Ten non-obvious assumptions about our target customers that need to be validated are the following:
- The women in our co-op are able to learn how to operate the plastic recycling machines that we will produce for them.
- The women are willing to learn how to operate these machines
- The members of the co-op in Manila will be able to gather the materials to produce the plastic goods.
- The women will have the knowledge and ability to be able to make a business from the tools we provide to them
- People in the Philippines will want to purchase up-cycled plastic materials.
- The women in the co-op will be able to come up with designs for potential products.
- The women will be able to outsource the creation of the injection molds for their products to a third party firm that will manufacture them for the co-op.
- The women will be able to conduct the business venture independently
- Recycled products will appeal to the markets in metro manila
- The plastics recycling organizations will want to supply the women’s co-op with plastic waste goods.
Ten hypotheses about our project that need to be tested during our fieldwork in the Philippines are the following:
- Middle aged women in Manila are able to learn to operate plastic recycling machines.
- Our machines can be operated by themselves
- Our machines can be maintained for a long period of time.
- The machines operate at a low energy cost that can be supported by the women’s co-op.
- The machines can use inputs such as raw plastic waste. (Plastic bottles, jugs, toys, etc.)
- The machines will be able to be fully operated by the women in the co-op center.
- The process that turns raw plastic waste into an upcycled plastic good will take less than a day.
- A large selection of different plastic waste materials can be effectively shredded down into easily melted pellets.
- The local religious organizations will be able to aid the women’s co-op in gathering plastic waste materials.
- The women’s co-op will be able to produce at least 5 different artisan plastic products from the machine process.
I think that I bring several different traits to my team. To start, I always try my best to maintain a positive attitude during team meetings and discussions, as well as try to keep the discussions and conversations light but effective. I believe that the tone of group meetings can play a very important role in engaging other team members in the discussion, as well as making the overall outcome of each discussion as effective and constructive as possible.
Additionally, I bring a willingness to adapt to new situations to my team. Throughout each week I am constantly thinking of and trying to implement new ideas into our project with the goal in mind of being as efficient and impactful as possible. I have no issues with shifting gears on something I may be working on, if that means that the project can make better progress. I think it vital for each team member to be able to juggle several tasks at the same time, as well as being able to evaluate what task needs the most attention at the moment and what tasks are not as high of a priority.
Third, I try to encourage excellence and growth in my teammates. It is extremely important for teams to encourage one another so as to ensure that each team member is working as productively as possible.
Additionally, I believe that I bring strong communication skills to my team project. I always make a strong effort to be clear when I speak to my team members and faculty mentors, as well as asking them to ask me to clarify my points when they are not as clear as they could be. When others are speaking, I do the same for them.
One weakness that I have noticed in myself as Project Plastikan has progressed is my lack of time management skills. Since our project team meets with the faculty mentors on Mondays at noon and the student team meets without the faculty members on Sunday night, I sometimes have trouble keeping my focus on the project in the middle of the week when Plastikan may not be the first thing on my mind. To combat this, I have begun setting reminders in my phone to remind myself to try to make progress on the project no matter how small the progress may be. Additionally, I try to set aside a certain amount of time each day to evaluate my personal progress and efficiency as it relates to the results of the project.