Table of Contents
You will develop a number of memos that document your team's accomplishments and progress. The memos should all be turned in to Canvas Assignments by 10 PM on the respective due date.
Each memo should stand on its own and you will be able to use the content as a base to develop the reports. In addition to turning in the assignment, you should share these memos with your project sponsor(s) for feedback but the main audience you should address are the course instructors.
The memos should have no more than two pages of main content and an optional appendices. The "main content" is defined as the essential text, figures, tables, etc. to tell your story. Additionally, feel free to link to rich media: videos, websites, demos, etc. This main content should stand on its own without the appendices. The appendices can include labeled and captioned figures, tables, drawings, renderings, analyses, source code, and other relevant material to support the story told in your main content pages if the reader desires to understand further details. Reference the items in the appendices in the main text. The appendices should not be required to understand the main content.
- Each memo must be submitted as a single PDF document made up of 8.5" x 11" sheets to Canvas. You will be docked points if you submit a format other than PDF.
- Your group is free to use any software you prefer to prepare the documents. .
- The audience you should write for is a technically competent reader, e.g. another engineering colleague or engineering management, and/or your project sponsor.
- They should be treated as a professional documents and formatted as such.
- Check out this MIT document for memo writing tips.
|||I recommend collaborative editors for team work like Google Docs, ShareLaTeX, OverLeaf, SageMathCloud, Etherpad, etc.|
Memo 1: Project Selection [Due: Friday, Jan 11, 2019]¶
This "memo" will be in the form of a CATME Team Maker Survey and your résumé. You will receive a notice via email for CATME and will need to fill out the survey on the CATME website. Your résumé should be turned in via Canvas as a single PDF. Note that your résumé should not exceed more that two pages.
The CATME Survey will be accessed via this link:
Resources for developing your résumé can be found on the resources page.
CATME takes into account all of the information that you provide it and attempts to algorithmically select optimal teams to align schedules, distribute similar and dissimilar qualities, and ensure a project of your choice. We will read your your résumé to get to know you a bit better and to provide you feedback for improving it for the upcoming Engineering Career Fair (Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019). You will also provide your résumé to your project client once your team is assigned.
I make all of my projects available to students in both sections (A02, A03) but each selected group will have to attend the same section. If you are willing to switch from attending Thursday to attending Friday or vice versa, then you will have a larger chance of getting the project you want. Please indicate in the survey if you can switch sections only if you have no time conflicts.
Memo 2: Team Charter [Due: Friday, Jan 18, 2019]¶
A team charter is a document that specifies your team's purpose and the organizational principles you will use to fulfill that purpose. Generating a team charter is an important process that will help to establish team goals, list strategies to achieve those goals, identify strengths of individual team members, and formalize team members' agreements and commitments to one another.
Throughout the next two quarters, refer back to your charter to ensure that you're on the course you set for yourselves at the beginning. Your charter is a living document, however, so you should also revise it if member roles and responsibilities change throughout the project.
With your group members, select a company name and write a 1-page charter following this team charter template.
Memo 3: Needs and Specs [Due: Friday, Feb 1, 2019]¶
The purpose of this memo is to summarize what you have learned from the stakeholders in your project, in particular your sponsors' needs and desired outcomes. You should use the initial conversations with the sponsor to learn as much as possible. As soon as the projects are assigned you should initiate contact with your sponsor for an interview.
For the first part of the memo, the purpose will be to communicate the sponsor's needs in your own language as you understand them, including implicit needs you identify which the sponsor may not explicitly state. We recommend using the techniques explained in Chapter 5 and in class to generate these needs.
Secondly, you should show preliminary target specifications based on the needs that you have found. Techniques for generating the specifications from the needs are provided in Chapter 6, where the first portion explains getting to target specs. Additionally, you should being to look into various codes and standards that your project may be relevant to your project. See the technical resources page for more information on these.
You should create tables and charts that you find in Chapter 5 and 6 to organize your needs and specifications. These may be large and thus should likely be attached in the appendix of the memo. You should summarize the findings in the main two pages of the memo.
Other items to include:
- Summary of the problem, i.e. the mission statement.
- The organized identified needs (appendices).
- The organized target specifications (appendices).
- Reflections on the process and the results.
Memo 4: Selection and Architecture [Due: Friday, Mar 1, 2019]¶
The purpose of this memo is to show that you have narrowed down your concepts and have a solution that you want to move forward with. Ideally, you have one concept at this point, but if not, you should be down to a very minimal set of choices and have a strong justification as to why you are having a hard time deciding. It should be evident that your selected concept has a very high probability of meeting your client's needs and solving your problem.
Suggestions of what to include:
- A description of your selected concept.
- The product architecture of your selected concept.
- Evidence that the concept will meet the client's needs.
- Justification for your elimination of the abandoned concepts.
- Documentation of your selection process in the form of any screening or scoring charts/tables/graphs, etc.