Design is, arguably, one of the most important parts of the build season. Decisions made in the initial design phase can affect your team throughout the rest of build season, and even through the competitions. As a result, we on the Wired Wizards take design very seriously.
In the preseason of our 2017 season, Coach and I sat down and discussed how design should look to provide the most benefit to everyone involved, and came to a solution that should hopefully please everyone.
When thinking about design, it’s tough to please everyone, but it’s important to keep everyone’s opinions in mind. We had to come up with a solution that made individual contributors feel valued, but still put the well being of the team in highest priority. In past years, we’ve gone with an approach where people break off into different “teams” that come up with a variety of different designs, with one usually coming out on top. We’ve decided to keep the spirit of that approach, but go with something a little different this year.
After the game reveal at kickoff, students will be free to break off into teams to discuss ideas, culminating in the same presentations of different designs made in years past, but the major changes will be in how the team decides on a final design.
Introducing the Wired Wizards’ 2017 Design Administration
A select panel of students will be members of the Design Administration for the 2017 season. This group of students will vet the design presentations being made, and will meet privately to discuss the final design, which will be a combination of the designs presented. The focus this year is on simplicity, so it is the Design Administration’s responsibility to keep the design mechanically simple and easy to implement. The fate of the team’s performance in the season rests in the hands of these individuals, and in order to maximize efficiency, the Administration will consist of a small number of individuals.
Eligible student members for the yearly Design Administration will be Student Leaders, plus any student who has been a continuous member of FRC for two seasons (that is, any student who was on the team since Recycle Rush (2015).) The key point is that this is not based on seniority in terms of age, but in terms of experience with the team.
If you’re not on the Design Administration, fear not. You can still contribute to the design process by pitching an idea, and the Administration will take it into account. We feel that this way is most beneficial to the individual and the team, and will be the plan going into the 2017 season and beyond.
I hope this post has provided some insight, and I’m looking forward to a great season!