An Exit Interview
Once the work of a collaboration is complete, this interview is part of the process of debriefing. This activity provides some useful reflective opportunities for individuals and collaborative partners.
Collaborators divide into pairs and interview one another.
1. Consider the collaborative project you have just completed.
a) How did the collaboration come about?
b) What was the purpose of the collaboration at the outset? Did the purpose change at all over time?
c) What, if any, were the products of the collaboration?
d) How have individuals and groups profited from the collaboration? How have they changed?
2. Would you consider this collaboration a “successful” collaboration, and why? How do you define “successful” collaboration?
a) Is it important that the various groups like one another, or are comfortable with one another? Is it important that they have similar cultures?
b) What are the short term and long term signs of success that can be assessed? Is success measured differently over time—e.g. in the middle of a collaboration, at the immediate end of a collaboration, five or ten years later?
3. (If no to the above) Would you consider this collaboration an “unsuccessful” collaboration?
a) What did not seem to work/go well?
b) What, if anything, might have made it more successful?
c) Were there any open conversations with collaborators, during the process, addressing these issues? If no, why not?
d) Would you still consider the experience worthwhile? Was any of it time well spent? Why or why not?
e) If you could have terminated the collaboration, would you have done so? How? What would have been the negative consequences of a unilateral termination? A bilateral one?
4. Is it important that all participants in a collaboration have the same understanding of success?
5. What are the benefits of working collaboratively?
6. What are the drawbacks of working collaboratively?
7. How important is shared mission to a successful collaboration?
8. Is good collaboration a skill?
a) If you’re a more experienced collaborator, does this make you better at the process of collaboration?
b) If your collaborations have been less successful, might your experience make you less able to collaborate well?