Teamwork is a concept and an activity that everyone has dealt with at some point in their lives. Teamwork by definition is the combined action of a group of people, for a similar goal. Teamwork can be a short term or long term process. The main elements of teamwork are leadership, cooperation, support, and diversity. When all of these elements come together the end product should be better than if done solo.
Leadership is the most important element of teamwork. A group with a strong leader will finish faster, have less internal conflict, and a more unified project. The leader is a group member that is selected by the whole group to make a plan and guide it to success. Even though every group should have a leader, the group should still make decisions democratically. A good leader will guide the group, no rule over the members.
Two Heads are Better than One
The next element is support: the way a group works together, both good and bad. If a group has a good support structure all group members will consistently check on each other and provide small bits of guides followed by a check from the leader of the group to get over any hurdles that may arise. A group that has a poor support structure can still work, but will most likely never work together again. The group will also work a bit slower and less checks will happen throughout the project and the crunch near the end of the project will be hard on all parties.
Crunch is when a due date is approaching and members put more than the normal amount of time into the project to make up for the lack of checks and group communication. For example, then a project is due in three weeks and instead of working the normal 40 hour weeks they work 70 hour weeks to finish the project on time. Every project will have crunch but the amount of crunch can show the effectiveness of a group. During a project having multiple differing views on a single subject can change it for the better giving a simple project more layers and make people outside of the group look at it more than just surface value.
Cooperation and Diversity
The final two elements are very closely related. cooperation and diversity can take any project to the next level. The group will learn new ways to look at things and carry that to very group the work in after. The willingness to work with new people is a hard thing to get around even for the strongest of leaders, but by changing groups around have a huge impact on the project.
Teamwork by definition is a simple concept, but making it work can be a huge undertaking. Teamwork is something you work on throughout your life, and a skill that one continues to grow. Will there be bumps in the road? Yes, but know that you don't have to go down that road alone.