tl;dr Even though our team did not win anything at the last Startup Weekend in Luxembourg #SWLux, I had the feeling that we have achieved much more than during the first time I attended to a such event.
According to me here are the key points that helped us.
During most of my experience of group work I have always tried to push toward consensus rather interrupt discussions. The main problem of this approach is that within a group of 6, no matter how hard and how long you try reaching a shared point of view, you may not reach it.
We lost a great amount of time not understanding this on the first day. Since startups are more about trial and error than being right at the first time. Fast decisions may be more important than good decisions.
Even if we ended making decisions by vote, I would not assert that this is always the best option to go. The leader should, while being here to help the group to achieve decision, try to maintain a consistent vision over the project when consensus could make it a patchwork.
Ownership is about being able to give some something to do to someone with full responsibility on it. Expecting one to have full hands on the task.
We quickly split the tasks according to our different skills and affinity. Letting people fully take care of whole parts of the project, which, on purpose led us agree, before presenting to the jury, on who was expert on what.
This lets us work in small groups, thus with more focus, less noise and more efficiency, most problem being solved internally by tasks teams. Going back to the problem of long talks, the less people involved into them, the less they cost you in the end.
Projects are usually full of gas tasks, tasks whose completion time expand according to the room you left them:
- Logo design
- Landing page text
- Cost / expense estimation
We quickly followed a SCRUM way of doing things: a todo list on the wall and regular quick gathering to follow each one achievements, problems and stay synchronized on the overall progress.
To my surprise we did not enter into life long debates about the name, the logo or the marketing text. We reserved our chats for more relevant discussions like target market segment, go to market strategy, what to say and not to say during the final pitch.