As a project manager I’ve tried to teach people the phrase:
Plan the work, work the plan. Link is from 2009, but this phrase worked during the time I worked on building the pyramids and it worked last year.
Responding to Change Over Following the Plan
The Plan is the Strategy for the successful completion of the project. With no Plan you have no Strategy. With no Strategy, you have no guidance on how to respond to change. You driven by the “winds of change.” The first result of responding to change in the absence of a plan, is you can only know you’ve arrived at Done, when the money runs out or the date for the product’s shipment arrives.
(In this case Strategy is your build Strategy, not your game Strategy.(*)
If you don’t have a plan, all of the project management / communications tools in the world are not going to help you. Without a plan you might as well create a sign saying: “When in Trouble or in Doubt, Run in Circles, Scream and Shout.” Cause that’s what you will be doing in February.
You can start making your plan today and refine it across the next set of build days.
Work needs to be small, understandable and MEASURABLE chunks. “Build Robot” isn’t. “Assemble swerve drive pods (4), 2 hours per pod” is. You should be able to assign the min number of people needed (at least one), the optimum number (maybe 4, one on each pod?) and the max (5, to give an extra set of hands when needed).
Do the work, measure how it’s doing, adjust the plan accordingly.
And for what it’s worth, keep the final incantation of the plan from this year, it will make a great start on next years plan!
(*) Game Strategy -> Robot Design -> Build Strategy -> Work steps to construct.