One of our seven team members has not showed up at all yet. He is in Bangladesh so it's not as if we an pop around to see if he is OK!
Another team member is still snowed under by the last TMA. He will be up and ready to join in when he's submitted it in a few days time but so far his input has been sporadic.
A third team member lives in Dominica so is many hours behind the rest of us. When we work in the evening he is still at work, when he works in the evening we are tucked up in bed!
A fourth member is struggling a bit with the technology. Her computer struggles with all the apps we are trying to use to collaborate best.
A fifth member is impressively taking the lead on a lot of things and has been unanimously elected team leader. My fear is that it would be all too easy to let her get on with it unsupported.
And then there is me. I am enjoying the collaboration a lot more than I expected to. Now some clearly defined tasks and goals are emerging from the vague gloom that is the spec I can envisage a final project.
The thing is that collaboration carries so many risks. Non-engagement is obvious. 'Over engagement' can look great as it gets stuff done but it can allow people to get an easy ride when a competent team member simply does it all. Busy-ness can sound like an excuse but for our team - all of us a juggling work and other commitments with our studies. We know that the best of intentions aside - life simply happens sometimes and our time and energy must be directed elsewhere. Technological failure is part and parcel of everyday life! The downside of the hyper convenient technologically enhanced lifestyles we now enjoy is that success or failure feels like it hangs on our internet connection speed!
RULE 2: Everyone on the team has their own challenges and circumstances. We all need to be willing to take up some slack, and sometimes acknowledge that we've dropped a few balls. That's team work.