Team Plan / Project Management

I’m curious about other coaches/mentors experience and thoughts.

Good planning and good project management are great skills for the students to develop and fit naturally into VEX IQ. I coach MS Vex IQ. I’ve considered and put aside trying to teach waterfall, simply because it feels like a lot of documentation when the kids really just want to build :wink:

I settled on a simpler system where we look at the season, identify when the competitions are, define what they want the robot to be capable of at that competition and then work backwards scheduling tasks to practices to get to goal. If there isn’t enough time, we adjust. It’s pretty intuitive and easy.

Anyone else have other ideas or methods that you find work well?

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We do more of an Agile type. We create “user stories” on what the robot will do. These are created from doing a brainstorming / design session around what their strategy is for the game. (What is the best plan to score the most points in a limited time). We then set 2 week long sprints (we meet 90 mins a week, of which about 60 mins is actual robot time) to accomplish build.

Each meeting starts with “today’s task list, who is doing what, expected deliverable” and ends with “who did what, what got done, what is scheduled for the next session and how are we doing on our build time”.

After an event (teams play 3 events per year) we break down how they did, what they saw, new things they want to try. We then create new stories and work on them.

Good luck!

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I coach VRC but I have my team do monthly planning. I model it after the EVM concept of rolling wave schedules. I think it is reasonable to develop a fairly detailed monthly schedule (anything beyond that is speculation) and work toward those goals. As with Foster, we do daily to-do llists and keep track of what is needed for upcoming meetings.

I have considered going to an agile system for programming, but have not figured out how to make that work.

I’m a systems engineer by profession. However, I try to keep the heavy SE talk and lectures out of the robotics meeting. My teams do what a colleague has called “clandestine SE.” Meaning, they are doing it but not realizing it. I think I would bore the pants off my students if I went off on SE concepts and theories! I just implement, what I consider, best practice from the SE work I do.

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I forgot, we do have retrospectives after each event, similar to what you described, Foster.

Now that you mention it, the speed with which deliverables can be accomplished in IQ could allow for some Agile tools.

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