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← Back to Group Therapy: a group project survival guide


The 10-week term at Drexel means that we have to be extra aware of time as we move through each term. With only 10 weeks to learn materials, organize ourselves in our teams, and deliver our group projects, we have to make sure that everyone in our team understands when each stage of the project must be complete.

During your first group meeting, discuss what a deadlines means to you and what it means to everyone else.

For example, let's take the group project of Chris, Meg, and Joanna. They have set a deadline for Thursday at 10am for each of their sections of their rough draft to be delivered.

Chris sees Thursday at 10am as the moment that he must deliver the rough draft, and there's no reason to deliver it sooner. Meg sees the deadline of Thursday at 10am as the last possible moment that she can deliver her section, but she will probably deliver it sooner than that. And Joanna sees Thursday at 10am as a target date, but it's OK if it's a day later.

Thursday at 10am. Meg delivered her section on Tuesday at noon and has spent the last couple of days worried that her teammates won't finish their sections. Chris submitted his section at 9:58am. And Joanna is still at the library working on her part and expects that she'll have it done by around 6pm tonight.

Totally stressful, right?

To make sure that this doesn't happen to you, you've got to make sure that you've discussed the details of deadlines. This group may have discussed that Thursday at 10am means that it really is the latest that the sections can be in. Meg is welcome to submit her section prior to the deadline, but it's not within the bounds of good teamwork for Joanna to completely miss the deadline. Once the team has worked this out together, they'll have less to worry about when it comes to working together.

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