Re-Organization of our Team

Hi CD,
I am currently the Team Captain of our team and I am looking to restructure it. I understand that I will not be able to do everything I want to do in one year but I would like to at least get the restructuring started.
Our Problems:
-Communication
Within the team:
We have a facebook group that updates but about half the information is not relevant to important team matter so information is often overlooked
Outreach:
We do “a lot” but the general community knows nothing or little of FIRST/FRC/FLL.

-Internal Structure
We are in the middle of shifting the power to a more student lead and controlled team ( we used to be be a mentor student balance type thing). We have A team captain and sub-team captains who “manage” their teams.

-Organization
…There is some…

-Sustaining the quality of the team
We have the “junior class drop” approaching where most of our knowledge and major passion for FIRST/FRC is in the junior class which graduates next year.

-Building new relations:
We have mentors who help with their connections and a PR volunteer who also helps out, but thats about it with direct contact. We usually try to build new relationships during outreach events

Questions:
What can we do to improve communications?
Are there any ideas for structuring a student lead team?
Are there any ideas for organization systems for knowledge, items, history,etc.?
What can we do to help keep our team at a high-level/sustaining?
Who/where/how can we build relations and with who?
And any advice anyone would like to offer.

Thank you so much!
-Kai

Don’t try and re-invent the wheel when it comes to team structure. Look through the CD-Media section, a large number of “well known” teams have their team handbooks and/or business plans posted to help others. The other option is to look at their websites.

The other suggestion is to look for the presentations that were given as workshops at past championships on team structure that have been posted for general consumption.

On our team, we use a Google Group to keep the whole team informed and updated. It works very well because you can get alerts sent straight to your email. Also, anyone can post something and the whole team will know.

Me and my team would love to tell you all about our team organization/structure. Send me a message and I’ll email you!

Team 1305 uses many techniques in organization. Firstly for communication, we use Google Apps (Groups, Calendar, Site, Docs…) for communication and collaboration. Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube are reserved for unofficial team communication and external communication (the public). As for internal structure, we created a hierarchy structure based on Team 1334’s concept. Its available here. The leadership structure is void of mentor positions (but they are still there). We have a Team Captain and then a management team (second and third rows of positions from the top). Our team realized last year that most of our older members had all the knowledge. So we set up our Web Share (a Google Site) which works like a wiki, any member can change and update guides and how-to’s on a variety of subjects. Like our Programming guide and CAD workshops to train our 9th and 10th graders on the basics. As for mentors, you can find them everywhere. Teachers are a great place to start. From there, you should look to local businesses, organizations and sponsors for mentorship. As you said, outreach events are another great recruiting tool. Please feel free to use our resources. Check out our resources page on our website: www.team1305.org/resources

Check out the Team RUSH Toolkit for Success. I think that you will find it has an incredible amount of information on how to build and structure a sustainable team. Its a 250 page document that includes what you are looking for.

http://teamrush27.net/requesttoolkit.html

There is a copy of our business plan on our website:

http://www.adambots.com/resources/business-plan/
http://www.adambots.com/about/sub-teams/

There you can also find two charts we use to organize our team. We organize by Engineering and Non-engineering teams with student lead sub-teams within those.

Engineering Organizational Chart
Non-Engineering Organizational Chart

Due to our small work space we only have the whole team meet on Tuesdays (during build season) and a leader meeting on thursday nights. The sub team leaders are responsible for organizing what times their teams will be meeting and how they will use their time wisely. There is a project-management team that keeps track of all of the sub-teams and their progress though.

Since we are a two-school team we communicate using FaceBook, Email and text message/word-of-mouth. The sub-team leaders are able to talk to everyone on their team everyday during the build season so there usually won’t be any problem with people not knowing when they need to show up.

I would suggest to use a mix of underclassmen and upperclassmen in your sub teams and to spread out the responsibility to the underclassmen so all the uppers aren’t doing all of the work.

I hope this helps!

Thank you everyone for you input! I’m working with many of the suggestions and information you guys gave me :slight_smile: