Mart Doyle

Personal Journal Entries for Week Ending Friday, October 14

36 Responses to Personal Journal Entries for Week Ending Friday, October 14

  • I was able to make some progress in a developing a few logo ideas for the Xavi App. In addition to the logo, I also got a chance to plan some branding guidelines that may be useful for the entrepreneur. On Wednesday, we gave a formal presentation to the class on the state of our project. There are only two major issues which we look to overcome in the coming weeks, but besides those, we are pretty much aligned with our high level timeline. I also look to sit down this weekend to explore several options for piecing together a development team for the project.

  • This week we did not meet as a group as usual. Instead, we met after the critical design review that all of attended. There were a lot more issues than we had expected. It seems most of these issues stemmed from miscommunication between the advisers. Our direct adviser had told us to do something that contradicted what the panel wanted. It most likely would’ve gone differently if the direct adviser was available to be present at the critical design review. We talked as a team afterwards and decided we will talk to our direct adviser as soon as possible to clear up some confusion. We will begin testing before Wednesday next week or our critical path will be delayed. Everything performed this week was done as a team.

  • This week my team was unable to make any progress. Our ongoing issue with Playysports domain name has set us back close to a month. Our project sponsor still does not want to move forward with any other part of the project until the domain name issue is settled and the first iteration of the website is launched. Aside from this, our team of project managers has been able to at least establish better communication.

  • This week at the critical design review, the team was successful with the overall plan and project design. Minimal problems were discussed, grammatical errors and overall focus on the preliminary design documents, and the team is working towards fix these issues now. The PMs are furthering in third and fourth drafts of the WBS and risk management plan and the engineers are finishing up cutting the steel for the frame.

  • This week we did not meet with our entrepreneur but got our documents gathered up in one place with my other project manager. We shared the documents on google drive with each other and are planning on separating documents to which we can give access to our entrepreneur such as scheduling, WBS, communication, etc. We are trying to set up a meeting with the entrepreneur next week and also we have a meeting with Courtney to address some updates and issues on the project. We need to start implying the project into MS Project.

  • This week we got together with our team of engineers. We were able to sit down and figure out the extra time they would need to work on the part that was broken last week. The estimations were a lot better than we expected and the issue shouldn’t put the team back by much. The light loaded end of the schedule (our buffer) came in handy because now the engineers won’t have their last few weeks of work be too overwhelming. We are still working on the budget because the engineers are waiting for price estimates for parts and need to decide whether they will buy them or make them. We slightly adjusted the tasks for next week and went over who will complete what with the engineers. So far the project is going well, our team in communicating effectively, and we have our tasks lined up for next week.

  • This week we had our critical design review with two professors (one of which is our advisor for the project). One of our PM’s, Josh, was able to make the time and take notes. We turned these notes into advice for our final presentation. We held our weekly team meeting and were able to see the physical parts of the vehicle that are being built. We resolved a few problems with our design document this week and are on track to hit all our milestones.

  • This week we made some headway into getting documentation from the engineers to help finish crucial documents such as the schedule, work breakdown structure, budget and scope document. This was a major issue for us that is now resolved. One of our project managers went to the engineers critical design review. We had a team meeting with the project managers but not the group as a whole. We have a meeting planned with the engineers on Monday.

  • we moved forward! Instead of getting the whole schedule done, we drafted rough and general schedule for the whole project and keep adding things into it. We decided that each weekly meeting, we will complete the schedule contains tasks to do for the following week, since engineers still changing their design and modeling approach. A shorter schedule will be easier to achieve and focus. And with the experiences of generating short schedule, we will be able to finalize the long schedule early.

  • Our group was not able to meet as a whole this week, and only one of the Project managers was able to attend the Critical Design review, but the week was by far our most productive yet. I was finally able to secure the necessary information to at least make a rough work breakdown structure and schedule, and from one of our group member’s attendance at the CDR we were able to identify major issues with the project, and finally understand exactly what stage of the project the engineers find themselves. We have a planned meeting on Monday, and project management plan going forward that will clarify our responsibilities and allow better communication between PMs and Engineers.

  • This week we did not have a team call, but we were able to communicate tasks over email. Ling and I sent the team some tasks to complete for the week, so by the end of the day we should have revised documents that’ll be ready to send out to potential strategic partners. Additionally, we sent out weekly status report documents for our team to complete, so Ling and I should receive those by the end of the day today. I will be sending out another team email by the end of the business day to try to set up a face to face meeting for next week. The team needs to get together and discuss next steps of execution, and brainstorm ideas for our website prototype.

  • This week we did not have a scheduled team meeting but spent a great deal of time centralizing our information into one location. We chose to use a google drive to provide access on multiple devices. Our goal is to prepare specific documents and provide our entrepreneur access to several types of documentation for the project. While our documents are prepared, my partner and I want to begin implementing our work into MS Project in order to avoid a hectic workload later on. Lastly, we have a planned meeting with Courtney next week to discuss strategies and provide updates.

  • This week our weekly meeting was much more productive than our meeting last week was. We managed to get more specifics about what our entrepreneur is hoping to accomplish by the end of the semester. We also learned more about how she works to accomplish these goals which will allow us to improve our charter and scope documents as well as add more detail to our project schedule. Overall I feel that we are in a much better position this week than we were last week and we will have to see how progress continues. I also feel that our communication as a team has improved. Next week my focus will be starting to work on a budget.

  • We were not able to meet this week due to a time conflict. We were able to communicate through email the tasks we wanted to address for next weeks meeting. We were also able to get a good start on the list of stakeholders, an organization chart, and the RACI chart for next week. One thing that we are falling behind on is our budget work. We need to find a way to get back on track and make up some of the lost ground. We’re looking forward to getting feedback from our next PM coaching session.

  • This week our team had their critical design review and overall were very successful. We are working with them to sharpen up a couple things for their final presentation later in the semester. The team is moving along with the construction of the bike by finishing some parts of the back frame and cutting steel for the remaining pieces. So far we are on schedule and are looking to keep up the progress.

  • We made progress in setting up meetings for our entrepreneur with someone who had been through BYOBB and won one of the smaller competitions, to help him get an idea of what he should expect for that process. He also set concrete meetings with schools who would be interested in his software. We met with Tyler on Sunday and went over some budget points as well as a status report on where everyone was at with their assigned documentation.

  • My team had their critical design review this week and it did not go very well. Basic fundamentals of the project have been criticized to the point where the advisors want the entire thing changed. We are unsure as how to proceed at the moment. The team talked to their advisors about how to move forward, but there is no real path to take yet.

  • This week our project team meet once and discuss the PowerPoint problem. We made a document with all the details that we think KaBom need to change. Hope they will give us some feedbacks this week. Whereas we are trying to set up a face to face meeting next week, that we can help them with their webpage prototype.

  • This week we finalized our goal for December. We did not set create a logo for Xavi app as one of the goals. Now we added it to one of the goals. For now we have two major issues. One is developing a logo for the app, the other is we are having a difficult time to find a develop team. On Wednesday, we had a presentation about current state about our project. We had a class discussion about the issues we are facing. There were a lot of great ideas. We are planning to come up a few ideas of forming a development team.

  • This week we finalized our goal for December. We did not set create a logo for Xavi app as one of the goals. Now we added it to one of the goals. For now we have two major issues. One is developing a logo for the app, the other is we are having a difficult time to find a develop team. On Wednesday, we had a presentation about current state about our project. We had a class discussion about the issues we are facing. There were a lot of great ideas. We are planning to come up a few ideas of forming a development team.

  • This week we had a lot of progress. We kept Tyler on track and schedule by making sure that he was reaching out to the schools that he had prior arrangements with. We also connected him with a personal friend of mine that participated in the BYOBB before so that he can pick his brain about any of the process or logistics of the event. Lastly, I shared with him the business plan template for BYOBB and gave him instructions to start filling out what he already knows and we will get him feedback throughout the week.

  • This past week at the critical design review, the team struggled to convey the ideas behind the project to our faculty advisor. This weekend the team plans on reviewing the feedback received from our advisors and meeting with our faculty advisor to discuss improvements to our presentation and demo.

  • Overall, our team made incredible progress this week. The engineers were most concerned about their Critical Design Review, during which they needed to present their progress to their Faculty Advisor. The Review took place on Friday, 10/14. During our weekly meeting (which took place before the Review), I helped the engineers focus on what exactly they needed to complete before they presented. Considering we had not been able to help them create a formal schedule before, this was a great step forward. I helped the engineers break down each task required to prepare for their Review, determine which days they needed to be completed, and assign engineers to complete them. After we created a plan for the Critical Design Review, I then focused on the engineers’ next deliverable, which is due next Wednesday, 10/19. On 10/19, the engineers must submit a rough draft of their final report, which is due at the end of the semester. I used the same planning method as before: I helped the engineers break down which sections of the draft still needed to be completed, determine when the team would complete those sections, and who would complete what. The engineers finally realized how much we can help them stay on track. However, I believe that we are partially to blame for the engineers’ late adoption of PM techniques. We would have been able to create a schedule much sooner if we had employed more effective leadership.

  • This week we were able to meet and discuss what happened during the engineer’s critical design review presentation. We found that their advisor did not like their presentation because it was too technical for him to follow whereas the industry sponsor liked the presentation and was able to see the value in what our team is doing. We recommend the team to meet again with the advisor to further break down their project and explain in general terms for him to understand. Additionally, we found out that our progress has been on schedule so far which is very good news. Most of the bigger parts of the projects have been accomplished and now we need to focus more on documentation as well as build the rest of the program for segment routing.

  • This week we made progress towards putting together the master work breakdown structure. I worked with my division lead, who oversees 4 systems, to understand dependencies between systems and sub-systems so we can create a dynamic project schedule. In addition, I began collecting task duration along with resource needs to start piecing together a comprehensive project schedule that we can begin to actively manage. Overall, we are hoping to finish up with the first iteration of the project plan with mapped dependencies within the next two weeks so we can actively manage the project. Thankfully, our group of engineers within the club are very motivated and have been self-directed for many years. We are hoping to build on that and create some formal processes, as well as a transferable project plan that can continue into next semester.

  • Our group made significant progress this week by agreeing to terms with a local developer to make our application. This puts our project right on schedule. Although most of the main work is out of our hands, we still have lots of work to do. We plan on reaching out to charities soon to gauge interest on whether or not they want to involve themselves with our app. Also, we want to do market research in the area to find users who would want to be a part of the beta of the application. One thing that has been working well is our open form of communication. Initially, it was difficult to get information from our entrepreneur, but after talking about it at our last meeting, it has been much easier to talk openly about our progress.

  • This week we made further progress on the work breakdown structure/project schedule. I am scheduling a meeting with my systems lead to review the information I currently have and to discuss dependencies and timing. I also worked on deliverables due for class on Monday, specifically the RACI chart. Completing this will we require a meeting with the engineers to confirm responsibilities for engineering deliverables.

  • Pound Cake launched their Facebook page and have been posting industry content to engage their followers. The goal is to capture 7, 500 follows by December 1, 2016. This will be a challenge because we do not have a product in the pipeline. To deal with this we decided to post industry content that will offer information and try to engage their audience.
    Our partners have established contact with a web-developer from an existing relationship and will be meeting them this week.

  • Our group has made a great amount of progress this week. Tyler is taking the initiative to reach out to his connection from HSM and they are discussing meeting times. Bridget’s friend, Jacob, who won the BYOBB one year is also wiling to “mentor” Tyler for the BYOBB. This gives him an advantage in the competition and will be a great resource for Tyler. We will connect the two next week.

  • This week our team recapped how the engineer’s critical design review presentation went. In summary, their advisor did not like their presentation because it was too technical for him to follow. However, the industry sponsor appreciated the presentation and was able to understand what our team is trying to accomplish. We suggested to the engineers that they go back and break down their project in general terms for their advisor to understand. Other than that, the project is ahead of schedule as some of our major milestones have been completed.

  • Our team was unable to make any progress this week. Our project is still at a standstill as we wait for the first iteration of the website to go live. Our sponsor informed us that he is having some issue with the domain name. We asked him what the issue was and if we could help in any way, and his response was that he has a new developer he has brought on to try to fix the issue. We shall see, hopefully he can get the first iteration to go live soon so we can get to managing the second iteration.

  • This week was a little slow for us. We finalized a proposition to present to Will regarding what the best path is for him to take between now and the end of the semester. We have collaborated to determine the best way possible to “sugarcoat” our recommendations and not offend him. We are hoping to bring the project back on track by establish consistent meeting times where all of the project managers and Will are able to meet. It seems as if any day after 5PM, for the most part, is the best option.

  • This week I created a PowerPoint to propose a project scope. We’re having trouble with an extremely large, almost indefinable scope. For instance, the entrepreneur wants to create a hardware device but we don’t have a team of engineers to coordinate with. There isn’t a clear direction so it’s hard to really map out what needs to be done.

  • After internally discussing problems within communication between the PMs and Will, the team decided that Will needs to be able to properly articulate obtainable goals for the end of the semester. While it was initially hard to get Will to identify goals, as opposed to the big picture goals that would come much later on, we were able to come up with a power point that served as a value proposition for our recommended path. PMs in the real world would have control over what gets done to an extent, however, we don’t have that same control, so our suggestion is just a suggestion that Will may or may not take. Regardless, we also decided that we must get Will to give us a list of tangible goals so that we can finalize all the documents we’ve been working on and provide him with a more solid structure and system to abide by.

  • Unfortunately this week Alex and I came to more of a stumped halt than ever. Finally getting a productive meeting in with Zahmir, nearly three hours to go over in depth the specific type of information we need from Zahmir, since he wasn’t free to look over the Google Drive and offer any insight. It seems with our entrepreneur not being enrolled and him struggling to pull together ideas to move forward has demotivated his progression. We need to refocus on a particular short term goal to manage and accomplish for Zahmir because due to his lack of organization(particularly due to the freshness of his idea) it is causing us to struggle to offer any insight. We hope to gain better traction in the coming weeks and solidify an attainable goal for Zahmir to focus on so we can better help.

  • This week, our entrepreneurs successfully launched a Facebook page for Pound Cake. They will use this to post industry content and engage with followers. The goal is to eventually have thousands of followers on social media and eventually customers. The only problem is that they only have samples of the product right now, so its use is limited. They also got into contact with a web developer they know and will be having a meeting to discuss the future website.

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