2.009 Product Engineering Processes

Lab #5: Week of October 9

objective, preparation, what's due, activities

Main Lab Objective

If your section did not make a decision before lab time your section will start by picking your top two ideas (two concepts per section, 4 concepts per team). You may chose to pick your top 4 ideas together as a team. You may pursue ideas already on the table or new ones based upon what you have learned this far. Remember, your final product depends on what you pursue now!

Once a decision is made you will need to identify a clear set of tasks for addressing key risks associated with the chosen concepts (two concepts per section, 4 concepts per team). When identifying key risks, develop a list of at least 10 critical questions and then prioritize.

Each section of your team will focus on furthering two design concept in preparation for the upcoming mockup review, as scheduled in the course syllabus.

Important note: Columbus day holiday is both Monday and Tuesday this year. Red, Green, and Blue teams meet on Tuesdays so their physical notebook reviews will take place during lab next week. All digital notebooks are still due on Thursday this week. The teams with lab on Tuesday will need to work with their instructor to develop a lab makeup plan for this week. If a team decides to meet on Tuesday at their regular time, lab instructors and staff will be available.

Advanced preparation for Lab #5
Make sure that you understand the requirements for the mockup review.

Read and think about the sketch model review feedback that you received by email from instructors. All instructors assigned to give you feedback will have done so Tuesday morning.

For the complete team:
System integrators should prepare an agenda for the lab and make sure that the name cards are setup on the table before the start of lab. If you think that you will need AV equipment, set this up in advance as well.

You may (and are encouraged) to decide on your 4 mockup ideas as an entire team (or you may proceed as individual sections). The process for choosing ideas is described in the section below.

For your section:
Your tool officer should organize a team area cleanup before your lab session, so that your workspace is in good shape for continuing work this week.

Given the limited amount of time, your section may want to decide what concepts (2) to pursue before your lab. Even if you decide in advance of lab, please be sure to wait for the detailed comments from instructors (via email through Tuesday noon) before making the decision. Remember, the most important thing is for your entire team to have 4 ideas with good potential, independent of which section the arose from, or whether they are old or newly generated ideas.

Also, follow a rational decision process as is described in the suggested lab activities. If desired, you may coordinate this decision as a complete team and work on different embodiment concepts for the same product idea, but it is very important to maintain quite different options in case unanticipated problems are discovered during the mockup phase.

Note: if your team decides to pursue more concepts based on ideas that were proposed by one section, it may make sense to break the sections so that people with background information for each concept are working on each idea. Even if an equal number of ideas from each section is pursued, the team still may want to rearrange the sections. This is permissible provided that the similar-sized groups work on each idea, and that you provide a list of team members working on each concept to your instructors and the course instructor. This is very important to avoid problems during the second peer review. You would also need to ensure that there is a system integrator and financial officer with each group.

What's due
Design notebooks (physical/digital) are due this week.

Please send an email to the course instructor indicating the two concepts that your section has chosen to pursue.

If your team web page (under the teams menu on the course website) does not yet have your final officer positions, please email this information to the course instructor.

Recommended Lab #5 Activities

As a complete team (both sections together):
It is recommended that you begin with your two sections together to reflect on your effort in the sketch model review and its outcome/feedback. Start in your team areas so that you may use your models to facilitate the discussion.

As a complete team OR as individual sections:
Begin with the standard meeting startup. If your team already has decided on its concepts, you can go straight to identifying risks.

Discuss which of the team's ideas are to be further pursued, or if a new approach needs to be considered (see comments in the preparation section). You may even need to keep more than two ideas temporarily alive within your section for further investigation. Use your sketch models, sketches, etc. to facilitate the discussion.

Carefully develop criteria to pick between the alternatives. Don't just ask people what they like. Consider roughly 6 relevant factors (you may want to considered some 2.009 project success factors have been observed over several years).

As individual sections:
Submit your physical design notebooks to your section instructor (note: your instructor may choose to defer reviewing your physical notebooks until lab next week, so that they can participate in the lab's decision process)

Once you have picked your two concepts, identify key risk factors that must be resolved by the mockup review. Start by make a list of at least 10 critical questions for each concept. Once you have the list, prioritize the critical questions and then decide where you will focus your mockups.

The goal at this stage is to fully address issues that could potentially prevent the concept from being successful. Some advice from the instructors may be needed in the risk identification process. Remember that you should not be trying to prototype whole products for the mockup review—there is not enough time—concentrate on the most difficult, critical aspects/subsystems and resolve them well.

Divide your section into task forces to work on refining the concepts and resolving key risks.

Use the remaining time to work.