How to work effectively in a group project?

Working in a Group
Building an effective group

As a member of an effective group, you should understand and agree with the common goals of the group

  • understand that success of the group is shared among group members
  • be willing to share responsibilities and contribute to the group work
  • be willing to help each other
How would an effective group be built?
Things to do
1. Form a group If allowed, make up a group of 3 or 5
  • Relatively easy to get everybody's involvement
  Group of 4 is not good
  • Likely to subdivide into 2 pairs leading to formation of subgroups that may tear the group into parts
  More than 5 is disastrous
  • Difficult to get group agreement with large group size
  Group with someone that you have never worked before

Enable you to:

Develop relationship with other classmates

  • Expose yourself with more diverse viewpoints, especially in decision making process
  • Voice out opinions with no fear of hurting the feeling of buddies in a group

2. Setting ground rules


  • Be on time in each meeting
  • All members share in team work
  • Offer suggestions rather than criticisms

It is important that the group members agreed on the following:

  • What ground rules are necessary?
  • Why ground rules are important?
  • When ground rules are applied?
  • How ground rules are carried out?
  • Help group members to understand how they should behave in order that the group could work best

3. Defining responsibilities


  • The leader has to make sure that ground rules are enforced
  • The recorder has to record ideas in discussions
Assignment of responsibilities should be based on skills and expertise of members  

4. Managing process


  • How well is each group member doing his/her role?
  • How well is the interpersonal relationship?
  • How well is the group working together as a whole?

You will find it very helpful to review the group process regularly, e.g. every two week or every month

All group members should participate in the review

  • Help the group to find out problems together before it is too late.