Table of Contents
Adjourning, Team Seperation & Celebrating Success
Adjourning (Tuckman 1977) is a chance to celebrate our success and reflect on our skills and knowledge learned. The team should find some time to reflect on skills learned and celebrate accomplishments. I spoke to the team about our achievements, how much I had enjoyed working together and how much I hope they achieve their aspirations. “During this stage it is highly recommended celebrating the success of groups for their accomplishments, perseverance and hard work. That’s where you make the group feel that they have achieved the overall success” (Jones 2019). I had hoped we would celebrate the positives and suggested we complete a high performing tree retrospective.
The High Performing Tree
Fig 1. Team Rock-it 2021. The High Performing Tree
Is Team Rock-it a High Performing Team? Did we form a commitment to one another, the team and our joint successes? At times, I think we were high performing. Team Rock-it has always been candid with each other, which is a positive sign for the team and project. We have achieved psychological safety and certainly a common alignment of goals, and purpose meaning we were a ‘real team’ (Katzenbach 1993).
The High Performing Tree was a successful critical reflection and analysis of our weaknesses, there could have been more focus on our achievements; in this case, I feel I chose the wrong activity. I hoped the tree would help us leave on a high note with the potential for all the knowledge we’ve acquired to move forward into our next team. While the exercise was not as positive as I hoped, the tree will further our learning about ourselves, collaborative working and the team. Personally, I am leaving G730 behind with a renewed confidence. Against all odds, we produced a project and it was a reflection of the fortitude and talent of Team Rock-it! Whatever else, we are both leaders and the experience will enhance our collaborative working practices moving forward.
Reflection on The Conflict Fast Model (Pimentel Medeiros 2016)
How well did the conflict fast model (from week 9) work?
The team may not be ready to consider the achievements of this module, the process has been hard and we adopting the fail-fast (Pimentel Medeiros 2016) approach required a considerable amount of honesty and energy. Learning about each other again during week 8 we flashed through Tuckman’s (1977) forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning stages. We have arrived back at the forming stage, where we need to get to know one another again but in this instance, the project is finished and there is no need to learn more about each other and it is unlikely our paths will cross in the future. Now simply we may feel fatigued.
Adjourning and mourning
Adjourning is sometimes referred to as the mourning stage; “This is simply because there is a lot of insecurity and ambiguity associated with the finishing of the task” (Jones 2019). Where will we land after this module, and where do we expend all the energy directed towards to project? I am feeling ambiguous. The circumstances meant we had to put in a strong work ethic and enthusiasm to succeed. This feeling of disappointment may be preventing the team from focusing on the positives of what we managed to achieve together.
Along with our High Performing Tree, I also suggested a Project Retrospective or Transition Plan. I adjusted the Project Retrospective to think about our future goals over the next few years. A “transition plan is recommended during this stage to give a sense of security and assurance to group members of the next stage. That, in turn, may reduce the sense of insecurity and ambiguity that might arise from this stage” (Jones 2019). I hope the team find there are some positives they will take forward with them and find time to properly celebrate.
Fig 3. Masters 2021. Project Retrospective by Inktrap
Spark Forum Reflection on strategies to prevent crunch
- “Was the activity a success, in your opinion?
- Did everyone in your group feel involved in the discussion?
- Did your activity impact or perhaps alter entirely your remaining tasks and / or milestones in any way?
- Was there consensus amongst the group?” (Falmouth University 2021).
In the final week of the project I crunched. I wanted our small team to achieve their goals and I was trying to make up for the lost time, still trying to make sure everyone else got what they wanted out of the module and very honestly I forgot to take care of myself, again. Crunching meant that I forgot to save and commit changes to my project. I had to repeat work, and many mistakes happened. While Team Rock-it reflected on the project and our strategies on crunch, I found the activity difficult because I’ve worked hard, for pride in my own work but also so the team could achieve. In any future project, I will try to spot the warning signs of stress related to crunch. I will step in and stop myself and any team member from unhealthy crunch.
4L’s on Crunch
Fig 4. Masters 2021. 4Ls on Crunch
While many processes were lost due to extenuating circumstances and a chaotic start, not including story points in our methodologies was a huge error on my part. “Another important reason” for story points “has to do with the social and psychological aspects of estimation: using units such as story points, emphasizing relative difficulty over absolute duration, relieves some of the tensions that often arise between developers and managers around estimation: for instance, asking developers for an estimate then holding them accountable as if it had been a firm commitment” (Agile Alliance 2021). We work in different domains, and there wasn’t always a context for the intense amount of time some things took. In the last week, I had to re-program, re-work and re-design three separate themes, this work was handed to me at the last minute. Implementing three new themes for mixology classes, with two cocktail recipes for each truly gave our pitch and demo an extra (very important) spark and pow. Projects often include last second ideas and some extra working hours in the final week or weeks. The issue came when I was overworked in the final days. The whole team cannot be expected to understand the work involved in everyone’s domains. Story point estimation would have drastically improved our communication and highlighted the effort required in each change.
Co-Creative Design and Development sky-rocketed me into the 3D world of game development. All my skills and knowledge are in the 2D domain but I did say at the start of the module I would like to develop my 3D experience and portfolio. I took on a 3D environment because I am artistic, as a photographer I understand light and programming interaction in 3D is very similar to programming interaction in 2D. The programming for SPACE was light, although a little more ‘finicky’ than I have been used to. While I knew a 3D project would be a challenge I also knew it was achievable.
Fig 5. Masters 2021. Prototype
Summary of new technical skills learnt this module:
- Unity 3D
- ProBuilder, 3D Textures and Materials
- Programming and Development in 3D, gaining confidence in this area
- Art Direction for a 3D Environment
- Lighting for a 3D Environment
- Researching and using out of the norm UI tools in Unity for rounded buttons and special toggles
- Researching and using assets
- Using Mixamo and implementing 3D animation
- Terrain design
- UI in Unity
Summary of new knowledge learnt this module:
- Team working skills and collaboration – I have never worked with UX Designers or branding teams on a game before (although I have in other areas).
- Confidence – I am beginning to understand how to be confident, without losing the ability to constantly question ourselves, our decisions and so on. I need to be confident in my skills and who I am and those things don’t make me less kind.
- Chilling out – Home working has resulted in overworking and I need to find myself a collaborative working space to steer clear of burnout! Covid has meant that I haven’t been visiting coffee shops or the library etc, to get my usual space from work/ to think!
So what is a team?
At the end of the module, I think the better question might be, what do you want a team to be? “The language of Belbin Team Roles can speed up the process of moving teams from one stage to the next, by giving team members insight into one another and the contributions needed to help the team work” (Brown 2021). “This common frame of reference enables individuals to engage, express preference, explain how they work best and resolve conflict with each other” (Brown 2021). During the adjourning stage, we can start to think about our own vision for our next team project and where our skills and personalities might be best matched.
What is a team? The answer will be different for different people and so the most important factor for a team, is that you are where you want to be. If it’s not working, there’s no harm in moving on.
- a team is transient – people come and go, be supportive of future goals
- a team is an alignment of goals and vision – achievements should overlap
- a team is kindness to one another – care about each other
- a team is encouragining to one another – understand the time and place for critical feedback and kind words
- a team is forgiving – understand that people falter
- a team is open and emotionally vulnerable – it’s okay to come in and have a bad day, it’s okay to say how you feel
- a team is committed to one another
To practice accepting criticism, so that I avoid taking comments to the heart, during the next module.
To continue reading relevant materials and focus on leadership strategies and philosophies over the course of the module.
Build a 2.5D game, to continue learning and enhancing 3D skills in animation and environment building to build a portfolio next module.
To continue to build relationships inside of Falmouth University and externally, in view of creating a team who want to pitch games to publishers, games that mean something and to do this by the end of my Masters.
The reality of the world today, is you need to have firm self-confidence to move forwards. I took for granted the self-assurance leaders must have to support and encourage a team. GDD730 has given me a truer empathy for those making decisions and managing teams. Not taking things personally, is an art form. And stronger still to empathise with team members transferring fears and anxiety to you, perhaps harshly and unfairly. Part of my ongoing development will be to research and find ways to learn, not to internalise and obsess about comments directed towards me.
“If you’ve ever worked hard to achieve something, only to feel disappointed and deflated when it didn’t really change you in the end, well, there are now multiple terms for that feeling: one is “arrival fallacy,” or the feeling of getting somewhere only to realize it’s the same place you’ve always been, as a recent New York Times story outlined. Another term is “success hangover,” or the feeling of post-achievement queasiness and emptiness“ (Zimmerman 2019).
I am feeling the effects of a Success Hangover, where do I put all the energy that was driving our project? “It seems that even knowing that certain “achievements” won’t meaningfully change our default inner states doesn’t really change our desire to achieve them.” (Zimmerman 2019). Part of curing a Success Hangover is to recognise, the success of a project has changed you.
I am not the person Team Rock-it met 9 weeks ago, now I am someone who successfully pitched a phygital experience in real cocktails, real music and a blended learning approach. We created a concept with a unique selling point, that was fun and different and we learnt that we can rise to all the challenges life throws at us.
At the end of Co-Creative Design and Development, I have a keener idea of what a team is, who I am and I feel like an entirely different person. I made mistakes along the way but I rose to challenges and found more resilience, strength and confidence than I knew had.
Team Rock-it should remember that we did it! We got that Pikachu!
Team Rock-it Are Blasting Off Again
There is truly only one way to sign off GD730, where will Team Rock-it land? Who knows, we’re blasting off again!
Fig 6. Tenor 2021. Team Rocket Blasting Off [GIF]
List of Figures
Figure 1. Team Rock-it. 2021. The High Performing Tree
Figure 2. Sarah MASTERS. 2021. Future Goals
Figure 3. Sarah MASTERS. 2021. Project Retrospective by Inktrap
Figure 4. Sarah MASTERS. 2021. 4Ls on Crunch
Figure 5. Sarah MASTERS. 2021. Prototype
Figure 6. Tenor. 2021. Team Rocket Pokemon [GIF] Available at: https://c.tenor.com/9OTugC1NH-gAAAAC/team-rocket-pokemon.gif [accessed 21 Aug 2021].
AGILE ALLIANCE. 2015. ‘What Are Story Points?’ Agile Alliance | [online]. Available at: https://www.agilealliance.org/glossary/points-estimates-in/ [accessed 21 Aug 2021].
BROWN, Victoria. 2021. ‘Belbin and Tuckman: Supporting Your Team at Every Stage’. [online]. Available at: https://www.belbin.com/resources/blogs/belbin-and-tuckman [accessed 21 Aug 2021].
Falmouth University. 2021. GDD730 Co-Creative Design & Development Practice. Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/913 [accessed on 20 June 2021]
JONES, Alex. 2019. ‘The Tuckman’s Model Implementation, effect, and analysis & The New Development of Jones LSI Model on a Small Group’. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335176254_THE_TUCKMAN%27S_MODEL_IMPLEMENTATION_EFFECT_AND_ANALYSIS_THE_NEW_DEVELOPMENT_OF_JONES_LSI_MODEL_ON_A_SMALL_GROUP [accessed Aug 21 2021].
KATZENBACH, Jon R. and Douglas K. SMITH. 1993. The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.
PIMENTEL MEDEIROS, Manoel. 2016‘The Conflict Fast Model | Agile Alliance’. 2016. Agile Alliance | [online]. Available at: https://www.agilealliance.org/resources/sessions/the-conflict-fast-model/ [accessed 26 Jul 2021].
TUCKMAN, Bruce W. and Mary Ann C. JENSEN. 1977. ‘Stages of Small-Group Development Revisited’. Group & Organization Studies 2(4), 419–27.
ZIMMERMAN, Edith. 2019. ‘How to Accomplish Disappointment’. The Cut [online]. Available at: https://www.thecut.com/2019/06/how-to-accomplish-disappointment.html [accessed 21 Aug 2021].