White Paper Discuss: Continuous Improvement Process for FIRST Teams

Thread created automatically to discuss a document in the White Papers.

Continuous Improvement Process for FIRST Teams by Chris Fultz

This paper provides information on a process for evaluating team / robot performance and determining corrective actions to improve that performance. The process outlined uses the Ishikawa, or Fishbone, diagram to identify factors causing undesired results. This process is widely used in industry and is often part of a Six-Sigma program.

By following this process, teams can implement corrective actions that will avoid repeating mistakes and hopefully improve their performance.

This process can apply to robot design, robot performance, fund-raising, sponsor recruitment - just about anything a FIRST team does during the season.

Team 234 has been working through this process to evaluate our 2004 performance and improvement opportunities and so far it has been a positive experience for the team members involved.


Chris, you have once again made my day. Fishbone diagrams! I’ve had lots of success using these.

I worry that this will get lost in the shuffle of Kickoff, but keep this in mind during the 6 weeks, when everyone’s brains are fried. Sometimes it just helps to draw out everyone’s thoughts (like this way) to look at an issue differently.

Speaking as a student on team 234, I feel that fish bone diagrams have greatly helped our team. It, I believe, will make Cyber Blue a much better team and a lot more organized. It has already taken effect on our team. Our electronics side of things are getting to be much better and we’re definitely trying to standardize a lot of things. Team communication should be much better and so should our design and manufacturing. I highly recommend that teams use the fish bone diagrams and I’m sure they’ll help in one way or another. :]