Survey: Team Mangement

Hello!

Our team is conducting a survey about team management. If you could, please fill out the following Google Form:

If you have any questions, comment on this post!

To hopefully clear up some confusion, I will try to answer some questions that have come up.

To measure team member contributions, I mean what they did during a season. Say they worked on the climbing mechanism. Or maybe someone worked on programming the robot. This survey is asking if you feel like it is easy to measure that, or if you even measure it at all. Our team has developed a system that tracks activities that students accomplish. For example, one of our activities is “Helping with the upcoming Car Show”. That activity has 4 points. If someone does that activity that person can log that activity. Once an administrator approves that log, that person has 4 points added to their total. Each activity is also broken down into categories as well. On a stats page, we can see a particular individuals contributions on different areas of the team. There are also priorities you can assign to activities. When a user goes to log an activity, highest priority activities are at the top. There are many other things you can do with activities as well.

This tool is not just a checklist. It can really help teams. Our team has been using this system for a while now, and it has worked incredibly well. Above, I explained an example use of the tool we wish to provide to FRC teams.

Thanks!
MRT 3216

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Would you be willing to try/use a free tool developed by FRC team 3216 that manages your FRC team?

What does this even mean? Manages what and how?

I’m also in the “need more info” category. I’m not clear what’s meant when we’re talking about team member contributions - it doesn’t directly align with my mental model for how a team gets run.

Still,
image

So I’m happy to provide feedback!

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I agree - my team struggles with various aspects of team management, but your survey really didn’t provide enough info form me to answer usefully. Our team management challenges vary from year to year, although there are some classic themes such as “if you don’t know how to do something, ask instead of guessing/staring at it in silence”, “if parts are coming out bad, don’t keep making bad parts, stop and figure out what’s wrong”, “subteam captains need to delegate more”, and “if you’re not going to be at a meeting, please for the love of God let someone know”. It feels like every year we have to have a serious talk about halfway through the season about “seriously, if you guys don’t shape up and get a handle on [this year’s team management issue] you’re not going to have a robot to compete with”, after which they magically up their game and pull together to get it done. Each year we improve, learn from & avoid last year’s big issue, and then run into a new problem-of-the-year.

All of which is to say, team management is an extremely broad and complex subject, and “a tool that manages your FRC team” could mean almost anything. If it’s another checklist app, we probably don’t have use for it. If it’s an innovative way to get kids to listen to us and bring their A game the whole season and not need to have a serious talk to turn things around when they start falling apart around Week 4, I’d be extremely interested.

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To hopefully clear up some confusion, I will try to answer some questions that have come up.

@gerthworm @snichols @EricLeifermann
To measure team member contributions, I meant like what they did during a season. Say they worked on the climbing mechanism. Or maybe someone worked on programming the robot. This survey is asking if you feel like it is easy to measure that, or if you even measure it at all. Our team has developed a system that tracks activities that students accomplish. For example, one of our activities is “Helping with the upcoming Car Show”. That activity has 4 points. If someone does that activity that person can log that activity. Once an administrator approves that log, that person has 4 points added to their total. Each activity is also broken down into categories as well. On a stats page, we can see a particular individuals contributions on different areas of the team. Teams can decide what each “point” means. Maybe you have to get enough points to letter, or for some teams (like ours), travel. There are also priorities you can assign to activities. When a user goes to log an activity, highest priority activities are at the top. There are many other things you can do with activities as well.

@snichols
This tool is not just a checklist. It can really help teams. Our team has been using this system for a while now, and it has worked incredibly well. Above, I explained an example use of the tool we wish to provide to FRC teams.

Ok, gotcha. So there’s two levels of analysis I see:

  1. The points-based-ranking-of-contributions method itself.
  2. The tool used to track the points and rankings.

#1 is going to be very subjective and per-team. Speaking for my own team, that level of quantification of student value doesn’t jive well with how we model high-value participation on the team, so we wouldn’t find much use in using the technique (and therefore, little value in the tool itself, no matter how good the tool is).

#2 can be a bit more straightforward to analyze - given a certain set of requirements from #1, plus some overall usability goals, we could judge how well the tool performs.

I’m not sure what the purpose of this survey is. If the “product” already exists, why not just release it and explain what it does, why your team finds it useful, and invite others to try it out if they are interested? If you believe this tool “can really help teams”, I’m not sure why a survey is necessary. Just send it - if people use it, great. If they don’t, doesn’t matter.

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You are correct with your analysis. I know that for some teams, management can be tough. This tool also shows what needs to get done. Say the activity “create the prop from the field” gets created with high priority. Some might be like “oh, I can do that!”.

You are correct. I am realizing this mistake as more comments come through.

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No worries bud, happens to everyone. I’d just post it up, talk about how useful it’s been for y’all. Seems like a cool idea, even if it isn’t for everyone. Would love to hear more about how your team has found it useful and how it is integrated into your team culture. I always love seeing what teams do to try and improve their programs.

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Yeah, sounds good. We have more info coming soon.

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Sounds good. When you release info, You’ll want to be clear that you’re providing both a system and a tool, and differentiate what sort of feedback you’re looking for on either.

Folks on the internet particularly like to point out things which are perceived as “wrong” - I suspect a message of “look at our system that solves your problem!” will be met with a lot of “no it doesn’t!” type responses.

Take care to build a fence around your ideas. What’s in scope? What’s not? What common issues does it actually solve? What does it assume in order to solve them? What can it not solve? What additional problems might it introduce? Why does it work well for your team in particular? These aren’t things that have to be answered right now, just questions to consider when you describe the info release and submit it for public review.

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Thanks for the info. I’ll take your advice when I release more information.

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