Stuff Group C1-4 April 29, 2012

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1 Stuff Group C1-4 April 29, 2012

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3 Det Teknisk-Naturvidenskabelige Basisår Naturvidenskab Strandvejen Telefon Fax Title: Stuff Synopsis: Theme: Interaction Design / Human Computer Confluence - Assistive Technology Projectperiod: P2, Summer semester 2012 Projectgroup: C1-4 Supervisor: Lars Knudsen Christina Grann Myrdal Pages: 44 Members: Benjamin Nicholas Overgaard Casper Marc Vangsted Jákup Klein Jens Stokholm Høngaard Jon Aschberg Mathias Klitgaard Berthelsen Mathias Meldgaard Appendix Number: 0 Finished on May 24th 2012 The report content is freely accessible, but the publication (with source) may only be made by agreement with the authors. 2

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5 Preface This report serves as a documentation of the process from the initial problem to the final product and project conclusion of 2nd semester Medialogy group C1-4, February , Aalborg University. The semester project theme is Interaction Design - Human Computer Confluence with the sub theme: Assistive Technology. The theme is about developing an assistive technology to help solve some sort of problem. When referencing in the report... The source is located in the Bibliography at the end of the report. I

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7 Contents 1 Introduction Initial Problem Statement Problem Analysis Survey Conclusion to the Survey Evaluation for Improving the Survey Theory and Research Team development Team building Summary and conclusion Interview analysis Market and Target Group Analysis MINERVA Model MOSAIC model Conclusion Summary and Conclusion Design The platform Idea Design decisions Lo-fi prototyping First iteration Second iteration Third iteration limitations Final product Hardware Software The communication game A Interview 25 Bibliography 44 II

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9 Chapter 1 Introduction The initiating brainstorms of the project pinpointed the interest of the group lying somewhere in the act of team building; improving internal relations between members of a group or team, ultimately resulting in their cooperative work efficiency being increased. It was decided that this was the theme of the project, to develop some sort of solution or product that would strengthen a team in its entirety and its productivity using team building techniques. This would require some research about, what kind of scientific team building journals, reports, and theories have been made and are available, and what kind of techniques and exercises do existing team building products have to offer. 1.1 Initial Problem Statement Can we improve team building through the use of electronic interactive media? 1

10 Chapter 2 Problem Analysis From the initial problem, the project needs a foundation - a documentation of the problem s actual existence - in order to safely progress further without blind assumptions. It is required to solidly conclude that the problem actually exists; preferably achieved through feedback from society or a potential target group. At this point, the target group was as wide as anyone with at least some group working experience. 2.1 Survey In order to build this foundation, a survey was made to see, whether the problem actually existed in society and if it was relevant to work with. The best approach was deemed to be a questionnaire, because a quantitative response would be of most use at this stage. A more qualitative research, such as an interview, would be better suited for later, when the problem is located and needs to be analyzed in-depth. In the survey people were asked about a range of different questions in relation to team building and communication; the core being questions about how important they thought communication in group work was, if they prefered to work in groups or alone, and if they had ever witnessed a very obstructive or even hostile group conflict. They were also asked to rate some different group problem areas to see, which ones they thought obstructed group performance the most, in order to better identify the problem, its origins, and peaks - which potentially could turn out to be a great help and time-saver. This, along with some basic demographic questions to characterize the specific types of people, would hopefully call for a response to serve as a good first step for the project. The final survey that was sent out can be found in the appendix (XXX). The survey was distributed through the online social media Facebook, where anyone could participate and answer. It was done so only to get a first hand impression of the field. It was expected that a great part of the responses would be from fellow Medialogy students, and the remaining from family and friends. This means that some responses could be a bit biased and not fully trustworthy. In addition, the responses would most likely not be so widespread in age, education and experience. Therefore, the survey was not formally fully reliable as there was never optimized a specific target group, but it was never meant to be used for gathering real market analysis statistics to use as scientific documentation in the first place; it was simply made to get the rough idea of people s opinions on the matter and hopefully create a generalization that could point the project towards the best course. At this points it was planned that the questionnaire had to be revised and redistributed to a more specific target group later in the project to get the concrete statistics for documentation. 2

11 The survey got 60 responses in a couple of days (results are found in the appendix XXX). Note that the clarification text to each question is not shown on the response sheet. Also note that the numbers written in this section of the report to summarize and conclude the survey do not always match those the Google Docs Spreadsheet shows, as the calculations made there do not consider the blank answers (the percentages do not sum up to 100%). The survey recorded a total of 60 answers, but e.g. only 53 answers were given to the question How important do you find good communication in a group work?, summing up the percentages to 89%. This means that new calculations were to be made to get the actual number given from the responses to the respective questions. The reason why blank answers appeared is unknown, as all except one question were marked as required. The results showed, among other things, that half of the survey participants could not clearly pick one working method over the other, and the remaining half were about evenly balanced between the preference of working in groups and working alone. It was a suprising statistic to see that 22.4% of the participants actually prefered to work alone on a task or project, away from any kind of group collaboration, if they had the opportunity. Four of the indecisive responsers stated in the appurtenant comment section that it depended too much on the situation and subject for them to pick one method over the other. Two others said that it depended on the quality of the people you would have to work in group with. Those who prefered group work, had various reasons for this and were split among the following: Being more minds on one task increases the work outcome, as several minds think faster and process work better than one. There are overall better dynamics, and it is easier to eliminate all the subjective formulations and approaches and give a more professional, objective perpective to the work due to the different opinions and ways of thinking. There is more knowledge available so you can learn from one another and more research can be done. The responsibility towards the group can function as a motivator, and being in a working environment due to the presence of the group can help keep focus on the task. Those with a preference for working alone also had different reasons for prefering so, but the responses given could be cathegorized into 4 different main reasonings. 3 people said that there often is a problem with synergy in a group such as different ambitions, motivation and understanding, and it obstructs the group performance too much for it to be worthwhile compared to working alone. 2 others said that they simply did not have enough faith in the other group members abilities, and the standard of the group s work outcome would almost always be too low, requiring a redo of practically everything to meet a proper standard. 3 people stated that being in full control of ones task or project and the outcome of it when working alone is a supreme encouragement and makes them prefer so. Finally, 2 comments said that the responsibilty towards the group is too discouraging. An interesting quotation from one of the supporters of working alone, which was not accounted for in above statistics, said: The benefits of cooperation are often overshadowed by the costs of coordination... So simply speaking, the act of adapting to one another and working towards a common mind set can often obstruct and outweigh those benefits the act of group coorporation can contribute with in terms of progress. On a scale from 1 to 5, 90, 5% of the people rated the importance of good communication in group work as 5 - Very important, which clearly indicates that this is an aspect of importance, when considering how to work with team building. It was, however, not a surprising result, but a 3

12 necessary documentation to form the foundation of the project. 82, 5% have witnessed group conflicts that went as far as obstructing the progress or where group members turned hostile towards one another, and 67, 3% have been part of conflicts like these, where almost half the remaining answers were given as In doubt. This hints towards there being one or more problems that can be looked at and perhaps solved to improve the collaboration in many groups. Due to the inspicific target group for this questionnaire survey, it is not yet safe to conclude, that numbers like these are also present in for instance teams in workplaces. The demographic questions showed that about one third of the participants were female, which suggests that the number of Medialogy students who participated in the survey may not have been so dominating after all as first thought, since there is a great lack of females on the Medialogy course (only about 13% in the Medialogy Facebook group where the survey was published, among other places). The age distribution, however, placed 96, 6% in the age range from years old, which was surprisingly narrow. A graph about the age distribution can be seen on figure X.X (JAKUP!). Since there were only 2 participants outside the mainstream age range (40 and 44 years old), it would in any case not be safe to conclude any stereotyping identification on these due to the low amount of responses in their age group. These demographic questions are not very useful as lone numbers, but could prove useful when analyzing the correlation between the other questions such as preferences, group conflicts, and opinions on what obstructs work the most, and these demographic questions in attempt to identify or stereotype specific types of people. It was, however, decided that this kind of in-depth analysis was not required from this initiating survey, as its purpose was much simpler. The survey participants were asked what educations they had finished. Even though the clarification text to the question clearly said that the responses should include ALL finished educations, 15 did still not do so, making the responses to this particular question somewhat unvalid. These had instead, assumably, only checked off their last finished education. However, by manually looking through all the responses, it was possible to work out and quite precisely estimate the actual numbers. For instance, a response had marked only Ph.d. as their finished education, but that would in actuality also add Primary education, Secondary education, Bachelor degree, and Masters degree to their answer, since you cannot achieve a Ph.d. without having finished all these educations leading to it. Vocational educations is the odd man out in this correlation, as you only require a primary and sometimes a secondary education to be accepted for a vocational education, and it does not officially lead to a university education afterwards. But there still remains a chance that one or more of those 15, who marked Secondary education or higher as their finished education, have also finished a vocational education on the side and perhaps changed for another education afterwards, or were later accepted for a university education based on their quota 2 experience. As this uncertainty was quite slim and could not be better estimated, it was chosen to be disregarded in the statistics correction process. With the correcting done, the new statistics show the following: Primary education: 59 Secondary education: 52 Vocational education: 6 Bachelor degree: 8 Masters degree: 3 4

13 Ph.d.: 1 By the looks of it, clearly most of the responders were in the middle of their bachelor or vocational education by the time they participated in the survey, or they simply stopped studying after graduating from a secondary education. This question was included in order to identify a pattern between people s educational experience and their opinion on group work, but was chosen not to be analyzed at this point. The different responses on what people throught obstructed group the most work differed from one another, but it was hard to get the right overview by looking at the figures alone. They were then put into a table to calculate the magnitude of people s average opinion on every case (see figure X.X). The questions made use of a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 was Not obstructive, 3 was Moderately obstructive, and 5 was Very obstructive. Therefore, the questions that weighed the most towards the 5 had to be the areas, that the average person thought most obstructive for a group related work. This was calculated by assigning a balanced, numeric value to every option, then adding them all and dividing by the amount of responses to the given question. The question with the highest number for average would then have to be the most obstructive issue for working in group according to the average survey participant. The values -2, -1, 0, 1, and 2 were assigned to the respective scores from 1 to 5, so for instance the middle option 3 - Moderately obstructive would return the value 0 to the table. By looking at the average score per answer as the table showed, it was easy to see that Unclear goals and Lack of feedback between members were the top scores, followed by Lack of planning, Selfishness etc. Obstructions like Uneven work delegation and Misinterpretations were in most cases rated as being not nearly as obstructive as the rest, although they were still on the positive side of the scale and did still get some scores of 5. This points the interest of the project mainly towards that of communicating task objectives to a level of mutual understanding as well as returning proper feedback between group members Conclusion to the Survey There obviously seems to be something to work with in this area, and by the numbers it also seems to have most people s interest, as they rated the importance of good communication in a group as being very important. In conclusion it is clear that one or more problems are present in today s average group work or team, and that there is something to improve on. The survey did manage to pinpoint, which obstructions seemed to be the most vital and essential to work with. Thus Unclear goals and Lack of feedback between members were selected as areas of focus for the project to identify the existing problems in group related works. Based on the reasonings given for prefering a solo or group working method over the other, and the inspiringly formulated quotation, it has also come to interest what kind of elements need to be present in a group for people to light their enthusiasm and motivation for it. To summarize the survey it is safest to say that it should remain as just a first impression of the subject that the project is aiming to work with. This means that no kind of in-depth analysis will be made for this survey, because it is not comprehensive enough in several aspects. It would be much wiser to revise the questionnaire and its target group for any future analysis. 5

14 2.1.2 Evaluation for Improving the Survey Overall, the questionnaire survey supplied with a good basis for the project, but after evaluating it, it was clear that some key improvements could have been made, and are essential for any future revising of the survey. The most important change to be made, was to find a better online questionnaire survey engine than Google s Spreadsheet, as it simple does not have all the chaining and filtering options required for analysing the responses. In addition, it provides a very poor overview of the responses. This means that it is very troublesome to see things like, All those, who finished at least a bachelor education, what do they find the most obstructive in a group work, and does it differ from the average?. Another argument for finding a different site for future questionnaires is the fact, that there were unexplainable blank responses to several questions, even though they were marked as required. For instance, most questions had 58 responses, but one question only had 53, another 57 and a third 49 responses. An alternative questionnaire engine could be SurveyMonkey (kilderreferece: which seem to be much more professional and provides better solution to adressed issues, but this decision belongs with the beginning of any future survey in the project. From the responses it was clear, that questions and the predetermined options for the answers had to be as clear as possible, and highlighting the keywords as in Please check off ALL of your completed education was simply not enough as approximately 25% still managed not to do so. The reason that a multiple choice setting was not chosen for this particular question was due to the vocational education, which has no fixed connection to the other educations like the rest has. The text to the questions about, what group problems obstructs the most, was very limited and not very thorough. During the evaluation it was concluded that some descriptions, mainly the obstruction regarding Favoritism, were simply too vague to be satisfactory, and this did most likely influence the responses, as you are more likely to aim for the average option when you are in doubt [INSERT RELEVANT THEORY]. Under any circumstance, an option saying something like In doubt to these different questions about obstructions would have been a good way to avoid these neutral ratings that influence the statistics. Due to this, Favoritism was also regarded as invalid. The appurtenant comments box to the question regarding working method preference should have been formulated in a way to better reflect that anyone could write their reason behind their preference. The way it was formulated upon release suggested that only those who either prefered working alone or working in group could write their comments, when those who could not decide upon one method should also have something to say. The fact that the questionnaire was written in English and was released to a mainly Danish audience could have an influence on some the participants understanding of the questions. There is a chance, that some did not fully understand every question and thereby did not answer correctly. Because the survey was published openly to anyone, there was no reason that foreigners were also required to answer the questionnaire like if the survey was directed towards a specific workplace - they could just pass it. Optimally, the survey should have been written in Danish. During the survey evaluation, it was also discussed that the questionnaire should have included the question What is your current occupation? to see, what differences there are between a worker s and a student s opinions, and whether the work profession has an influence. It would also be interesting to see, how the relation was between the average group member and his or 6

15 her superior or team leader to see, if this made a difference with any of the remaining opinions. Overall, such questions could prove very useful when relating them to the other questions to better identify groups of people. Some survey participants wrote in a comments section, that not all relevant obstructions were mentioned in the questionnaire, and proposed with the following to add: lack of commitment, neglection, bullying, and group members not showing up. These were discussed and deemed not to be on par with the top scores the table showed, but would stille be relevant to implement in a future questionnaire. 2.2 Theory and Research The purpose of this chapter is to go in-depth with team building theory by gathering and comparing existing scientific research about the subject in order to get a firm grasp of its concept and its content. This will create a basic understanding and terminology, which will contribute to contructing a final problem statement and in general future work with the subject Team development As the focus of this report is centered around team building, it is important to note that there are alternative solutions to solving team problems or improving teams than simply team building. According to a scientific journal researching if team building works [1], team building together with team training is a subcategory of team development. Team development is defined as a term used for interventions that generally serve the purpose of preventing or solving team conflicts and thereby improving team functioning and efficiency. The following citation from the journal gives an idea of just how essential team development can be for team efficiency and productivity: Consider a research study conducted by Macy and Izumi (1993), who analyzed 131 studies of organizational change. They found that interventions with the largest effects upon financial measures of organizational performance were team-development interventions. That is, of all organizational interventions, those that focus on team development had the largest effect on measures of financial performance [1]. Another scientific journal about building effective teams [2] goes in depth with team development and describes it as being dealt up in five stages; forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. These five stages are also what is called the Tuckman model, which is just another name for the team developmental model. The purpose of this model is to describes the process of a group from the point of it being formed to the point where a group can work effectively until the group splits up. The forming stage is the first stage right after the group has been formed and all members have been selected. In this stage, team members are usually enthusiastic and motivated, but they are uncertain of the group s purpose and goals. At the same time, they don t quite trust each other, so everything can seem foreign and strange. To reach positive results in this stage, it is important that team members learn about each other. This is mainly done by identifying strengths, weaknesses and in general how team members should interact with each other. The storming stage is where team members start to show their individual ideas, approaches, and 7

16 work styles. At this point, members usually have not established their roles yet, so it is common that many frustrations and conflicts arise mainly because of role ambiguity and competition for influence. In this stage, the group consists of many individual ideas and thereby a lot of resistance between team members as they strive towards a more collective cooperation. The norming stage, in opposition to the storming stage is where group members start to think collectively and work as one unit. At this point, members have adapted to each other s differences, roles have been clarified, and they start to respect each other. This results in more natural and fluid team work, so the team can start to shift the focus from interpersonal relations to decisionmaking activities related to group s tasks. The fourth stage called performing focuses on the tasks the group wishes to solve in order to reach a common goal. At this point, motivation, satisfaction, and efficiency within the group is very high, which results in a high productivity. This stage can only be reached if the group has managed to move successfully through the previous stages, and it is the stage that all groups strive to reach. For this reason, it is quite essential to focus on the early stages of team development in order to create a good foundation for the group. The final stage; adjourning, takes place after the group tasks have been completed. This stage can be seen as the aftermath of the group where group members either have negative or positive feelings of the results depending on how everything worked out according gained or lost friendships within the group. When analyzing the Tuckman model described above, it may seem as if a group goes through these stages chronologically without the abillity to return to certain stages. However, an assumption can be made that the group returns to certain stages if either a conflict arises or if there is a change in the group. For instance, if new group members join the group, or more importantly, if old group members are replaced, the group might need to go back to either the forming or storming stages depending on how much has been changed within the group. As mentioned before, it has been documented that team development contains two subcategories; team building and team training with each subcategory belonging to certain stages of the Tuckman model. The main difference between the two is that team building is people-focused and is therefore mostly about reaching a consensus through i.e. strengthening interpersonal relationships or setting goals, while team training is more skill-focused and about strengthening group compenetencies such as solving specific skill-based tasks more efficiently. Both team building and team training can be improved through exercises, however whether they improve team building or team training relies heavily on the intentions of the given exercise and who is participating. For instance, a company might play a game of paintball to get workers to socialize and thereby improve team building, while a group of professional paintball players might play to train their skills and thereby improve team training. This also means that exercises which are used for team building are more universal to different types of teams whether the team consists of software engineers or computer graphics artists for instance, while exercises that are used for team training must fit the profession of the team members. When comparing these two categories to the Tuckman model mentioned above, it can be assumed that team building exercises belong to the initial stages such as forming, storming and partly norming, since they focus on social relations while team training exercises mostly belong to the performing stage, since it focuses on training skills. 8

17 After researching the area of team development, the relations between team development, team building, and team training have become more clear. The results of this research have shown that team building only applies to the social interaction between team members, whereas team training focuses on skill-improvement. This has delineated the focus of the report to only include social interactions between team members, since this report focuses on team building Team building In order to understand what team building stands for other than being a way to strengthen certain social elements of a team, the definition of team building, its purpose, and the different elements of team building will be explained in this section. Team building is the process of helping a work group become more effective in accomplishing its tasks and satisfying the needs of group members.[3] This is a very general definition of team building as it describes team building on a basic level without using keywords such as interpersonal relationships or team goals, which were used previously. This definition fits very well with the idea of using team building in the early stages of the Tuckman model mentioned before, since it explains how team building supports the effectiveness of the team to prepare it for performing before reaching the performing stage without providing the group members with skills that enhance performance. Regarding the purpose of team building, there are quite a few disagreements between scientific researchers. One article[4] describes the purpose of team building as a way to provide skills, promote high levels of team performance, and increase interest in and commitment to team work. In another article[5], the author describes it as a way to develop team members awareness, practical skills, and a belief in the power of teamwork. However, in a different article[1], the author states that team building is designed to help team members understand the role and value of team leadership, effective interpersonal communication, goals and vision, and the need for team unity, cohesiveness, and commitment. When comparing these three statements to each other, the first two claim that team building both consists of social, performance and skill-based elements of team work, thus claiming that team trining is a part of team building. This contradicts both the theory that was mentioned in the team development section of this report and the last statement just mentioned, which makes it hard and confusing to get an understanding of what team building exactly is. Therefore, it can only be assumed which statement seems most reliable. In this case, the third one seems most reliable. The reason for this is that compared to the Tuckman model, team building would have to cover all stages except for the last one according to the first two statements, even though there is a big gap between the third and the fourth stages of the Tuckman model. As explained in the last section, when a team wishes to focus on improving its social functions through exercises, the intentions of the exercises are completely different than if the team wished to focus on improving its perfomance and skills. Therefore, it seems odd to see team building and team training as one and the same. With a general definition of team building and its purpose in place, the different elements of team building can be explained in depth. As mentioned above, important parts of team building are team leadership, interpersonal communication, goals and vision, team unity, cohesiveness, and 9

18 commitment. A leader s job is to set goals and strategies so that the team members know what to do and where the project is going [6]. Where one would think that this would be a good place to use belbins leadership roles [7] to get the best leader possible, it might be wrong. However, it must be recognized that these models will not work as team building. These are designed to maximize effectiveness, they are team effectiveness models. As far team building is concerned, the leader s job is to motivate the team to perform best possible. A team leader s responsibility is for the overall communication between team members and communication between the team and the outside world [7]. If the work preformed by the team is of such a character that is demands much knowledge and research, then it is the leaders responsibly to make sure that all team members have the information needed to perform their best possible job. The most powerful leadership is when there is not one person controlling the team, but rather when the different responsibilities are divided between the team members[7]. It has been shown that this democratic leadership is more innovative and has a bigger profit [6]. Leaders can be divided in three groups [8]. Instrumental, affective and ethical. The Instrumental leader is only focused on the task that has to be preformed. While the affective and ethical leaders are able to to give out knowledge and power. There are undoubtedly assignments that demand an instrumental leader, but generally speaking should it be more advantages for the organization to make their instrumental leaders affective and/or ethical. Interpersonal interaction is a general term used for describing actions between team members and can be seen as the same as interpersonal communication[2]. Interpersonal interaction is often anaylzed in association with temperament type theories, which are theories used for specifically identifying a common interpersonal problem known as interpersonal tension[9] [10]. Interpersonal tension occurs when there are misunderstandings or resistance between two or more indviduals in an interpersonal interaction[9] [10]. By using temperament type theories, differences between people can be identified and optimal teams can be constructed by grouping individuals without major differences together or adjustments can be made in an already existing team[9]. One temperament type theory known as the Social Styles Profile[11], describes differences between individuals through interpersonal styles. According to this theory, each individual has his or her own interpersonal style, which consists of two dimensions of human interaction: Assertiveness and responsiveness. Assertiveness is described as the degree to which an individual attempts to influence the thoughts and actions of others, while responsiveness is the degree to which an individual expresses feelings when relating with others. These two dimensions of human interaction are both used in one-on-one and group interactions between people. According to the social styles profile theory, each individual has his or her own mixture of assertiveness and respoviness. This makes up a person s s interpersonal style, which for most people falls into on of the following three categories: Analytical style, driver style, amiable style, and expressive style. In the figure above, the different interpersonal styles corresponding to the different degrees of both assertiveness and responsiveness can be seen. People with the ask characteristic are less assertive and have a tendency to hold back and not take control during interpersonal interaction. Instead of giving orders, individuals with this characteristic take orders. Styles with this characteristic are the analytical and amiable. In opposition to this type of style, individuals with the tell characteristic are more assertive and have a more dominating interpersonal style, where it is common to give orders instead of taking them. The driving and expressive styles both share this characteristic. More responsive interpersonal styles such as amiable and expressiveness, which have the emotes 10

19 Figure 2.1: Social Styles Profile [12] characteristics, are typical for people who are very extroverted with their emotions. This means they are very open and influential on other people s moods. The analytical and driving interpersonal styles are less responsive and suit individuals who are good at controlling their emotions and staying serious focused on the task. This also means that they can be a bit harsh compared to the more responsive interpersonal styles. Each interpersonal style also has certain motivations that come with it. For instance, analyticals are motivated by a need of respect, drivers are motivated by power, amiables are motivated by approval, and expressives are motivated by recognition. Each style also has its own speciality, which means it has a certain function which it is best at. The analytical s speciality is technical, the drivers is control, the admiables is supportive, and the expressives is social. Comparing this with the amount of assertion and responsiveness as mentioned earlier, it is clear that there is a difference between the less responsive and the more responsive styles. The less responsive styles have specialities that are very focused on the task, while the less responsive styles have specialities that are focused on other people. According to the Tuckman model, one of the first parts of team development in the forming stage involves learning about team members ways of interacting with each other. This means that interpersonal styles assumably are identified by team members very early on during team development. With an understanding of how people s ways of interacting with each other can differ, it is now easier to see how conflicts can arise if there are either too many of the same or too many different interpersonal styles within a group. Conflicts can especially arise if the individual group members do not know how to interact with people of different styles than their own. 11

20 Well thought out and challenging goals, both in individual and group-related contexts, are very important parts of building incentive and motivation for a team and their projects [13]. Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham s article from 2002 describes how simply aiming to do your best will result in significantly lower performance than actually having concrete goals to work towards. There are other types of goals than the typical task oriented performance goals (PGO); learning goals (LGO), where you work towards a gaining of knowledge or skills can be more motivating than performance goals, but according to Harackiewicz, Barron, Carter, Lehto, and Elliott s study from 1997[14] of college students and goals, it was found that there was no improvement in performance when utilizing learning goals, though there was an increase of interest in the subject, and vice versa when working with performance goals. There is not a large amount of data gathered about the utilization of learning goals in either individual or group contexts, and it might therefore be quite interesting for us to lead test subjects into using LGO and of course PGO and combinations of the two in our tests and solutions if possible. As mentioned earlier in the description of the Tuckman model, in the initial stage, team members are often unaware of their common goal in the very beginning. Since team members don t actually begin to cooperate and share ideas until the storming stage, it can be assumed that the initial steps of goal setting are found in this stage. Unity is an element of team building, which has not been explained in depth throughout the different scientific articles about team building. It is therefore difficult to gain more knowledge about it other than the definitions of the word itself. One scientific article about team unity set in the context of physical sports [15] defines team unity as a certain threshold that is achieved when one or more entities (people, groups, communities, organizations, and/or nations) are able to coordinate behavior, so they act as one and are consistently coherent when working with one or more tasks over time. If the entities do not reach this threshold, it is considered as disunity. Compared to the Tuckman model, team unity clearly belongs to the norming stage, since it involves team members being able to act as a unit, which is the purpose of this stage. In a scientific article about cohesiveness and leadership across cultures [16], cohesiveness is defined as the degree of attraction and motivation of team members to remain in the given group. It both consists of the forces that attract members to the group and the incentives for members to remain in the group. Finally, the article states that employees in cohesive groups value their membership and wish to maintain the positive relationships with the rest of the group. According to this definition, cohesiveness seems like it exists throughout all stages of the Tuckman model, since it is a constant factor that determines how attracted team members are to their group. It is not explained which factors exactly influence attraction to groups, however it can be assumed that it has something to do with interpersonal interaction in the group, since its success like interpersonal interaction depends a lot on how much group members like to work with each other. Commitment is a word defining the relative strenght of an individual team member s identification and involvement in a given team. This definition comes from a scientific article examining team commitment in self-directed team environments [17], which also contains the following citation about commitment on page 439: It can be characterized by (a) a strong belief in, and acceptance of, the organization s (or team s) goals and values; (b) a willingness to exert considerable effort on behalf of the organization (or team); and (c) a strong desire to maintain membership in the organization (or team). Based on this definition, commitment seems like it is very dependant on the individual team member s interest in the team and is therefore a very personal matter. Since the focus of this article is on self-directed teams, the characteristics of commitment are mentioned 12

21 as percieved task interdependance, satisfaction with supervision, and satisfaction with coworkers. Comparing this theory to the Tuckman model, it can be assumed that an individual s commitment to a team can be established after the forming stage. The reason for this is that team members do not have a common goal and vision and have not had time to establish relationships at this point. Now that there is a basic foundation of team building in place and knowledge about the different elements of team building, it is possible to examine existing solutions and assess which types of team building are focused on and what can be improved Summary and conclusion By learning about the different stages of team development and thereafter the different types of team building through a range of various theories in this chapter, a basic understanding of team building has been reached. This knowledge will benefit further analysis of existing team building solutions and create a fundament, which the design of the product can be based on. One of the major conclusions that can be drawn from this chapter is the term team development and the delimitation of team building and team training. Here it was discovered that team building only involves the social aspects of the group and if completed successfully, improves team training, which focuses on solving specific tasks. Team building and team training were also compared to the Tuckman model, where it was assessed that team building takes place in the initial stages of team development, so team building comes before team training. After locating team building within team development, an in-depth look at team building showed that team building focuses on improving leadership, interpersonal communication, goals, unity, cohesiveness, and commitment within a group. Each aspect was then researched and explained. However, there is quite a difference in both the quantity and quality of the scientific research that lies behind each part of team building. So the knowledge of some team building aspects such as unity and cohesiveness are a bit limited. Interpersonal communication here seems like the team building aspect with the most theory behind it. It also seems like a very important part of team building and team development in general compared to the other aspects due to it being mentioned so frequently in team development theories. 2.3 Interview analysis In order to get an in depth understanding of the practical use of team building beyond finding common exercises, an interview was conducted with founder of Team Building Aalborg, Gert Holm. Team Building Aalborg is an organization that specializes in team building solutions and other activities such as staff parties for organizations. Team Building Aalborg has existed since year 2000 and currently consists of five staff members. According to their website[18], their team building solutions are focused on communication, effectiveness, and cooperative training. All exercises take place in the outdoors and focus on implementing theory through practical and educational exercises. The following is a summer of the interview transcripted seen in appendix A. Throughout the interview, there are references to a game idea, which was being brainstormed in the group at the time. The following summary will not include this idea, since there cannot be not drawn any relevant conclusions from it. According to Gert Holm, team building exercises should be fun but also educational. He mentioned that there are many different approaches to team building and interpretations of what team 13

22 building should involve. Gert deals team building exercises into two categories. The most popular and best selling team building exercises are the ones which are almost exclusively based on having fun. The purpose of this type of exercise is that team members share a memorable experience together that they can talk about afterwards and at the same time they get to learn each other better. The disadvantage of this type of exercise is that team members do not discuss the process of the exercises and attempt to develop as a team. Even though they are not not the most popular type of team building exercise, the more serious exercises are the most succesful ones regarding how much the teams develop. In these exercises it is essential that group members discuss the process of the exercises afterwards. The main purpose of discussing the process is to point out flaws in order to avoid them in the future. However, people naturally avoid looking at their own flaws, if they are not forced in some way. Team Building Aalborg attemps to make mixture between the two types of exercises. The fact that all exercises take place in the woods away from the workplace means that barriers are broken down and group members thereby tend to have fun with each other much easier. However, this does not mean that the exercises are not educational. According to Gert, if group members do not associate the exercises with something fun and enjoyable, it is very unlikely that they will remember and think about the exercises afterwards. Throughout the interview, Gert mentioned a theory about the different modes or phases a group can be. According to this theory, groups are either in routine or development mode when working with tasks. Groups enter routine mode when the tasks at hand are nothing new and challenging but instead similar to previous tasks the group has worked with. It was mentioned that task delegation is quite important when groups are in this mode, since it is in this mode team members get individual tasks to work with. It is natural for individual group members to have certain preferences when choosing which tasks to work with. Here it is important that the leader of the group can detect which tasks suit the different group members in order to delegate them correctly and thereby reach high efficiency in the group. Groups enter development mode when their tasks present new challenges and force group members to think in new ways. In this mode, it is natural that frustration occurs, since it is a part of learning something new. In frustration, it is possible that team members end in a personal fight instead of working on the problem. In this case, development has a tendency to stop. It was also mentioned that leader roles usually step aside when in development mode, since group members in this mode spend a lot of time discussing and making decisions in opposition to routine mode where tasks can be delegated to individual team members. As mentioned earlier in this interview, Gert sees the educational part of team building as the most successful way to develop a team. During the exercises, Team Building Aalborg has one or more moderators on the side, who between exercises comment on the process and bring suggestions to what the group can do differently to improve. Here group members and especially leaders can be pulled aside for constructive criticism, as it can be demoralising for the individual group member if the entire group is listening. When the moderator steps in to help a group, it is essential that he or she does not act offensive in any way. This can result in team members becoming defensive and stubborn, which can hinder group members in learning from their mistakes and instead start personal fights with the moderator. When discussiing certain issues with the group, the moderator must also be given permission by the group as some issues may be very sensitive and personal for certain group members and must therefore be treated carefully. Gert mentioned the moderator role as exceptionally difficult, since the group s willingness and open mindness towards the tasks 14

23 to a certain degree depend on how much they trust the moderator. In the interview, Gert made some references to the interpersonal styles theory mentioned earlier in the theory and research section of this report. He mentioned that people have different personalities and not all personalities play well together, however people can learn to adjust to each other. If an already developed group of ten members gets a new group member, it becomes a whole new group, since the group establishes new group dynamics. Other than having interpersonal styles, Gert also mentioned that each member has a role which is not dependant on the profession of the individua and which varies from group to groupl. This role is based on the group the team member is in and how he fits in socially. Certain personalities function as great team leaders in some groups and very bad team leaders in other groups. During exercises, Gert mentioned that he sometimes switches the group roles around in order to make group members see the problem from each other s perspectives in order to understand and accept each other s decisions. Towards the end of the interview, the focus was shifted towards the problem statement of this project and important considerations to have in mind when designing interactive media around team building. A problem which Gert saw with this is that it can be dangerous to self reflect on the process of the exercises without a moderator, since it can result in group members being stuck in their old habits and not being able to improve their process as they cannot see their own flaws. It can however also be positive, since group members are forced to self reflect collectively and thereby communicate. Though, there is also the risk of team members being demoralized in the process of commenting on each other s actions. According to Gert, another problem with not having the moderator on the side during the exercises is that the difficulty of the exercises must be adjusted on the fly in order to make sure that the group is constantly developing itself. In order for the group to develop itself, exercises must be challenging and at times frustrating. Though, there must also be a balance, so the frustration level is neither too high or too low. Groups have different competences and group dynamic. Therefore, the difficulty cannot be generalized. He strongly emphasized on the problem of not having a moderator and mentioned it as the reason why he did not quite believe that team building can be done through interactive media alone As a closing question, it was asked if team building has ever been done through interactive media before. In his answer, Gert said that electronic and interactive team building exercise has not really been done before. The advantage of making it electronic is that team building can be made more accessible, since companies do not neccesarily need to contact a team building specialist and spend a lot of resources. However, without the specialist it is difficult to have a moderator that can comment on the process and help the team personally. 2.4 Market and Target Group Analysis Two particular target groups have been considered for this project. One of them is university students that are working in groups. The other is workplaces that work in project groups. Since workplaces that utilize groups and teams in their work are the main focus of team building interventions and excersizes, these are obviously interesting for us, and looking at the group of people who are going to enter that very same job market after their education is possibly even more valuable to target to see if we can find some interesting solutions for team building this early, and help improve their knowledge of group dynamics before they enter the workfoce. 15

24 Choosing university students would probably be the easiest choice, since it is easier to relate to and it is also much easier to find test subjects for testing in the future. These subjects would probably also give the best results, since they might not be as experienced in working in groups, which would prove better subjects for improving their teamwork. Not all universities use the same kind of group work as Aalborg University, but they still utilize group work, albeit in a different way, therefore they are also viable as a target group. Choosing a workplace as the target group however could probably provide some more professional feedback, as they might be more experienced in working in groups MINERVA Model The MINERVA model is a model used to specify and analyze your target group further. This is done by placing the target group in one of the four segments of the compass-like model. Each of the segments represent a lifestyle of the target group. the four segments each have a characteristic color. In the blue segment the modern and pragmatic are present. In the green segment the modern and idealistic are present. In the pink segment the traditional and idealistic are present. In the purple section the traditional and pragmatic are present. The target group can then be placed within these segments. By placing it different places in the segments it can be specified how modern the specific group is for example. As for the position the two possible target groups, university groups would go in the modern section. It could be both in the green and blue section, depending on what the particular group in mind studies. Scientific studies would go in the blue segment, whereas humanistic studies would go in the green segment. A workplace would be in the pragmatic section, but depending on what kind of workplace is in mind, it could be both modern and traditional. The workplaces in the modern segment would be workplaces such as IT companies and such, whereas workplaces in the traditional segment would be factories and the likes of it. For this particular project, focusing on a modern workplace would probably be the best idea, since group work isn t as important in the traditional worplaces as in the modern ones MOSAIC model Another model that helps further specify and understand our target group is the MOSAIC/conzoom model, which augments the traditional MINERVA model with 30 more specific, demographic groups, which have been found and described with the use of empiric hard data. It bases its groups on statistics, tendencies, interviews, and mathematic models, and is updated roughly once a year with new data. The model divides the Danish population into 8 general groups, from A to H, which are named as follows: A Home owners with surplus B Comfort and cosiness C Life on the countryside D Wealthy people E Community F Life in the big city 16

25 G Seniors H Up and coming young people These groups all have varying amounts of more specific subgroups called types, with general assertions about characteristics, habits, and living conditions described. There are a few different subgroups that seem the most interesting to us: D3 - On the career ladder This segment represents young families with a lot of children. The youngest of these families are in their 20 s and the most established couples are in their 30 s and up. The career of this segment is still ongoing and there are goals for the future. The income in this segment isn t the highest, but it s somewhat high and still rising. People in this segment usually have had some sort of higher education. This segment could be useful in this project since it consists of working people that might be involved in group work at their workplace. The segment is also placed in the modern segment of the MINERVA model, which is the preferred segment for this project. F1 - Young part This segment represents primarily single people in their 20 s and 30 s. They have yet to start a family. A big part of this segment is still in education or just finished a higher education. The income in this segment is somewhat low since a big part of this segment is without a job. Their career hasn t started yet. This segment is interesting for us since it consists of people still under education. These people are probably working in groups so these people could be useful for this project. Another reason why this is a good segment for this particular project is that there are also people about to enter the labour market. These people will potentially go into groups, which could be useful as well. F2 - Career starter The people in F2 are done with their studies, having finished a higher education and continue working in the same field as they studied. This group is interesting for us because they are working in the city, and can be presumed to work in groups to some extent. H1 - Collegium This group is the central group of interest when looking outside the work place. The group consists of young people in their 20 s. They are busy with their studies, though they may have a part-time job (which mostly do not contain group work) and are mostly contained in the modern segment of the MINERVA model. They are very interested in video games and interactive media in general. They are interesting to us because many university subjects can involve group dynamics and workflows that can be taken with you when going into the job market afterwards. If we can start improving how groups work together here, we might hope to be setting better foundations for the students when they start working later on Conclusion The segments F1 and H1 have been chosen as the primary target group for this project. The reason they were both chosen is that they somewhat overlap on many points, so you can see them as one 17

26 group, to some extent. The two groups are both around the same age, both are also still studying or just finished studying, and without a job. Both of the groups are also going to enter the labour market in the future, when they finish their education. The reason why these were chosen over the other two groups, is that inexperienced groups seems more interesting and might provide better results than groups that have better experience in group work, because improving group work on an inexperienced group would provide more obvious results. These groups will also have to enter the labour market in the future, thus making this a relevant group to improve group collaboration on, as they might have to work with it in their future. The groups F2 and D3 will act as secondary target groups, as they somewhat overlap with F1 and H1. One of the only differences being the level of experience in group work. Assumptions can also be made that the solution might help all of these segments in improving their group collaboration. 2.5 Summary and Conclusion In conclusion 18

27 Chapter 3 Design Design stuff 3.1 The platform Since We had already decided to work on Idea The idea for this platform was to make a multiplayer game where each player would have a screen of their own. The idea was that this would lie down on a table, making the players able to see each others boards, for strategic reasons. It was discussed, though, that to make the best teambuilding game the players shouldn t be dependant on the ability to see the other players screens. It also was discussed whether these screens would sit on a board or just connected with a cable, so you could move it around freely. The idea for the screen in the middle of the boards was that it should give the players the ability to keep tack of their score, as well as provide an alert signal when the players boards would fill up. Later the addition of arrows were also discussed to give the players feedback when sending blocks. The first idea for a game for the platform was to make a game that would improve a groups communication abilities within a group. Inspired by tetris and other games in that genre, a game was made. Not yet sure about the size of the board, it was supposed to be like Tetris, with blocks falling down randomly on each players board. There would be 4 different colors of blocks. Each player would get their own color. Only the player with the corresponding color would be able to clear the block. The blocks that isn t the particular players color would be able to send it to one of the other players. This aspect of the game is very important since it forces the player to work together and communicate. The players would get points when clearing blocks. They wouldn t have individual scores, though, since this would also force them to work together Design decisions Physical or digital? So far, the described ideas for the platform could potentially work on a digital touchscreen-enabled device just as easily as our intended physical platform; A more refined application of our solution for touchscreen tablets such as the ipad or the wealth of Android tablets could very well be a potential next step, should our electronic physical final prototype show results that are in accordance with what we hope to achieve with our project. This is something that will be discussed in further dept in the chapter about further development. 19

28 Since the aim of the project is to create a more accessible team building intervention, building the excersizes around an existing platform like the above could be considered a very good notion, but for now, creating creating our own distinct platform specifically intended for these team building excersizes is an interesting way to see how our ideas hold up. Using our own 3.1 Figure 3.1: Final concept model for the platform. 3.2 Lo-fi prototyping To easily test out our concepts and ideas, work was started on the prototyping. By starting out with low-fidelity, or lo-fi prototypes, where you take take the concepts and implement them in as simple means as possible, which gives you a much easier time modifying and adapting a design compared to a more advanced prototype where changing integral concepts, or anything else might simply not be possible any more. By working with these simple prototypes, we enable ourselves to quickly adapt to new findings and ideas as they come. When we started setting up the first prototype, we tried to list all items we wanted to test. Many of the things we were testing for were related to the first game we were making for the platform as well, since they were being developed simultaneously. So while our platform was being designed for a broader array of games, we cannot deny that this early game helped shape the platform in some ways. We sat up some criteria to evauluate on during the testing. For the first prototype, we looked a lot at if the preliminary rules set up for the game would work properly in the context of the 20

29 platform, but also looked after how well the 4x4 grid worked and if it would be possible to decrease the size further without hampering gameplay First iteration The first test we did was done on four large blackboards laid out in a circle with space in the middle for one person who acts as the computer in the simulation, e.g. controls when things happen and puts items on the board. We used four different symbols instead of colors since we found it easier to distinguish symbols over colours on this scale, and using coloured chalk would also have been rather expensive, considering how much chalk this prototype used. In this version we wanted to test the basic rules and concepts we had for the game and platform, and we therefore only tested this prototype internally the group. The setup looked like this, see figure 3.2. Figure 3.2: First board from lo-fi testing before starting the game Second iteration Third iteration For the third lo-fi prototype we vent for a more mobile way of testing in paper, for it to be abel to test it on a lot of people and we wanted a more stabel vertion that where not on a blackboards and to add even more speed to the game, to be sure that the game stil whoud be fun with the enprovements in game play. so we vent for an A3 for the game board for eatch player and changed the symbols out for coloured blocks and added a red die to show the players that a player had a full row see figure 3.4, and made a small timer program that can speed up the plasement for the computer controled bloks see figure 3.5, that was plased by rolling a die that also was used to tradeing on before hand. 21

30 Figure 3.3: In the second iteration, things got a lot more more refined limitations The limitations for the lofi test where that there was a lot of things the opservers had to do to make the game run like pplaseing blocks and keeping score and makeing sure that the players have not lost the game, all are things the program had to take care of, and that can be fixed when the physical product is done. 3.3 Final product The final product Hardware The device receives player input through any of the four separate button pad interfaces. These are from now on described as the /bf controllers of our device. The buttons, which can light up any button in any colour, are aligned in a 4x4 grid on each controller. Each of the four controllers are marked with one of four distinct colours; blue, purple, yellow, and green. These colours are henceforth known as the /bf player colour. Red is omitted from the /bf player colours for a specific reason; red is intended to be a warning colour that all four player should pay equal attention to. Some guidelines are made for the software, to alleviate early confusion when interfacing with the platform for the first time: Each player should always ideally have some control over the /bf player colour that is assigned to their controller if the gametype allows it. In the center of the device, an interface is located which allows for the modification of game options, shows information which is deemed important enough to be shown to all players during a game, and allows for switching between games. 22

31 Figure 3.4: In the third iteration, paper prototype. A lot of approaches were discussed as to how the underlying electronics should be designed; our initial designs turned out to have various deficiencies. Ultimately we chose to base our Software The software is coded in the programming environment Processing, in a language closely related to the programming language C. The The communication game This game revolves around... 23

32 Figure 3.5: In the third iteration, the program running. Figure 3.6: Concept of the final device 24

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