How to Survive Group Projects

Good morning from Reno! (and yes the weather is beautiful today)

With semester chaos ensuing, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss surviving group  projects. In both of my graduate classes, I have worked very closely with group members all semester (both very positive experiences) and have a few pointers for selecting group members in the future.

  1. Take time to get to know your group members – even though you are often “stuck” together, it’s still nice to connect on a personal level with everyone in a group. Not only is it healthy to have good relationships with people you work with but you can also beg for a bit of mercy when you’re running behind on your paper or need an extra day to wrap up a mini-project. I’ve found that group members tend to be a tad more gracious when you consistently do good work.
  2. Don’t slack! – be sure to pull your own weight, contribute to the group discussions, and be and active member. Nothing pisses me off more than someone trying to get a free ride off of a group when they don’t even take the time to help out.
  3. Go above and beyond – even though it’s easier to just do the bare minimum, everyone will be much less stressed if you go above and beyond what is expected of you. You may even surprise yourself :-)
  4. Plan ahead – Ok, so maybe this semester was all about doing everything at the last minute (hence ridiculously high levels of stress) but planning ahead will ease your mind. Always.

What’s your advice for surviving group projects?

Picture credit



  1. Russ,

    This was a great post and reminder to all who are group members. I have been in groups from slackers to groups that have been phenominal. I will say that this year has been an exceptional group. We did not forget the basics of common courtesy and have worked in harmony.


  2. Hey Patricia,

    I agree, slackers freaking SUCK! Thank goodness both the school and business world works where you can “fire” people for negligence. On a positive note, it has been wonderful working with the 3 of you!

  3. Freeloading group members suck but atleast we can take comfort in that they will most likely end up on wellfare.

  4. Hey Rick, thanks for the thought. I couldn’t agree more, haha. Although, I’m not sure welfare will be around long enough to support all the freeloaders I’ve met in school :-|

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