Mind Your Own Business – Don’t Fire Me, Please!

Prior to starting this project I just thought that it would be about making a small business and making a profit. I thought that my time during this project would be relatively calm as I would have a team that all wanted to work together to make something great and worth selling on the sales day. I did not expect this project to be easy y any means but I also did not expect it to be as hard as it was, oh god was this project difficult, I think the most difficult I have been involved in.

Was I happy with the team selection?

I was a little disappointed with the team that I was allocated, prior to knowing them that is, I had hoped that a fellow product designer would have been on the team as I knew that there would be a lot of hard work put into the project. Whilst walking into the studio on the first day I had jokingly commented to a friend that I hoped I was not in a group that did not want to work or pull their weight, I can see the funny side of things now it is over.

In the beginning did I struggle?

I believe that I am correct in saying that the team I was a part of struggled the most for this project, we struggled with communication, ideas, team work and all sorts. I think the core problem that we faced as a group was having an idea at the beginning, we scrapped two ideas and it was left to the final three weeks where we had to finalise an idea and just run with it no matter what, no plan B or anything. this was a difficult call for me because I was struggling to find something that could work for us. I believe that if I could do this project from the start again, I would try and quickly seek out a product that would be attractive for the population of the university, just a take a look at Blank Canvas, Wind Down or Cobble…amazing ideas and they sold like hot cakes! having that thing was just too difficult for me and my team.

My Team Members

Throughout the project and the different ideas that were generated my team did take part in the processes, I believe that the team had lost hope after the second failure with ‘Persona’ and energy levels were low. This could be the reason for lack of enthusiasm or team work within the group when Humorous were formed. I believe that it was difficult for some members of the group to cope with the stress that was put on them to continue and get ready for the sales day. During the end of the project although small parts were completed by my team members it seemed like I had been doing the majority of the heavy lifting, I am completely happy to do the tasks that I had but due to the lack of communication I had thought that the team member tasked with them originally had already been working on them, an example of this is the last minute business plan that had to be created.

From this experience I believe that my opinion is still valid as I believe that product design students are the most hardworking individuals, this is backed up from the experiences endured by fellow product designers on the many different field options for this term. I am grateful for the time that I have spent working with the individuals I had, I have learnt how far I can really push myself before I break and this is an important thing to know. Prior to this project I had no idea how to write a business plan and now I do, I may not be great at it just yet but with some development I could improve dramatically.

Upgrades

I have already spoken about what has been learnt from this project, I think it is important to just go over and emphasis how this project has changed my view on collaboration and self improvement. I think that collaboration through fields is an amazing idea that will be a part of the workplace once we all leave university, product designers working with illustrators, graphics working with architecture..etc etc. I do have my own opinion on how this could be improved however, I think whilst working in a group interviews should take place, each individual has a ‘CV’ which holds their pro’s and con’s including what skills they bring to the table. Following on the showcase of previous work would happen, people would see what you are capable of, what YOU bring to the table…do you mind working 12-14 hour days to get the work done? do you have the skills that match those of another individual.

This idea, I believe, would be very interesting to see put into practise. Of course it would take a longer time to complete but theoretically if groups were made up of the best people, success would inevitably follow.

Following the presentation on Thursday the 8th I have asked the group if I could take sole ownership of the brand ‘Humorous’ to do with whatever I please, this was agreed. I hope that with some spare time over the holidays I can begin to create a new image of the brand with some success with apparel.

I have some reservations about my next terms field project due to the experiences of this terms, I am hoping that I will be able to choose the individuals who I work with and I hope to choose a fellow product designer or two or five. I hope that this second term project will allow me to use some of the skills learnt but also allow me to learn something new that I can possibly take on into my subject work.

We will have to wait and see.

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