Complex projects, like those you will encounter in this class and in the workplace, require teamwork and coordination.
Gantt Charts and Other Task Management Systems
To create your team’s Gantt chart and/or task breakdown schedule, consider the following questions:
- What does your team need to do to complete the assignments listed on the syllabus?
- What engineering tasks does your team need to complete to develop a prototype?
- How might you align the assignments in this course with the tasks you need to complete in order to develop a prototype?
- How will you divide work fairly? (How does each team member define “fairly”?)
- What skills did team members say they wanted to work on in the team contract?
- Have you ensured that the team’s deliverables will be informed by multiple perspectives? (For example, if only males are scheduled to work on the prototype, the prototype may not be as good as if a mixed gender team worked on it.)
One of the key differences between novice and expert engineers is their willingness to explore multiple solutions to a problem. Studies have shown that expert engineers spend more time on scoping a problem, gathering information, making analogies or connections to previous problems, and evaluating potential solutions than students do.
Ideation processes help teams consider multiple solutions to a problem, thereby increasing their chances for innovation. Try one of these strategies with your team!
- Worst Possible Idea
- 6-3-5 Brainwriting
- Round Robin
- Ego Alter (have everyone pick a different superhero and try to solve the problem like that superhero would!)
- Product Box
- 4 golden rules of ideation, according to Nick Bogaert.
- This Youtube video shows you how to create a Gantt chart in Excel 2016.
- Microsoft also has a Gantt chart template for you to start working from.
- This Github site has a quick decision matrix creator.
- This forum thread from Edward Tufte’s website has a lot of examples on it. (Ask Dr. Amy if you can borrow his books on data visualization.)