Documentation

I was just wondering how teams documented their work, if they need better solutions, if they do at all, if they need improvements, etc.

well, my team doesn’t like physically document the changes that need to be made we make cad changes to reflect improvements and stuff which shouldn’t be anything new but we do is keep all versions of improvements for comparison. However were a fairly young team so we don’t have a good setup for documentation yet the team will probably be working on a documentation setup this year sometime.

However if you’re talking about how we let the team know we need improvements we use trello.

One thing I’ve found absolutely essential is documenting the “Why” of every build season decision you make. Sometimes, later in the season, somebody goes to change something on the robot and nobody can remember why the robot is the way it is, so you change it, only to have it bite you in the back at the worst time.

5254 uses Google Drive to store our documentation, largely with Google Docs and Sheets. These include screenshots of CAD sketches and models and updates whenever possible, as well as links to GrabCAD models, drawings and Bills of Materials.

20 has an internal “build blog” where we keep members, mentors, and alumni up to date on what is happening during build season. People go around taking pictures of prototypes and talking to team leads at the end of every meeting.

White papers. Lots of white papers.

And does that work for you?

We’ve found it effective, yeah. The most important thing is that everyone is on board. Pick a method to document your season and your decisions and commit to it. Stick with it. Get people used to functioning within a system in the off-season and they will be more likely to function within it habitually during the season.