Management Lessons from Leading a Group Data Collection Project

In my eportfolio class, I was selected as leader of assignment 3. Assignment 3 is a research project in which there are three groups. One group will collect data on the job ads for library and information science positions, another group will collect data on the published competencies from professional associations, and the last group will be the database support group. We began collecting data about 2 weeks ago. At that point, we realized this was going to be far more work than we had anticipated. Thus, as the leader, I contacted Dr. Wang and told her that there was no way we could collect all the data she wanted us to collect by the deadline. There were approximately 2500 job ads that had to be entered. Then in class we discussed it and came the conclusion that we would have to reduce the scope of the project drastically if we were going to finish within the course of the few weeks allotted.

This has really been a learning experience. I’ve directed projects before, but not really in this way in an academic setting. The group members were very cooperative and helpful, but I see how it is as a manager — some of the people in your group do alot of work and others don’t do much. Some of them do all their work early, and some wait until the last minute to do their part. This is the way group projects work. There are different dynamics that one must work with as a leader. I’ve learned that you have to support you group, trust them to do the job they were given, and then let them go and do it.

As a future employer, I will remember that empowering your employees gets the most out of them. When employees feel like they are trusted, they will work well for the leader.