When you’re working on a group project, it can sometimes feel like no one is on the same page. This module explains a potential solution to this problem: the group contract. The group contract is an agreement between all members of a group that helps you work together more cohesively.
Many common group work problems can be avoided with a bit of planning and communication. Enter the group contract. Watch the video or read more about it below.
A group contract is a document you create with your group in order to formalize the expectations of group members. It is created collaboratively with your group and can evolve to suit the needs of the group members. Some of the ways a group contract can help include:
A group contract would typically include the following elements:
Whether or not you decide to create a formal contract, it is a good idea to discuss these things before you start your project.
You can use our Group Contract Template - opens in a new window to create your own group contract. You can find explanations and examples of how to fill out the sections of this template in the tabs.
If you are in a group with three other people, chances are you’ll have four different ideas about how your team work should go. Your group project will go a lot more smoothly if you discuss ground rules and expectations. Watch the video or read more about setting expectations below.
When you first meet with your group, set some expectations and ground rules. These can include:
Once you’ve figured out what works for you as a group, group members have to commit to meeting these expectations.
When you’re working in a group, it is important to decide what each group member is responsible for. Watch the video or read more about roles and responsibilities below.
Start by figuring out what roles you need for your group and what the responsibilities are for each role. Then decide which group member(s) will fill each role.
Some of the roles are for multiple people. All group member will likely have to be researchers, writers, and presenters. You should also keep in mind that some roles, such as editor, may involve more work than other roles.
It can be tempting to leave everything to the last minute, but when you’re working in a group it’s even more important to get things done in plenty of time. Your group needs to leave enough time for everyone to be able to do their part, and that means creating a timeline. Watch the video or read more about creating a project timeline below.
Use our Project Timeline Template - open in a new window to complete the following steps:
Once you have discussed expectations, assigned roles and responsibilities, and created a timeline for the project, you can create a group contract to formalize these agreements. Watch the video or read more about how to create your group contract below.
Use our Group Contract Template- open in a new window to complete the following steps: