Learning Factory - Students - Team Organization

What is my responsibility to the team?

To help manage the project, we suggest that each member of the team take on one (or more) of the following roles:

  • Point of Contact: This person coordinates all communication with the sponsor
  • Meeting Recorder: This person records meeting minutes
  • Notebook Organizer: This person maintains the team's notebook (electronic or hardcopy)
  • Budgeting: This person keeps track of the team's project expenses
  • Scheduling: This person updates the Gantt Chart and maintains the team's schedule

Keep in mind that doing the project and managing the project are two different things - good project management can improve project execution as you will learn in this course.

How often should we meet?

Teams are encouraged to meet frequently and hold weekly meetings with their instructor. When meeting with your instructor, it is helpful to have a weekly progress report and an updated Gantt chart to track your team's progress. This information should also be shared with the sponsor on a regular basis.

How often should we talk to our sponsor?

Once your team is formed, it is your team's responsibility to maintain regular communication with your sponsor. We recommend appointing one person on the team as the point of contact to serve as the liaison between the company and the team - teams get more timely responses from sponsors if only one person is in contact with them versus if everyone on the team tries to communicate directly with the sponsor, which can quickly overwhelm them. Also, make sure to keep communications brief and direct - be mindful that they have regular job responsibilties and duties besides this project.

What if some of my teammates are not pulling their weight?

The responsibility for managing the team lies primarily with the team itself, and there will be multiple opportunities during the semester to evaluate the performance and contributions of your peers on the team - in many cases, this feedback impacts your individual grades for the course as well.

If issues persist and cannot be resolved by your team, then you should seek advice from your instructor; it is not really professional to involve your industry sponsor in your team disputes.