After a cold winter holiday, bunch of hours of procrastinating personal projects, and working on two novels, I come back to school. New projects, new perspectives, new emotions.
This semester, I had to take the “Evaluation Project” lecture and, one of the goals is reading “The Deadline” novel, from Tom DeMarco. After a couple of pages, pop up a concept: P E O P L E.
This made come into my head a story I experienced before.
The intern who learned manage people.
Last summer, during my internship, the host Enterprise made groups of 3 interns and formed teams with them. The main goal was each team had to develop their own mobile application, in order to solve a critical social issue.
No problemo till here.
My team was conformed by two girls and me. Let’s call them Ariana and Becka.
Becka was a freshment girl, and If I had to describe her in one word It would be: Excitement. She was always full of energy, Lots of ideas and she couldn’t wait to start working with us. During her first year of college, she had just a couple of programming courses, and her experience in programming was minimal.
On the other hand, we had Ariana. Ariana was a very relaxed girl, who lived in the same city where the enterprise was located. Besides all interns who had to move to that area, she kept living in her parent’s home, keeping her life outside work. She tended to left work on Fridays as soon as possible. Next day, in her stories, you could watch her in an awesome weekend adventure, even in another state. She didn’t looked interested in the project, she was more preocupied in what she would do during weekend. She was in sophomore year, she had more experience in programming.
Both girls had a huge excitement for what they cared and loved.
During our training in mobile app development, we had some meetings with our team in order to meet each other and discuss ideas about our project. Ariana didn’t stop throwing ideas, we couldn’t process any of them. Becka just said yes basically to anything. They started setting deadlines, goals and designing views for our inexisting application, even if we hadn’t elected an idea.
A red flag appeared in my head. I talked with my manager, really concerned. I explained to him, accordingly to my observations, we couldn’t work if we stay in the same position.
-What do you propose? – He said.
In this moment, I understood it. Projects are made by people. The key in managing this project was to find some way to maintain everyone excited about the project and the team. And there I figured out.
If only we encause the Ariana’s excitement and we get Becka involved, we could have a happy and productive team.
The plan was easy. We’d choose some Becka’s ideas to be main core of the project, and we’d assign Ariana to coordinate meetings, and impulse her ideas. My role in the team was, leading all this excitement in the right way ( making the goals our manager was asking each week for). Also, I could support my collegues solving coding problems, because apperently I was the guy with the most experience in the team.
This simple plan, lead us to have a nice work enviroment. Becka suggested having meetings everyday were we could set goals for that day. Ariana had a crucial role in the app dev, and she implemented awesome features. Everyday we finished our personal goals. Everyone had the confidence to ask each other our doubts.
During the third week, our manager, told me surprised:
-Your plan worked. I have to do nothing and your team works perfectly.
In the end, we made an application which had the objective of connecting people with emotional issues with people who have been coped similar situations. Ariana’s inspiration was helping people with mental disorders and eliminating the stigma about them.
People makes things happen, the problem is we are people, and our colleagues are too. More than a problem, this is a huge pro, but you have to learn to play your cards.