February 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm #2277
This week Dr. Simon required us to work in a team and solve a problem using our knowledge, research, and other skills. I had the pleasure of working with a great team and everyone has been on point in achieving the correct results.
Each member in my team did their own research and gave an individual solution to the problem. We then gave our input as to what needs to be changed and why one attempt failed versus another giving the correct result. Put together, this simulation would not be possible if we did not respond and share our research and findings in a timely manner.
My question to you guys is, if this was a real industry project and you were put on a team, how would the work you did with your current team be different if you interacted face to face. And how would you come up with a solution and how would you verify the findings. In addition, what issues would you face if this was your actual job and you were required to submit all the work in a timely manner?
Please share your industry experience as well, as I do not have any and would greatly appreciate a real life day to day approach to such simulations.
February 11, 2017 at 8:01 pm #2287
Definitely a good question, especially since either scenario could occur in real life: you could be working on a remote team, or working in an office every day. In either case, you would need to be able to do this kind of work.
February 12, 2017 at 1:11 pm #2298
For the specific scenario that was given by Dr. Simon I think that working face to face would’ve solved the problem with one or two conference meetings that lasted 60-90 minutes maximum. Through industry experience a problem similar to this one we usually do our own individual research and the project manager will advise us that we will meet in a conference room to find solutions. Each team member comes prepared with solutions and research to backup their solutions and we discuss different proposals in the conference room. It does take longer when we are dealing with outside contract labs that are involved in solving the problem or remote workers in other branches of the company. Mostly due to scheduling difficulties and as you may have noticed it takes longer for everyone to get on the same page with remote communications compared to face=face meetings. Another key aspect that can affect remote communications is when the other employees are in a different time zone, currently I am working on a project where we must coordinate with Brazil and India for a CAPA and issues in communication arise due to language barriers and time zone.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by krp76.
February 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm #2305
I believe having in-person meetings would definitely have made for a more efficient use of time. When you’re part of an online class where you may not necessarily be able to meet with your group members in person, it’s imperative to set up times for everyone to meet and discuss the project. Otherwise you get a situation where people respond whenever they’re able, which may be hours after you were looking for feedback, and then you’re having a conversation over a few hours which would have taken a few minutes in person. The instant response you get with an in-person discussion is essential to building cohesive projects.
February 12, 2017 at 5:43 pm #2306
One major difference between a virtual team over real industry team is that the team members can pitch in at their own comfortable timings. So usually its the two or three members at a time who will be discussing the new ideas instead of all of them present at the same time and trying to be audible to each other as it happens in the face to face meetings. In virtual teams, everything is well documented so there is no confusion related to who is doing what. And the members feel more responsible to finish the work before the deadline and they provide a good back up if the other team members are busy. As it happened with me, when i was not present on the group forum to reply to the Professor, one of my team member was replying on my behalf to meet the deadline. This way, it builds a strong bond between the team members and it reduces the negative competition. It always leads to less arguments when you don’t meet the members face to face as compared to real life meetings.
So i feel in a real industry, the members of the team must be able articulate their ideas in proper calm and composed manner and to the point. The role of every team member must be documented well so that there is no confusion later on. And they should try to support each other in the work, the way we were doing in the simulation 1.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Shachi.
February 12, 2017 at 9:26 pm #2320
Though there is usually more face to face communication in industry, a great deal gets done via email, phone calls or web chats. This is an essential part as projects can include individuals at other sites or suppliers. Not to mention international projects as some of our classmates have mentioned. Research is conducted similarly as in the simulation and results that Dr. Simon provided would be found by running small scale tests in a lab to test the proposed changes. In terms of conducting this research in a timely manner, there are deadlines put in place for aspects of the project that need to be met to ensure a timely response. Overall, I believe this simulation was extremely realistic and great practice for real world situations.
February 12, 2017 at 9:32 pm #2321
If I were to interact face-to-face I might take more initiative. For this simulation I mostly waited until a group member made a suggestion then either agreed or offered an alternative. Face-to-face interactions are, to me, much more motivating and less isolated/lonely ensuring greater productivity. Also, I imagine projects would be better controlled and commanded, less deviation or conflict of opinion and, if such problems were to occur, face-to-face interactions might promote a speedy resolution. Finding a solution would probably be done in the same way with each member conducting their own individual research, then relaying their findings in an open discussion. However, I have no industry experience so I could be wrong and telecommunication/telework is better. It is definitely the direction companies are going, but do they really make the company more agile? I think, no matter the interacting mode, it all boils down to a person’s working discipline and I tend to be more focused interacting with someone in the flesh rather than virtually.
February 12, 2017 at 9:48 pm #2323
In a face to face situation, project meetings would be more effective because of the instant feedback from the team members. In an actual scenario, based on the timeline we are working on, a timeline of short term and long term goals. Daily check in meetings would last maybe 10-15 minutes just to check in with the team discussing what progress they made the previous day and what they plan to do for the day. Daily or weekly reports from all the members involved would be documented and shared among everyone so that everyone will always be on the same page. In order to meet goals and deadlines, communication and documentation assures that everyone is informed and prepared. Even if there are team members that cannot meet in person, phone or video conference calls are simple and easy to do.
February 12, 2017 at 11:13 pm #2330
This is a really interesting topic to discuss as situations like this often happens in the work force. One of the biggest advantage of meeting in person is that one can convey his or her idea without any problems or having to fear who’s coming or not. On the other hand, in virtual meetings, time becomes really important as some team members are busy and need to look for a convenient time. In addition, during face to face meeting, I believe people are more responsible and really take the initiative to get the task completed. During virtual meeting, I feel most people are not really that enthusiastic about the task. Overall, we need to learn to communicate effectively and achieve the task regardless of meeting in person or virtually over the internet. Lastly, this simulation that Dr. Simon provided is a great example for getting ready for the real world.
January 16, 2018 at 10:53 am #5917
Often times with group projects information is delayed because everyone works on a different schedule. at my current job, our in person meetings are organized, however are not given a time limit to ensure all avenues of thinking/troubleshooting are exhausted. while this requires patience, it ensures everyone is able to get immediate feedback on their ideas from all teammates. when working remotely, we use phone conferencing while editing the same document to mimic the in-person environment previously described.
January 20, 2018 at 5:26 pm #5956
If the work we did as group had to be face to face rather than interacting over the internet I believe that each individual would be more productive and that each individual would be doing less work than they would if they were working over the internet. By working in person each individual can talk and relay their information better, which can set up clearer guidelines and jobs for each member. Being able to meet in person makes communication easier and more clear, and allows members to ask question and receive a more timely response. Also, there is a better chance that each team member will not be working on the same task, which will reduce the time it takes to complete a project and how much work each member needs to complete. We would come up with a solution by first addressing the issue that needs to be solved, then researching other methods used to address that same issue, followed by brainstorming what method we would like to use and what changes we will make to our solution, after that would be setting up a timeline to test our proposed solution, gather our data to come up with a solution, and then analyzing the results to see that we solved the problem effectively and to the best of our ability. If this was an actual job I do think we would run into some of the same problems that we would have if we interacted over the internet. An issue would still be time management and making sure tasks are divided evenly so that everyone will take about the same amount of time to complete their task. However, face to face interacting would make work a lot easier to maintain.
January 20, 2018 at 5:58 pm #5958
Dr.Simon has mentioned how for Master students those of which have not taken design classes before unless you have been from NJIT as an undergrad, you know BME 383 (Mantilla) gets you prepared to do your own experiments with the tools you have. With those tools, you must engineer a process with certain parameters to carry out your experiment. Also, you must create your own methods and materials to carry out this experiment which will help me when writing the M&M for the simulations. It is critical as well for these simulations because you need also learn the technical aspects of designing your own experiment such as the limitations of the tools and how to use Matlab to process data or researching articles that coincide with the problem given for us. The second most vital part is the interpersonal skills. These simulations will help with those interpersonal skills meaning through words we will learn to express ourselves professionally.
January 20, 2018 at 7:11 pm #5960
A real industry project is actually very similar to how simulations are done. The similarity is that each member of the group usually does their own research before meeting. When you meet in person you will discuss possible solutions as done in the simulations. Your team will discuss the pros and cons to each solution. One difference is that when you meet face to face, it might take only a day or so to come up with a solution instead of a whole week. Also, depending on the type of company you work for, there are a lot more issues you would face. A possible issue is that most companies have a set budget and sometimes it may be too low. Also, a project may not be a priority and get a smaller budget then another project. In a real industry project there are much more barriers.
January 21, 2018 at 10:48 pm #6039
I would agree with you that face to face meeting is more productive and effective when it comes to time management and quick respond. However, Form my work experience. It is always hard to schedule a meeting that can fit everyone’s calendar. Also, Sometimes when you work on a big project, you outsource other company to complete part of the tasks for you or to provide you with input. So, not everything is done in-house. I think the method of class helps us to improve E-communication skills and time management besides the project management concepts. Sometimes the barriers are not only about money but bad communication and follow up on action items can cause a very high risk to the project.
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