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Week 2 witnessed not only the formation of teams (which is utterly crucial to this course) but also my numerous attempts at the Mike's Bikes software which did not go anywhere near satisfaction.

Mike's Bikes seemed extremely simple at first since it is just a game where users change the inputs and press the rollover button to see the results of the business year. Moreover, it is specifically stated in the course' website that it should be relatively simple to get Share Holders' Value of 25 and above. So I thought to myself that probably 1 to 2 hours should suffice. I had never been more wrong in my life academically.

5 long and stressful hours working on the program made me realise how little I know about actually running a business. There are hundreds of things that I need to take into account and the advice dog has not been that helpful since his advice are useful, but not specific enough for me to address the right problems. There is almost no information online about how to succeed in this "game". I was completely all by myself as I tried to squeeze all the resources and knowledge of finance, accounting, as well as management out of my brain which was nowhere near ready for that kind of stress (because I actually thought it would be a breeze to succeed in a game that I thought was fool-proof in single mode). As a result, I ran out of time and had to hand in my embarrassing score of SHV of 15 at the end of 5 rollovers. That might mean that I was either lazy, or incompetent (according to one of the class reps). Anyway, I obviously feel a need to work harder in this course and take it much more seriously. Competition already started. Our team is ready to do what we need to do.

Team formation was approached in an interesting and unprecedented way in my opinion. According to Oakley, et al (2004), along with my own experience in non self selected teams, there is usually an effort in trying to achieve diversity. They were either formed randomly or according to students' competency, meaning there are usually stronger individuals and weaker individuals in the same team. This has usually encouraged the weaker members to strive and learn from their peers, while allowing the stronger members to play the roles of mentors when necessary. However, the way that team formation was carried out in this course this semester came to me as a bit of a surprise since it is explained that stronger team members will not have to bear the burden of dragging the weaker ones with them. I do not feel offended by this notion despite the fact that many of us are called "weak" just because we did not get the score of 20 or above. I take this as a challenge to prove that my group, with my support, will do what we need to do to stay in the game and may actually win it all.

 

Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matterMcKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3--27
Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teamsJournal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9--34.