I watch them, sitting together, huddled, bent over the round table, a collection of notepads, sketchbooks and laptops as they work together, snatches of conversation, differences of opinion, debate, discussion as the work progresses. The flow of ideas, the merging of different thought processes into a cohesive whole, drawing together disparate skills, different thoughts and ideas as they move towards a shared goal, the project. The brief is poured over, dissected with newly discovered tools, fertile young minds exploring a dynamic new way of working, having to learn each others strengths and weaknesses, establishing roles for themselves and for each other, finding ways to distribute tasks and workload to produce the required standard. The interactions rise and fall in intensity as personalities clash and rebound off each other, the hard edges being rubbed smoother as the group begins to knit together. The body language of the members of the group shifting as roles are established.
What seemed a complex task begins to resolve into discrete components, broken down step by step, allocated and timelined as the lectures on project management serve their purpose. The voices, the body language softens as each member of the group finds their natural place in the whole and begins to work. Individuals come and go from the table as the afternoon progresses, tasks drawing them away to scour the library for reference material, or to make phone calls, or conduct research, a flow of bodies and information, as the individual who has become their leader orchestrates and controls the flows, drawing everything together, pulling the work into the required format, drafting and redrafting the written elements and guiding and encouraging the others. Time dilates as they work, from the outside looking in I can see the concentration and focus increasing as the completion draws near, the intensity rising again as the last steps are carried out.
The collective sigh of relief and the moment of relaxation as the job is finally done….