On Mechanical Advantage 6328, we’re always looking to improve, whether it be our robots, capabilities, processes or our members. As you know, managing a team of 40 can be difficult. For the 2021 season, these challenges have been compounded due to COVID and the need to be socially distant.

As a result, the team identified an opportunity to build up the leadership and project management skills on the team. With the guidance of a new mentor, 6328 created and delivered two training classes to address this need. Both classes were structured to introduce the concepts, tie examples to FRC, and provide a forum for open discussion.

Leadership Training

The first training series was Leadership, which was delivered in the fall. The goal of this class was to provide the tools that would help team members become more effective leaders. In addition, we wanted students understand their strengths as a leader, and through self-reflection, identify areas where they wanted to build on their skills.

This was modeled on classes that students may receive in Business school or professional seminars.

Leadership training was presented over the course of 7 weeks, each session was 1 hour. The following topics were explored:

  • What is Leadership?
  • Being a Role Model
  • Communication
  • Goal Setting
  • Decision Making/Problem Solving
  • Facilitating Meetings and Events
  • What Kind of Leader are You?

In total, 14 students participated in the Leadership training, and the team made it mandatory for the leads to complete.

Link to the materials: https://littletonrobotics.org/remote-learning/frc-leadership/

Project Management Training

The Project Management class was designed to introduce students to basics project management concepts and provide templates and tools which can be used to more effectively manage their work.

Following Project Management Institute (PMI) standards, students were instructed in how to scope projects, build project plans, and monitor to ensure results are delivered on-time. The class also stressed the importance of anticipating, managing and remediating risks. Finally, the class was intended to establish a common language across the different sub-teams for executing the work at hand.

We have applied these concepts to managing the teams’ efforts around Infinite Recharge at Home and the Game Design Challenge. We’ve also used this to organize and drive the Outreach and Award Submission.

Each week, Team Leads present to the mentors and describe the overall status of their workstream (Green/Yellow/Red), progress made, planned activities and a discussion of any risks with mitigations. In these sessions, dependencies are identified and coordinated amongst the different teams. We will continue to build on this to further standardize on weekly reporting and broaden our capabilities.

Conducted in January, the Project Management training was delivered in 2 x 1 hour sessions to 7 students. It was required for the team leads, and open to all who wanted to attend.

We look forward as an organization to building on our leadership and project management skills, which will give us an even bigger “Advantage” in the future.

Link to the materials: https://littletonrobotics.org/remote-learning/frc-project-mgmt/

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions.

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