Planning For Next Season (3): Restructuring Our Team

This post is going to draw from a conversation I had with Danny the night we left for home after the state competition.
one of the major issues that we have had in trying to have a successful team these past two years, is a serious fundamental flaw in the structure of the teams as well as a major misconception of what our teams should be capable of by the majority of our members. To say the division of labor in our group is skewed would be such an understatement, that those of us who do the work might actually be insulted. Off the top of my head, I can think of about 8 people between the two teams who do easily over 95% of the work. This is not an over statement or an exaggeration; it is simply fact. Since the point of this post is not to assign blame or to point fingers, I’m not going to entertain that idea. Instead, I hope to lay out the means by which I believe we can overcome this.
The first step will be to recruit new members to the team. With any luck, we will find people who are willing to work hard and who can be an asset to either team. Although this might not necessarily make those who are not working more motivated to work, it may mitigate the effect their lack of work has on the team. I except a few members of each team to not want to join again next year due to their relative lack of inactivity this year. Again, doing some off-the-top-of-my-head thinking, I figure we could lose anywhere from two to four members because of this; since I am confident that we will gain more than four recruits, I am not worried by this.
Secondly, we must assign presidents or team leaders within each team who will deal with and be directly in charge of their specific department. There should be a separate president for the marketing projects and one for the robot. Each president would report to the team lead (Thomas or myself) but would deal with daily issues on their own. The job of the team leader is to devote equal time to both divisions and to ensure that both are making progress. Additionally, the team leaders should take the engineering notebook into their own hands and plan out how it should be out together and get the information from each division in order to record daily progress.
Lastly, we need to require a minimum number of weekly work hours that a person must contribute to the team. We should remain lenient to those who are hoping to get more involved one their seasonal sport is over or whatever the case may be. However, this gives us the right to kick those who do not help the team and are in fact a burden to the team when it comes time for the interview with the judges at competition. it is both difficult and annoying to have to teach members of our team what it is we have been doing to arrive at the product we are currently showing off, and it is not possible for someone who is poorly rehearsed and lacking first-hand knowledge of the topic at hand to sell our team passionately to our judges. I hope these changes are sufficient and I look forward to our successes next year.


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