Strategy vs. Execution

I have been thinking about this idea for a while. What would win out: A 10/10 strategy executed at 5/10, or a 5/10 strategy executed at 10/10. I’m not sure what my answer would be as I have gone back and forth with the answer. I’m wondering what everybody else thinks.

Either way technically you preform the same way, but if you have a better strategy you have more room for leeway and back ups. So rather than having a poor strategy to begin with, you at least know what you need to be doing, and then it becomes a thing of all the variables in executing. If you have a good strategy you can know what to do more or less and have everyone on the same page in your alliance. And the more you execute that strategy the better you get at it? so then you have a 10/10 strategy with maybe a 7/10 execution? Just kinda my take on it.

5/10 strategy executed at 10/10.

If you can only do what you were planning on doing half the time, you aren’t actually accomplishing what you are trying to do.

It likely depends on what you mean by “execution.” I “5/10 execution” robots that play very well, but only stick to the strategy half of the time? Or is robots that adhere 100% to the strategy, but botch their attempts 50% of the time?

Strategy is important - but execution is vital. I would rather rely on a team that can do what they are supposed to rather than rely on a team that is a rock star for half of the time.

The OP should be more clear on the question to gain more response - thus gaining more response from the readers :wink: .

Execution meaning they stick to the strategy 100% of the time but botch 50% of the time.

The title says Strategy vs. Execution. That alone implies the topic of the question. Strategy and execution are subjective terms to an extent. Strategy generally means “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” Execution generally means “the carrying out or putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action.” The groundwork was laid for a hypothetical discussion about strategy and execution relative to FRC. Hope that clears things up :wink: :smiley:

Don’t confuse execution with you teams capability. Only a few elite teams will be able to perform all elements of the game very well. At this point your robot capability is set. Make sure you do what you do to the best of your ability. Execute your part of the game weather it is in bounds and pass, throw over truss, or catch and shoot.

A team that sticks to a static strategy 100% of the time and botches it 50% of the time is drastically inferior to a team that has a dynamic strategy (e.g., only follows what they planned exactly for the match around 50% of the time) and accomplishes that 100% of the time.

A team that sticks to a static strategy 100% of the time and botches it 50% of the time is roughly equal to a team that does not listen to their alliance (e.g., only follows what the alliance planned 50% of the time) and accomplishes whatever objective they valued higher than their alliance 100% of the time.

I am speaking in generalities, there are shades of gray everywhere in FRC strategy.

Execution is everything. Look at individual robots: would you rather have a robot that’s designed to be the best robot ever, but only 50% of its systems work at any given time? Or would you rather have a robot that does half of the game’s tasks completely reliably?

I saw the same thing in FSAE during college. There wasn’t some secret recipe to making the best/fastest car, year-to-year the winning car/team varied wildly in final product. What the winning teams had in common was great synergy between their various design choices and the cars were built well enough that they didn’t fail during a race.

I think the key here is that almost any strategy is a zero-sum strategy; any offensive move takes away from defense in equal measure, and vice-versa. There are obviously some roles/strategies that mix offense and defense together, but none that I can see that would guarantee you completely shut down another alliance while still being able to score. Thus it comes down to which alliance can execute their strategy more effectively. I also think that flexibility should be built into any strategy.

Execute, execute, execute.

I disagree with your interpretation of strategy as strategic robot design. In the context of this thread, I believe the OP was referring to conferring with alliance partners on a per match basis.

But yes, I agree that at week 6, robots are mostly fixed in functionality. It’s also generally better to build a robot that can do one thing awesomely than be mediocre at two things.

Not necessarily, especially this year with a single game piece. Only one robot can possess the ball and actively play offense at a given time, which caps your ability to be offensive, so to speak. There’s always hidden opportunities to maximize your strategy.

I was drawing an analogy between executing a great strategy poorly and executing a decent strategy perfectly and building an unreliable robot with lots of functions and a reliable robot with few functions. Nothing more.

As to your second point I am assuming that each team is operating with a shred of intelligence. That is to say I am assuming that two robots on one alliance aren’t just sitting next to the 3rd as it shoots and saying “we’re all playing offense!” This is where having a flexible strategy is important. If an alliance was planning on having two robots play counter-d for a scoring robot, but there are no defensive robots to counter, the alliance must adapt. This just changes which robots are playing defense and which are playing counter-defense, but not the total number of robots doing either.

This is way to big of a generalization. FRC strategy is so complex, trying to sum it up on a scale from 1-10 just doesn’t work. Are you talking about how many points you are going to score? What about how desirable a robot of that type will be to a picker? Or is this a strategy to try and become a picker yourself? Are you going to be able to do other things besides this one strategy? How defendable is it? Will designing for it inhibit your defensive abilities? Or is it possible that this strategy could augment your defensive abilities? If you fail to get it done, will you be able to easily modify your robot to execute a simpler strategy instead? How much of a risk is it? What is the skill level of teams that will be attending your regionals? What is your goal for robot’s performance this year?

Seriously, there are so many factors involved, you can’t make decision based on a scale. While a robot that is a mediocre top goal shooter/catcher this year might not be desirable, a robot that is mediocre at balancing in 2012 could have co-op balanced their way to glory.

You are fired.


I’ll actually say that strategy and execution go hand and hand. A good strategy is one that is easily executed by the robots on an alliance. Good execution during a match requires that you have a strategy that your robot/drivers can execute.

Granted, as we saw last year, a good strategy can be as simple as cycling. Because of that, if for some reason I’m forced to choose between driver practice and a strategy meeting, I’m picking driver practice.

Well, if you’re a lower seed, you probably want to pick the team that performs at an extremely high level 50% of the time. If you pick a team that consistently performs well, but not good enough to beat the number 1 seed, chances are you will lose in the quartefinals (1v8) You want someone capable of beating them, even if it isn’t consistent.

Watch the 2010 Einstein finals.
It was the closest to actually having this happen in practice you can get.

The 2002 finals however was 10/10 excution of the 10/10 strategy.

Execution over strategy for sure. A poor strategy doesn’t affect the ability to score directly but rather affects the efficiency of reaching that score. Poor execution loses matches whether the strategy is good or bad (or if there is/isn’t one).
An alliance that adopts the strategy to pass the ball back and forth across the field three times before scoring but does it perfectly every time will win events instead of the alliances that try to go straight down the field but drop the ball and spend the match chasing it around.
On a more realistic note: this applies to truss/catch. If you can’t ensure you’ll make the toss AND catch then don’t bother. It would be better to run a lot of simple cycles rather than try to complete a task that you can’t do successfully.