The Team Contract & MOU
Teams hold the keys to success in the workplace. They are the primary vehicles for delivering value to customers, solving problems, creating and implementing plans, developing new and innovative products, and making strategic decisions. Teams come in many forms and are known by many different names. Committees, task forces, leadership groups, executive boards, steering committees, to name a few, are all teams performing a specialized role in an organization. In all likelihood, you have either heard of or participated on a work team, project team, athletic team, quality review team, departmental team, employee involvement team, debate team, or some other team-like group operating with shared goals, objectives, and values.
Groups become teams through disciplined action. They develop a common purpose, define a common working approach, develop or acquire the appropriate skills, and hold themselves mutually accountable for results. Most teams have some discretion in distributing tasks and scheduling work, teach and train one another to develop better skills, evaluate one another’s performance, provide each other feedback,and are responsible for the quality of team outputs. The ultimate success of a team depends on these and many other factors to be discussed in this class. You face the challenge of organizing and developing a high-performing team for the purpose of learning and applying the concepts of information sciences and technology. To this end, you need to complete a Team Contract and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This document should be a simple, two page document that outlines the following two sections of information:
Part I. Team Contract
- Your team’s name – This can be anything you’d like. Since this is going to be how your instructor and other students will refer to you in the course, try to select a team name that represents who and what you are.
- Your team’s list of participants – Clearly state who is on your team and how they can be contacted. Please include the email address you use the most, your phone numbers, Instant Messenger screen names, and any other way that you plan on communicating.
- Your team’s communication plan – How do you think you will communicate with each other? Will you be doing real time chat sessions,communicating by email, phone, or will you be meeting every other day face to face? Documenting this up front will go a long way in establishing a clear plan for staying on target with your group work.
- Your team’s code of conduct – How will you treat one another? This seems silly, but you should begin thinking about how your team will handle difficult situations. Keeping teams functioning smoothly will become one of the biggest challenges associated with solving the Challenge. It is never too early to begin discussing how you will keep everyone on the same page. Think about the following issues: Will we be able to vote people out of our team? How will we handle team members who are consistently late to meetings? How will we handle missed due dates for portions of assignments?
- Your team’s statement on Copyright and Plagiarism – How will your team address the use of works protected under copyright law? How will you handle a team member’s violation of copyright law? Here are some general guidelines with regard to this topic.
Part II. MOU Using the first Challenge in your course as the “project,” outline the following:
- Overview of the project goals – What are you ultimately trying to solve in this Problem Assignment? Document in a few simple sentences what you think the primary goal of the project is.
- Project Description – Provide a high-level overview of what you will be doing in a general sense. Do not worry about too much detail here, but provide enough detail so that anyone could pick up your document and understand what you are going to do.
- Overview of your understanding of the scope of work – What is it that the Problem Assignment is asking of your team? This should review the work outlined in the Problem Assignment.
- Overview of the project deliverables – Clearly state what you will be producing in your effort to solve the Problem Assignment. Your team should be able to locate this very easily in the Problem Assignment.
- Project Timeline – How long is it going to take you to solve the Problem according to the plan laid out by your team? Please include a weekly milestone chart that talks about what needs to be done that week to stay on track. This is very important! The Problems are large and will take much longer than an evening to solve.
- Project resources and team roles – To successfully complete this assignment, you will need to divide the labor quickly. With challenges of this size, it is critical that you all take on specific roles and work to assemble as many pieces within your space efficiently. Document what the roles are within the team (Project Manager, Graphic Artist, Web Developer, Research, Quality, Writer/Editor, etc) and try to stick with them. You should also document what types of other resources you are going to need to solve this problem.
- Document your open issues – For the things you aren’t clear with yet, create a running list of questions you’ll need to solve along the way. Keep in mind questions that will need to be answered before you can successfully complete the Solution.
Your team will submit this in the appropriate dropbox in ANGEL.
In order to help you with this assignment, a Topic discussing project management and MOUs is available at the IST Solutions Exchange in the Online IST Overview Mini-Course.
The MOU assignment will be graded using the rubric below.
Team Contract and MOU Assignment: 15 Pts
- Identified team name, team list of participants, team communication plan, team code of conduct, and team statement on copyright and plagiarism.
- Provided an overview of project goals and a description of the project.
- Outlined scope of work and project deliverables.
- Identified project timeline and project resources needed.
- Documented any open issues.
- Submitted the Team Contract and MOU in the appropriate dropbox in ANGEL.