BLOG 2: Project Proposal and Progress
Completed Proposal: lfs350proposal
- Articulate some of your Weekly Objectives and Achievements.
- Established connection with community partners at Evergreen Community Center
- Received the neighborhood in which we will conduct our evaluation of the VFAM tool
- Revised and finalized project proposal
- Divided the list of food assets between the group members and clarified the process through which we will proceed.
- Delegate tasks to different team members, based on our respective strengths
- Communicate about project expectations to establish continuity throughout the project
- Fill the gap in the Excel data collection spreadsheet through contact with all food assets containing information not publicly available on the map.
- Identify upcoming objectives and strategies to achieve them.
October 12 to November 2nd:
- Divide and conquer gaps in spreadsheet — contact organizations and request permission/information updates (checking in weekly)
October 26th (8th session – flexible learning)
- Identify locations in UBC Endowment lands where we will conduct the community evaluation of the VFAM tool.
- Contact food neighborhood partner who will work with us in the trialing of the map session
November 2th – 15th:
- Perform evaluations to gather and synthesize data for report where we will: – evaluate the performance of the VFAM in terms of ease of navigation
- assess the extent to which the VFAM helps individuals and families experiencing food insecurity identify and utilize food assets.
- determine opportunities for continued improvement and development of the VFAM.
Reflection on the Proposal-Writing Process
Following the initial lecture on writing a project proposal, our group had a slow start. We were unsure what to include, and how to collaborate as an unwieldy group of six. Part of this hesitation was due to the fact that we were unfamiliar with each other’s personalities and work habits.
Fortunately, our team had clear communication throughout the proposal writing process, and we were in agreement about what we were trying to achieve, so while it was difficult to get started, we did not face other interpersonal issues.
Together, we decided the most efficient strategy would be to break the proposal into three sections and work in pairs. We made sure to keep the process collaborative, sharing and comparing ideas, to make sure everyone was satisfied with the final product. This strategy worked well as it is easier to have fewer individuals contributing to one particular section, yet it still provided support and accountability to each pair.
Other difficulties we encountered were more related to the content of the proposal, as in determining exactly what material belonged in each section, defining a realistic scope for our project, and figuring out how we would assess our impact. To accomplish this, we had multiple discussions evaluating each other’s written sections, ensuring we each had an understanding of how that material contributed to the overarching project goal. As a group, we were able to establish the scope of the project, and what our group would realistically be able to accomplish in terms of data collection and the final contribution to the mapping tool.
Our productive work sessions show our group has found a model that works for us in terms of organizing ourselves and our time. Much like in Tim Harford’s (2016) TedTalk story, we were handed a plethora of existing data and information on the VFAM, and guided along the self-discovery necessary to define our own role in the project and turn it into something concrete: the proposal. As Harford (2016) refers to in his TedTalk, the fact that we were unfamiliar with each other is beneficial in how diverse group work requires more effort. He describes it as an intentionally uncomfortable experience, requiring more clashing, more accomodation, more stretching of ideas, but ultimately results in greater growth (individual and team), and a better product. Hartford said it best himself, “Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it isn’t helping you.” which could not be truer of our experience.
Source: Harford, T. (2016, January 17). How messy problems can inspire creativity [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd_j_kw_jZQ.