attitude toward my colleagues, and to the fun run. For instance, a member of my group was more oriented toward the social outcomes of the fun run. On the other hand, I focused on the issue. I’m not a mood-killer, but I want to get the job done in the less amount of time possible, with the best consequences possible. Another member of the group got mad when the first member focused on making jokes, and the social part of the fun run. When that happened, I had to step up, and defuse the situation before it escalated into a conflict that could have hindered the final outcomes. However, I realized that I stressed out when I had an enormous workload, and I tended to rely on my team members when I needed to vent off a problem. Another positive part of me, and the role I did the job was that I did not hesitate to be honest if I needed to.
Project Objectives. A project without clear goals would not work. As simple as that. That is why every project manager has to set a series of objectives to carry on a successful project in any organization. In the same way, besides having a general objective, it is important to set a series of specific objectives to be capable of truly addressing the situations that might occur (Miller)
Raise awareness on Colorectal Cancer
Show the public that cancer is not a death sentence
Address the importance of medical check-ups and early detection
Promote the cancer patients families involvement in the Fun Run
Do a panel with the families where they can talk about their experiences with cancer, and how they have coped with the illness
Interview patients to create a fuller picture of colorectal cancer.
Positive Team Culture. To maintain a positive team culture, the team has to manage and change the periods of stress that can affect the process negatively. If we understand an organization as a combination of personalities and dynamics (Randolph 70). Its culture has to be something in between them. In our team, we had to create a set of norms that suited us all. That way, we could be held accountable for all our actions, instead of allege ignorance concerning our roles and responsibilities. For instance, I had clear the schedules on which we were going to work on the project, but one of our teammates did not. That way, we had to speak with him and remember him the rules over we all agreed upon working, that way, we reduced stress, and managed workload evenly. If a team abides by the set of norms they decided, an active work environment will result. However, I had to fight my rebellious nature concerning these norms, as I found hard to abide by them. That is why we all as a team had to enforce our rules in a polite way.
These were some of our team culture norms
Mistakes were OK. If you messed up something, just tell the rest of the team and we tried to solve it together
Do not expect the rest of the team to be as dedicated as you are. Everybody have different levels of dedication by nature, do not get frustrated by it, and carry on.
Do not tell people what to do. Instead, we tried to offer advice, but since we divided the project according to our strengths, everybody had their role well established and did not allow negative intrusion.
Planning of Objectives.
Discussion on the Positive and Negative outcomes of the Fun Run.
What happened when the group had negative discussions?
When that happened, I tended to defuse the situations before something happened. To be a peacemaker does not mean that I was a clown, or used humor to defuse the situations, I remarked the importance of getting a good grade, and of doing the best work possible. If we needed to have an argument, it could happen outside the work environment, as I did not want to damage the work atmosphere we had.
What were we trying to achieve?
The main goal of our Fun Run was as I said, to raise awareness on the subject, and generate a positive consciousness regarding cancer, and to dispel the myths about the illness as a death sentence.
Impact & Consequences
Honestly, I do not consider the impact to last long. I have seen and assessed that despite many people showed interest on the subject unless the illness has something to with them personally. They tend to regard the disease as an alien subject, instead of something that can happen any day.
All the time months I spent planning the fun run were great. Honestly, I thought it was going to be a rather dull situation. Instead, it turned out to be a nice situation that taught me a myriad of things about the project, and event management. In the same way, it taught me much about myself. Firstly, I did not consider myself a leader, or a controller, but as I was able to assess. Leadership is not something we desire but something that happens, and when it does, there is nothing much to do. If I did not step up when I was needed, who would have done it? Perhaps one of the teammates. However, I considered it was my duty. To do what I did. I shall specify, and number the things I learned from this reflection, as to show a consistent process.
There is o need to delay important decisions, if a decision must be made, it should be on the spot, there is no need to delay something that might hinder the outcome of the event.
No, ego. This remark might sound dumb, and self-evident, but it is important to note. In event management, there are not past experiences. The past experiences can help you in determining the outcomes of certain situations, but they would not describe completely the new event I was planning along with the other members.
I perceived myself rather differently that the others perceived me. For instance, in the situations where I had to be in charge, I realized that the other members obliged without hesitation. Perhaps we all need a person to tell us what to do, but it was weird for me because I did not perceive myself as a prospective leader. In the same way, I discovered that you do not have to be a clown to be seen as a peacemaker. Instead of a joke, a few well-placed observations can defuse a dispute,
Colon Cancer Coalition. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.coloncancercoalition.org/Miller, B. (n.d.). The Purpose of Project Management and Setting Objectives. Retrieved from http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/purpose-of-project-management-and-setting-objectives.phpNational Health Institute (n.d.).
Retreived from http://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal
Quinn, R.E., Faerman, S. R., Thompson, M.P., McGrath, M.R. and St. Clair, L.S. (2010). Becoming a Master Manager: A Competing Values Approach. 5th ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Randolph, W. (1988). What Every Manager Needs to Know about Project Management. Sloan Management Review. Vol. 29, No. 4 pp. 65-73.