I’ve been thinking about what my team’s fundamental objective and I’m curious if other teams have found one goal that they prioritize above all others.
Let me give you some examples:
Example A: Team optimizes for team member fun and community spirit
On team A, we do everything we can to engage our team members. When given choices on what to build, we tend toward the ideas that excite our team the most. Every day after building, we gather as a team to celebrate our accomplishments over dinner. Through these practices, we build a team that feels like a family of robot-builders and inspiration-spreaders.
Example B: Team optimizes for winning
On team B, we try our best to win because we believe students are inspired when they see how they can succeed. To accomplish this goal, students design most of the robot with lots of mentor assistance. Once parts get delivered from our sponsors, mentors help a few expert students assemble and troubleshoot the robot.
Example C: Team optimizes for student learning & leadership
On team C, mentors are minimally involved in all aspects of the team to give students a chance to grow their leadership and engineering skills. Student leaders are elected and they orchestrate all aspects of the team, with an emphasis on developing student skills. When design decisions are made, students consider what choice would allow for the most opportunities for students to learn more.
Some questions to consider if you want to describe your team:
What is your team’s fundamental goal or objective (not just what you put on your Chairman’s essays)?
How is this shown through your team’s operations? For example, When design decisions (and/or important team decisions) are made, what are the fundamental driving factors?
What role do mentors and students play on your team and why?
Final note: I think we all would not benefit from another mentor-built debate (please take that debate here). Instead, let’s try to focus on learning more about teams different from our own and why their objectives work for them.