Posts From InterHague

Stahili’s challenges – our solutions

“In Hollywood, no one knows anything.” I sure felt like I was in Hollywood these past few weeks!

Nevertheless, GO BIG, OR GO HOME! (literally) So, we decided to go big.

I invite you to see for yourself what our hard work and sleepless nights were all about. Here’s a brief annotation to get you prepared for this quest:

Our video outlines main challenges Stahili Foundation is facing at the given moment and the solutions to these obstacles we came up with, taking into consideration the scale of the NGO’s work, their resources and priorities. The challenges themselves are pretty obvious and common among small NGOs, the reason behind them, however, is the tricky part. We shot our video in form of a story to help viewers see the problem from tip to the bottom of the iceberg.  And tried to incorporate the best ideas we came up with into a uniting strategy – each offered solution tackles all challenges one way or the other. (We also did our best in making it understandable and interesting with a pinch of wild effects =) ).
giphy

Salut!

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Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague

Act 1, scene 1… Action!

Week 8, a week full of frustration, bad luck and stress. Why is that so?

The holiday started well, we had almost everything arranged, we knew how we wanted to film and we made a list of props that everyone had to collect during the recess. But during the autumn break the ambiance changed, people were not responding on questions about the prop list and we still couldn’t find a place to film on our first day: Sunday. At the end of the week still nothing had changed and we noticed that some didn’t put effort in the props. We agreed on letting the editors do the preparation on Sunday and we start filming on Monday. On Monday we found out that there was no preparation done. We had to find out how we could do everything. After 2,5 hours we finally could start to film, could. Turns out we lacked communication between script writers and editors, the script changed but the visualizations never got updated. Back to the start, Alisa and I (Esmée) went through the script again, the editors/filming crew started to try out the microphone and filming. They were searching for the best way to get audio and filming in the same time period. At 5 o’clock the lights had to be handed in so we stopped for the day and realized we are one day behind track and the filming will take a lot more time then we expected.

Tuesday, a small group of the editors worked on the filming, the set up went quicker and everything went fluent. 1/3 was filmed and Wednesday we continued, searched for an empty room and did the set up,again.

It was a hard week and we can feel the stress. There were some irritations among the group because of this but we managed to get our heads looking towards the same direction: the good end result of the video.

For all the other teams I can say: good luck and let’s rock that last week of our first module.

Cheers!

Esmée

Tagged with:
Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague

Act 1, scene 1… Action!

Week 8, a week full of frustration, bad luck and stress. Why is that so?

The holiday started well, we had almost everything arranged, we knew how we wanted to film and we made a list of props that everyone had to collect during the recess. But during the autumn break the ambiance changed, people were not responding on questions about the prop list and we still couldn’t find a place to film on our first day: Sunday. At the end of the week still nothing had changed and we noticed that some didn’t put effort in the props. We agreed on letting the editors do the preparation on Sunday and we start filming on Monday. On Monday we found out that there was no preparation done. We had to find out how we could do everything. After 2,5 hours we finally could start to film, could. Turns out we lacked communication between script writers and editors, the script changed but the visualizations never got updated. Back to the start, Alisa and I (Esmée) went through the script again, the editors/filming crew started to try out the microphone and filming. They were searching for the best way to get audio and filming in the same time period. At 5 o’clock the lights had to be handed in so we stopped for the day and realized we are one day behind track and the filming will take a lot more time then we expected.

Tuesday, a small group of the editors worked on the filming, the set up went quicker and everything went fluent. 1/3 was filmed and Wednesday we continued, searched for an empty room and did the set up,again.

It was a hard week and we can feel the stress. There were some irritations among the group because of this but we managed to get our heads looking towards the same direction: the good end result of the video.

For all the other teams I can say: good luck and let’s rock that last week of our first module.

Cheers!

Esmée

Tagged with:
Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague

Week X

Ladies and gents! We are almost on the finish line! We no longer count which week into the project it is – it’s officially a countdown!

This week was full of collaboration. At this point we are working with fellow watotos so well – we complement each other like the magical yin-yang of peanut butter and jelly. But it wasn’t always like that. It took us good 3 weeks to reach “Zen” of collaboration. I’d like to point out the fact that there are only two teams within our NGO group which was crucial for such an early onset of our strong cooperation.

10 people means more work done, right?

No. I’ve discovered that for us the biggest benefit of working in a larger group was not the amount of work done, but the quality of it. Having more minds on board allowed us to dig deeper in our research and more critically evaluate the challenges and propositions we defined for our NGO. Another great thing is that we are the “guinea pigs” of one of our own proposals to our NGO – the expansion of volunteer network. There are a lot of similarities between Stahili Foundation and our team in that matter. Stahili’s started of as a group of 3 with additional help of few wonderful volunteers, and with the amount of work they have right now they need to expand and diversify their volunteer network in order to maintain their rate of success. We, on the other hand, started of as two separate teams of 5 working on one goal, and very soon realized, that if we make it right, we will achieve greater success through collaboration. We tried different approaches in working in a large group before we discovered one that really suited us.

Our recipe to a successful teamwork

On Monday we gather together, review the agenda in the Manual and create our own interactive To-Do list. When we have defined tasks for the week, (for us it’s better to have two to three important tasks each week  – more tasks have negative influence on the quality of result), we split into teams of 4 or 5, according to one’s personal skills and desires. Afterwards we continue working within those teams throughout the week, and have whole group discussions at least twice during our meetings. There are several benefits of this practice – first, everyone gets to express their thoughts, second – each person concentrates on one team’s task, without having to switch between topics, and finally it builds up trust within our group.

Here’s some magic of our approach at work – last Wednesday our collaboration led to creation of a 2,5 m tall Storyboard.


Storyboard (flawless Manda on a stool for scale)

The evolution of our Storyboard

During the weekend everyone had time to reflect on the Storyboard we crafted on Wednesday individually, and one common thing that we unanimously agreed upon was that our story was too vague and complex for anyone outside of our group. We needed clarity. With few very useful insights from our teacher we created a guideline for the story we want to tell in the video. This time it covered not just the solutions to the challenges, but also explained why we chose these particular challenges and why is it essential for Stahili to address them first. Right now our Storyboard floats in digital space of Google Documents for each of the group members to see and improve.

What do we do now?

At the given moment, following our tradition, we split into two teams – one is working on the script of the video, and the other one is busy with researching technical aspects of our video-making. Every member has an assignment within his team that suits his or her capabilities best.

Above that, we are strongly cooperating with our NGO and look forward to meet with them again during our autumn break.

Life is sweet. So is my group.

Here’s something to read for desert – Watotomages – Reflection of week 7

tumblr_nifo4toSLZ1u36pzio1_500

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague

Week X

Ladies and gents! We are almost on the finish line! We no longer count which week into the project – it’s officially a countdown!

This week was full of collaboration. At this point we are working with fellow watotos so well – we complement each other like the magical yin-yang of peanut butter and jelly. But it wasn’t always like that. It took us good 3 weeks to reach “Zen” of collaboration. I’d like to point out the fact that there are only two teams within our NGO group which was crucial for such an early onset of our strong cooperation.

10 people means more work done, right?

No. I’ve discovered that for us the biggest benefit of working in a larger group was not the amount of work done, but the quality of it. Having more minds on board allowed us to dig deeper in our research and more critically evaluate the challenges and propositions we defined for our NGO. Another great thing is that we are the “guinea pigs” of one of our own proposals to our NGO – the expansion of volunteer network. There are a lot of similarities between Stahili Foundation and our team in that matter. Stahili’s started of as a group of 3 with additional help of few wonderful volunteers, and with the amount of work they have right now they need to expand and diversify their volunteer network in order to maintain their rate of success. We, on the other hand, started of as two separate teams of 5 working on one goal, and very soon realized, that if we make it right, we will achieve greater success through collaboration. We tried different approaches in working in a large group before we discovered one that really suited us.

Our recipe to a successful teamwork

On Monday we gather together, review the agenda in the Manual and create our own interactive To-Do list. When we have defined tasks for the week, (for us it’s better to have two to three important tasks each week  – more tasks have negative influence on the quality of result), we split into teams of 4 or 5, according to one’s personal skills and desires. Afterwards we continue working within those teams throughout the week, and have whole group discussions at least twice during our meetings. There are several benefits of this practice – first, everyone gets to express their thoughts, second – each person concentrates on one team’s task, without having to switch between topics, and finally it builds up trust within our group.

Here’s some magic of our approach at work – last Wednesday our collaboration led to creation of a 2,5 m tall Storyboard.


Storyboard (flawless Manda on a stool for scale)

The evolution of our Storyboard

During the weekend everyone had time to reflect on the Storyboard we crafted on Wednesday individually, and one common thing that we unanimously agreed upon was that our story was too vague and complex for anyone outside of our group. We needed clarity. With few very useful insights from our teacher we created a guideline for the story we want to tell in the video. This time it covered not just the solutions to the challenges, but also explained why we chose these particular challenges and why is it essential for Stahili to address them first. Right now our Storyboard floats in digital space of Google Documents for each of the group members to see and improve.

What do we do now?

At the given moment, following our tradition, we split into two teams – one is working on the script of the video, and the other one is busy with researching technical aspects of our video-making. Every member has an assignment within his team that suits his or her capabilities best.

Above that, we are strongly cooperating with our NGO and look forward to meet with them again during our autumn break.

Life is sweet. So is my group.

Here’s something to read for desert – Watotomages – Reflection of week 7

tumblr_nifo4toSLZ1u36pzio1_500

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague

S T O R Y B O A R D !

IMG_1386

CLICK FOR BIGGER PICTURE

Tagged with:
Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague

6 weeks of hard work

Another big task for this week is reflecting on all the learnings for so far. Because everyone experienced these weeks differently I asked the following questions to everyone in the InterHague team:

  • What did you learn the most from all of the past weeks reflections?
  • Which team blog has had the most impact or has been the most useful to you?

Esmée:

I learned a lot about communication, in the beginning I thought I wouldn’t be that good in team work, but after all the (preparations of the) reflections I saw that we all worked together so well! In the beginning we all had some trouble but we came back on track and improved the result of our work so much! I’m proud of our team and proud of the process of changing confusiasm into enthusiasm! The team blog that had the most impact on me was the one of IDE Collaborators. We also had a hangout with them because they could really help us with advices based on organizing a NGO better. They used google a lot and gave us some insights in those tools. As a tech steward that is very interesting. It will bring people together at the right places and right times. Everything will go a lot smoother so time can be used better and nothing goes to waste.

Alisa:

It’s been one month into our project, but it feels like it’s been ages! (In a good way though) This project has been a rollercoaster in terms of defining challenges for our NGO and at the same time dealing with the challenges within our group. I am Client Service of my team, and throughout these weeks my main focus was to establish good communication between the NGO and our team. For myself I discovered several aspects of teamwork which previously I wouldn’t even take into consideration. One important revelation that I will definitely bring into my future work – it is important to establish strong relationship with your client not only on behalf of your group, but make sure that your group feels the connection with the client. In terms of our blog – I’ve mostly learned not from our reflections, but from the process of preparing our reflections. It was usually group work – we’ve always discussed key points together, and I think that allowed all of us stay on a similar track and define the important tasks within a group. In short, I think that reflection posts served more as checkpoints for our team and kept our work more or less correlated with the project manual. I think that week we posted infographic on Stahili Foundation needs was the one when we came up with strategy and direction of our team work.

Other blogs – for me, the most relevant and inspirational one was IDE Collaborators blog. I’ve been following their blog from the start. In our first two weeks into our projects I read all blog posts of all teams, and they were the ones I found to be the most serious and enthusiastic about the project. Also, what caught my eye was the language they used (pretty formal and elaborate, but with a pitch of humor), and their visual representation – they use a lot of informative pictures or gifs in their posts, so before you start reading the post, you already have an idea what it’s about. Other thing that I really like about their blog – they are not afraid to write long posts, explaining their progress and why they do things the way they do. For me, I see that I can start reading their blog from any week and get the idea of what their project is about and where they are at a given point (in terms of group work AND their progress with their NGO).

Anton:

Each reflection post is a great idea to summarise our approaches and struggles we had during all past weeks. I liked and really appreciate the thing that my team really helped me a lot to prepare my own reflection post. It was really easier to reflect everything using our infographics (thanks to Manda) that showed clearly what was going on whole week. And analysing our reflections I am really happy that each week we had less struggles inside our team and group and more certain steps. Personally for me it was nice to compare also Watotomages blog to see their approaches so far. And as a good example of good blog I would mention “The ducks” and “IDE Collaborators”

Edvinas:

Since I had a lot of problems with my health I couldn’t participate in our project as i wanted and reading the reflections in the blogs  was the biggest help for me from my teammates and other teams because i could follow everything based on our NGO and NGO’s that other teams are cooperating with. So basically after a long weeks of being ill, I stood back on my legs and with a help of my team and tutor I got from confusiastic to ethusiastic. I really appreciate the fact that my team didn’t turn off and were full of ideas how should i get back and join the Project. So right now I’m doing my best to solve this big puzzle and will do everything to make the final video look great! And about the blog, since the first day, I really liked the “ IDE Collaborators” writing style, with a clearly and correctly written blogs, they still got a daring to add some humor into it. And i loved it.

Manda:

When thinking about what I learned so far, the first thing coming to my mind is – blogging. I already knew there were “these blogs” on the internet and I even know some (really successful) bloggers personally as well, but nevertheless it was a revelation to me, what it is really all about. As part of Project Community I understand the entire function of a blog and how it works. I dealt with all the details like the writing style, the content, the structure and visualization. And I have to admit that it’s really amazing to me – I even think about writing a personal blog (and all my friends and former work mates want me to do this ;)). The second thing is not really a learning but a pleasant experience. As described in our blog we worked very well on giving feedback and reflect on our work and on ourselves. I was used to work together with people to whom giving feedback and reflection was normal, in my Scout Organization as well as at IKEA it was a daily faire. Hence I was surprised in a positive way that it worked so well with a group of five people from five different countries, knowing each other hardly two weeks at the beginning. I think this matter contributes a lot to our team work and especially to our very fast developing team spirit.  Having a look at other teams and their blogs, there are two teams which are outstanding to me: IDE Collaborators and Split United. Both teams convinced me through their enthusiasm and their energy, it seems that you can really feel it through their blogs. I enjoy reading them because the posts are well structured but more important they are visually attractive. I like that they work with useful graphics (for example the post about “Twitch” from Split United) and that the main points are really outstanding, so you get the most important facts very easy and fast (for example “We want to rally […]” from IDE Collaborators). In my opinion the latter is the most important considering the flood of information from all the blogs 😉

giphy

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague

S T O R Y B O A R D !

IMG_1386

CLICK FOR BIGGER PICTURE

Tagged with:
Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague

Inter inter inter group collaboration

The IDE collaborators posted an awesome reflection on how they work with google. We as InterHague group want to help our NGO with creating an organized an clear system. Our client service Alisa got in contact with Marcel from the IDE collaborators to ask them how they worked with google and they gave some nice tips and tricks.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague

6 weeks of hard work

Another big task for this week is reflecting on all the learnings for so far. Because everyone experienced these weeks differently I asked the following questions to everyone in the InterHague team:

  • What did you learn the most from all of the past weeks reflections?
  • Which team blog has had the most impact or has been the most useful to you?

Esmée:

I learned a lot about communication, in the beginning I thought I wouldn’t be that good in team work, but after all the (preparations of the) reflections I saw that we all worked together so well! In the beginning we all had some trouble but we came back on track and improved the result of our work so much! I’m proud of our team and proud of the process of changing confusiasm into enthusiasm! The team blog that had the most impact on me was the one of IDE Collaborators. We also had a hangout with them because they could really help us with advices based on organizing a NGO better. They used google a lot and gave us some insights in those tools. As a tech steward that is very interesting. It will bring people together at the right places and right times. Everything will go a lot smoother so time can be used better and nothing goes to waste.

Alisa:

It’s been one month into our project, but it feels like it’s been ages! (In a good way though) This project has been a rollercoaster in terms of defining challenges for our NGO and at the same time dealing with the challenges within our group. I am Client Service of my team, and throughout these weeks my main focus was to establish good communication between the NGO and our team. For myself I discovered several aspects of teamwork which previously I wouldn’t even take into consideration. One important revelation that I will definitely bring into my future work – it is important to establish strong relationship with your client not only on behalf of your group, but make sure that your group feels the connection with the client. In terms of our blog – I’ve mostly learned not from our reflections, but from the process of preparing our reflections. It was usually group work – we’ve always discussed key points together, and I think that allowed all of us stay on a similar track and define the important tasks within a group. In short, I think that reflection posts served more as checkpoints for our team and kept our work more or less correlated with the project manual. I think that week we posted infographic on Stahili Foundation needs was the one when we came up with strategy and direction of our team work.

Other blogs – for me, the most relevant and inspirational one was IDE Collaborators blog. I’ve been following their blog from the start. In our first two weeks into our projects I read all blog posts of all teams, and they were the ones I found to be the most serious and enthusiastic about the project. Also, what caught my eye was the language they used (pretty formal and elaborate, but with a pitch of humor), and their visual representation – they use a lot of informative pictures or gifs in their posts, so before you start reading the post, you already have an idea what it’s about. Other thing that I really like about their blog – they are not afraid to write long posts, explaining their progress and why they do things the way they do. For me, I see that I can start reading their blog from any week and get the idea of what their project is about and where they are at a given point (in terms of group work AND their progress with their NGO).

Anton:

Each reflection post is a great idea to summarise our approaches and struggles we had during all past weeks. I liked and really appreciate the thing that my team really helped me a lot to prepare my own reflection post. It was really easier to reflect everything using our infographics (thanks to Manda) that showed clearly what was going on whole week. And analysing our reflections I am really happy that each week we had less struggles inside our team and group and more certain steps. Personally for me it was nice to compare also Watotomages blog to see their approaches so far. And as a good example of good blog I would mention “The ducks” and “IDE Collaborators”

Edvinas:

Since I had a lot of problems with my health I couldn’t participate in our project as i wanted and reading the reflections in the blogs  was the biggest help for me from my teammates and other teams because i could follow everything based on our NGO and NGO’s that other teams are cooperating with. So basically after a long weeks of being ill, I stood back on my legs and with a help of my team and tutor I got from confusiastic to ethusiastic. I really appreciate the fact that my team didn’t turn off and were full of ideas how should i get back and join the Project. So right now I’m doing my best to solve this big puzzle and will do everything to make the final video look great! And about the blog, since the first day, I really liked the “ IDE Collaborators” writing style, with a clearly and correctly written blogs, they still got a daring to add some humor into it. And i loved it.

Manda:

When thinking about what I learned so far, the first thing coming to my mind is – blogging. I already knew there were “these blogs” on the internet and I even know some (really successful) bloggers personally as well, but nevertheless it was a revelation to me, what it is really all about. As part of Project Community I understand the entire function of a blog and how it works. I dealt with all the details like the writing style, the content, the structure and visualization. And I have to admit that it’s really amazing to me – I even think about writing a personal blog (and all my friends and former work mates want me to do this ;)). The second thing is not really a learning but a pleasant experience. As described in our blog we worked very well on giving feedback and reflect on our work and on ourselves. I was used to work together with people to whom giving feedback and reflection was normal, in my Scout Organization as well as at IKEA it was a daily faire. Hence I was surprised in a positive way that it worked so well with a group of five people from five different countries, knowing each other hardly two weeks at the beginning. I think this matter contributes a lot to our team work and especially to our very fast developing team spirit.  Having a look at other teams and their blogs, there are two teams which are outstanding to me: IDE Collaborators and Split United. Both teams convinced me through their enthusiasm and their energy, it seems that you can really feel it through their blogs. I enjoy reading them because the posts are well structured but more important they are visually attractive. I like that they work with useful graphics (for example the post about “Twitch” from Split United) and that the main points are really outstanding, so you get the most important facts very easy and fast (for example “We want to rally […]” from IDE Collaborators). In my opinion the latter is the most important considering the flood of information from all the blogs 😉

giphy

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Blogs, InterHague, NGO Groups, Stahili Foundation, Students, Teams
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: InterHague