1. You pick to work with people you like.
2. You don’t assign tasks.
3. You assign tasks but don’t hold everyone accountable.
4. Someone stops communicating or being productive.
5. Someone picks up the slack.
6. Someone gets angry but doesn’t say anything.
7. Grades come back for one portion and the blame game begins.
8. You can’t all agree on something.
9. An all-nighter occurs.
10. Everyone gets the same grade, or everyone gets a different grade.
The list above gives a pretty clear idea of how your project can go from fun to failing. However, sometimes it is difficult to identify these issues at the start of the project or before it’s too late to do anything about it. For this reason, I find that it is better to form groups with people who will not be lazy, judgmental, or passive aggressive. If they are not going to be straightforward, then you will waste a lot of time trying to guess what is going on with them, and these types of team members are going to break the unity and stall the progress-if any does occur. You need classmates who are dedicated, committed to sticking to a timeline and able to prioritize this project during the time you are working on it. I was once part of a group where one member left to meet a guy at a bar and my other group member quit on me that same night, too and said she would complete the rest of the tasks alone. It may sound ideal, but I want to be involved and know what is going on at all stages so I can be most useful during all phases of a project. Keep that in mind, too. You have to be a valuable team player as well!
If you don’t have a choice on who your group is, then be sure to always keep the communication lines open. Everyone should be clear about meeting times, deadlines, who is responsible for what, and when someone doesn’t agree on something or isn’t satisfied with someone else’s portion of a task, that should be made known as well! Do not hold back, because at the end when everyone is receiving a grade, usually the grade will be the same for everyone. Whether everyone gets an A due to all of your hard work, or whether everyone fails because the partier in your group neglected all their duties, really falls on everyone involved. Projects are usually meant to test a lot of skills so they weigh more heavily than homework or as much as a test, so do not think that they can be pushed to the side!