Monday, April 23, 2018

Capstone Class Orientation

This week marks the beginning of our capstone class.  I delivered my proposal to build an iOS app for lastwish.com, which I'm pretty excited about since I'd like to become an iOS app developer after graduation.  Orientation on Saturday was surprisingly fun, as well as interesting, because I think my colleagues have some very good, impressive ideas for their projects.  Wishing everybody lots of success and good luck as we set out.

For our journal entries this week, we were asked to read about the characteristics or indicators of effective, high-quality meetings that get results.  Although I'll work on my project alone, so won't have the opportunity to exercise my collaboration and people skills this quarter, these are still valuable lessons to review that one might draw upon throughout one's life and career, and some of which I have heard mentioned before.  It's not an uncommon complaint to hear that one has too many pointless meetings and, perhaps, not enough time or the means to achieve real results.  And I'll certainly have meetings with my advisors and client, with whom I should try to exercise these best practices.

According to Heathfield at thebalancecareers.com, firstly, prior to any meeting's taking place, one should determine what are its goals and ensure it's even necessary in the first place.  If so, gather the appropriate people together and provide them with necessary, relevant materials in advance.  Secondly, during the meeting, a facilitator should take on certain responsibilities, such as sharing an agenda, reviewing goals, and eliciting input from all participants, as quiet or extroverted as they may be.  Controversially, perhaps, the writer argues that having set an expectation for all participants that they should likely be called upon to speak to any of the materials that had been distributed prior, ensures that the participants come thoughtfully prepared, since they won't want to appear otherwise.  Additionally, this stage also includes setting clear follow-up duties at the end of the meeting.  Lastly, after the meeting, minutes should be available, and participants should be held accountable for task completion.  Debriefing is also useful for discussing what was and what was not effective or of value in the meeting itself.