I am managing a remote team of students in a university class designed to give us workplace experience. My situation is as follows:
- First, the professor created a team of four students, and I volunteered to be the initial leader (this is a rolling position) as I have had experience with managing a remote team before.
- This same day, I group email my team members with some standards and a few questions. Two members respond introducing themselves, agreeing to use GitHub, and sharing their GitHub ID for me to add them to GitHub organization I created for the team.
- The next day, I group email my initial proposal for them to consider and request them to provide alternative proposals of their own. Nobody responds with critiques to this email, nor do they submit proposals of their own.
- The next day, the professor adds a fifth student to the group and asks me to get them up-to-date, and sets a deadline for a submitted proposal. I forward all current communications to this student and send out a third group email notifying the team of the deadline and requesting they share their available times for a group meeting (one of the team members is in Korea, and most others have full-time jobs; I believe I am the only full-time student in the group). One team member responds; the other three do not.
- Today (Saturday), I send a personal email to the student who was part of the initial group and has not responded yet; I am currently waiting to see if they respond.
My current plan is to send another group email later today asking them if a time available for me and the lone responder to my request for available times works for them. If any respond to this meeting, we will work around their time constraints to the best of our ability and hold a meeting where we create a plan for the week and discuss current issues; any who do not participate will be assigned an issue for them to complete.
The communication issue seems to be exacerbated by the fact that nobody has bought into the team; it is just something they need to do to graduate. Am I doing anything wrong here, or is this something I just need to deal with? This is my first time managing a team where participation is critical to success and where the team members have not bought into the goal before joining, and it is not like I can fire anyone for not doing their job. Any tips are welcome; I'm getting pretty desperate.