Team Work Makes the Dream Works

by Lorna Brown

Eight weeks into training, a few client projects completed but something didn’t quite feel right from my perspective. Yes we had team work, but we didn’t really follow any form of direction or process. The project planning we did originally wasn’t brilliant, we did brainstorm everything we could think of but post this session we never went back to review anything or change the direction. Everyone sort of went off in their own direction.

I felt this was wrong. I proposed we do a team debrief after every project to find what went well, what didn’t go so well and what we could improve on next time. At first the team was a bit like why are we doing this, but once we had finished everyone saw the benefits and this week’s client project has been easier post the debrief.

With this in mind I just want to talk about a few points.


What went well:

  • We did help each other when people were struggling. On this one project most people worked in pairs and the feedback was that worked well.
  • One person did the data preparation, which we all chipped in to help as we all needed slightly different outcomes
  • Andy said we produced good work considering the poor planning
  • We all agreed it was good to work on weaknesses rather than sticking to our strongest areas
  • We were able to balance teaching/learning with the project
  • We had good communication with the client, however this could still be improved.


What didn’t go so well and why?:

  • We didn’t have much knowledge of the subject area. This was seen as lack of research on our behalf
  • By day 4 we realised the client didn’t provide the team with all the files necessary to complete a part of the project.
  • We didn’t really focus on the daily scrums, peoples attention was elsewhere.
  • When some partners were working on Alteryx workflows, it was mainly done on one laptop, it was said that people don’t learn well from just watching and it would be beneficial to duplicate the work so other people understand.
  • Most importantly, the planning for this project and previous projects was simply not good enough.


Things to work on:

  • We need to have a midweek catch up to where everybody is with the project, make sure nobody is left behind or struggling with their own projects.
  • I personally suggested we needed a team leader/co-ordinator. This originally didn’t go down too well, but once explained then everyone agreed, and so far this week the team co-ordinator has done a fantastic job and we all feel this has help the direction of the project.
  • We needed to work at looking at the data as a team, and helping each other decide what was needed.
  • More indepth project planning every week]
  • Team debrief after every project


This week is going well so far with all this knowledge in mind.


Team work really does make the dream work!!