Building Our Virtual Team

Today, our team, NUSAL, collaborated and met for the first time! We had a great time learning about each other, coordinating schedules, and creating guidelines to help empower our team in support of each other and in our own endeavors. Below is a list of our responses to the given Team Challenges on 09/12/2018.

TEAM CHALLENGE #1: How can your team schedule regular communications to develop “mutual knowledge?”

Our team began by first acknowledging each other’s busy schedules. Two of our team members, Jody and Jonas, are already pursuing internships in their career so they have made our team aware that while they are busy, they’d do their best to respond as quickly as possible. We found that Google Hangouts wasn’t compatible with Jody’s device; so, we decided we’d communicate face-face using FaceTime. We did not encounter any problems and the connection was spotless! We’ve also decided that in terms of written communication, we’d utilize WhatsApp. For any major notifications the team may need to be aware of (absences, emergencies, etc.), we’d use Email. For any absences, we decided we would create “minutes” which, essentially, are just notes from what had occurred the day of. Everyone on the team will be copied to the email and the file of our meeting notes will be sent to the member absent so they are kept in the loop. We’d meet every Wednesday for our face-face video calls since we know that everyone would be available.


TEAM CHALLENGE #2: Which mediums will you use to communicate time sensitive “important” information?

For any important information, we found it best to use email. While we still have WhatsApp as a medium to utilize for communication, we decided we’d set aside WhatsApp for any minor questions/communication.


TEAM CHALLENGE #3: What contextual information influences your team members’ ability to work on projects?

One of our team members, Katie, is a student athlete so she notified our team that she’d have a busy schedule during October. Additionally, we made note of any breaks/holidays that differed between the Netherlands and the United States. We took note of the Netherlands’ “Autumn Break” (October 22-26) and took note of the United States’ Thanksgiving Break (November 22-23). We established a policy that although we’d be off for breaks and the weekends, there are no communicative barriers. In other words, although we’re on break, we’d still respond to any messages regarding our team projects/assignments. No day is off-limits to communication! We’ve also spoke about weather emergencies since a few of our team members are commuters. If any case our commuting members weren’t able to make it onto campus, we’d communicate via WhatsApp.


TEAM CHALLENGE #4: As a team, make a list of the guidelines you will follow when working together.

NASUL Team Guidelines:

+ Due to time difference and busy schedules, allow 24 hours for a response to any message sent via email or WhatsApp

+ Submit assignments 1 day before the proposed due date to allow team members to give feedback and confirm assignment submission

+ Always ask questions prior to executing an assignment/task in order to avoid any miscommunication and “lazy work”


TEAM CHALLENGE #5: How will you handle a lack of communication – no response, no shows?

+ 3 Strike System: Essentially, this system gives our team members 3 chances for a “no-show and no response”. If, unfortunately, they had 3 strikes (didn’t text back, didn’t show up to class without notification), then we’d notify our Instructors immediately.


TEAM CHALLENGE #6: Come up with a team name!

> We came up with the name NUSAL. By combining both the acronyms for the United States (USA) and the Netherlands (NL), we arranged the letters to create NUSAL. ☻

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