Team Structure 2021

Just wanted to hop in to talk a little bit about how we’re structuring team management this year. With all of us being virtual(and me being 3000 miles away), it’s been quite a challenge to keep the team engaged and moving in the right direction. I’m extremely happy with some of the progress we’ve made so far and look forward to the next couple months as we continue to try to hit our goals.

To make this simple, I figured I’d just share what a typical week looks like for 6328 in terms of meetings and agendas. We’ve tweaked this slightly over the last few months to try to figure out what works best for us, and of course your mileage may very, so I suggest just trying different methods until you find a way to keep the students and mentors engaged.

Our week starts on Sunday, we start off with our weekly Mentors and student leads meeting. We just started doing this recently, as we felt it made sense to start pulling some of the student leaders into some of the full team planning and it does a nice job of closing the communication loop and getting everyone on the same page. We’ve found recently the students do most of the talking and the mentors just give feedback, which is the direction we’ve been wanting to move for a while. During this meeting the agenda typically consists of going over subteam accomplishments the week prior, setting goals for upcoming week, scheduling out which days each subteam will be in the shop, and then go over anything else that comes up that we need to discuss. If it’s needed, we’ll kick the students off the call and have a just mentors meeting after we’ve finished up the agenda.

Over the course of the week, depending on what the goals are for the week, we schedule out meetings for each subteam to go into the shop. Some of the students can talk about the covid guidelines and rules we’ve set for the team, students and mentors, but we’ve worked hard to ensure we’re always adhering to all state and federal guidelines.

Most subteams will have a couple students in the shop working, and the rest of the subteam on a zoom call so we can include everyone in all our progress. Currently we’ve shifted a lot of focus on letting the programming subteam get as much time with the robot as possible, so they’ve been meeting regularly with mechanical going in to do tasks, robot improvements, and maintenance as needed.

Some tools we use to keep everything on track.
Thanks to one of our awesome mentors, we’ve started to implement some tools to keep everything moving in the right direction. Greg and a few student leads are currently working to develop a weekly report template that the student team leads will use to more formally set weekly goals and then report progress at the student team leads and mentors meeting, and the full team when necessary. I’ll have Greg and Maddie share those when we get them to a point we feel comfortable sharing.

The second major tool I’ve been pushing to utilize is a Gantt Chart. I’m a big fan of these and actually use them in my day to day life to track work, personal, and robotics projects and goals. We’re still working on polishing this up, but once it’s at a good place I’ll have Maddie or Hallie share here.

All and all, this season so far has been challenging, but I proud of the progress we’ve made so far. To make up for this rather boring post about team management, I figure I’d share some videos of the progress we’ve made on a few of the @ home challenges!

Galactic Search (no intake on though)
Test 1

Test 2

Bounce Path – Autonav

Slalom Path – Autonav
Run 1

Run 2 (my favorite)

[Link to original post on Chief Delphi.]

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