Nick surprises us with a huge list of words.
We get to work
To prepare for the brainstorming session, each of my friends brings a list of words to sort through.
Two of them have brought some fairly small lists, but my third friend, Nick, surprises us with a huge list.
We only need three hundred, but he has nearly half that number!
Now our work's cut out for us. Not only do we have to recommend 300 words, we have to group them by desirability:
- One hundred are what we consider must haves:
- One hundred are should haves;
- The last 100 are would like to haves.
Dividing the words into groups is harder than we thought it would be. The must haves are easy—they include absolutely necessary words like and, I, the, a, and is.
But dividing up what words we think the messaging system should have and words we want to have is a lot harder. This was the liveliest part of the session!
We finish the project and finish the pizza, so everyone goes home.
It's not over
There's only one friend left to help!
A week or so later, the editor calls me once more. She asks me to get the group together again to test how well the note-posting feature works.
I do my best to get all of the original crew together, but one person has gone on a long trip to Sweden.
It's also nearing the end of school, so everyone's preparing for exams. The other two kids say they have to fit it somewhere in their busy schedule.
One of them never gets around to really testing the system. That means that I only have one friend who can help.
It's even harder than we thought it would be! I am infinitely grateful to my friend for helping me get the testing done. We finally send our results to the editor.
Teamwork means more than ordering people around!
I've found out that being a team leader takes more work than just ordering people around. It's necessary to cooperate with the other people you're working with. In this case, that means working around their schedules.
Sometimes it's the leader's job to just sit in the background and lightly prod his compatriots to get the work done.
Sometimes there is nothing a team leader can do but just let things work themselves out.
It's also important for a team leader to help the group turn out the best work that they can, for example, using the brainstorming method.
All in all, being a team leader can be a very enjoyable experience. Especially when you see the final result.
Completing what we started took almost four months, but I think it was worth it!