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Thread: Team Motivation

  1. #1
    Does any other team doing Formula Student or Formula FSAE etc etc have problems with team motivation?

    Our FS project is run as part of the university curriculum, therefore making it an important part of the degree. Our team is unfortunately suffering from a few members of the team who do not put much effort in, leaving it to the core team members who work far too much. Team members frequently do not attend meetings, do not participate within the project, and see it mainly as a easy route to marks, rather than making the effort to do well.

    This year we feel we have a nice, clean design, but due to lack of motivation within the team, feel the design will not be done justice. We have 15 members, with around 7/8 members putting the majority of the work in.

    Do other unis make the project part of the degree, or is it mainly extra-curricular? Do others suffer from these problems?

    Ian Davis
    Team Leader
    City University, London

  2. #2
    Does any other team doing Formula Student or Formula FSAE etc etc have problems with team motivation?

    Our FS project is run as part of the university curriculum, therefore making it an important part of the degree. Our team is unfortunately suffering from a few members of the team who do not put much effort in, leaving it to the core team members who work far too much. Team members frequently do not attend meetings, do not participate within the project, and see it mainly as a easy route to marks, rather than making the effort to do well.

    This year we feel we have a nice, clean design, but due to lack of motivation within the team, feel the design will not be done justice. We have 15 members, with around 7/8 members putting the majority of the work in.

    Do other unis make the project part of the degree, or is it mainly extra-curricular? Do others suffer from these problems?

    Ian Davis
    Team Leader
    City University, London

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Location
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    That situation sounds pretty similiar to ours. We have, I believe, around 15 members, but only about 8-10 core members are in the shop regularly. Don't get me wrong however, those 8-10 people are the only reason this team is happening. As for credit, our school offers us nothing for the project. We do it simply because we love racing and love building a race car. Sadly, we end up devoting so much time to the team, that our grades begin to suffer. Atleast this is my case. I wish we could get credit for doing this, but for the things I've learned, the friendships I've acquired, and the struggles I've had, earning a grade doesn't really matter.
    Conor Riordan
    Lincoln Design Judge 2013
    Michigan Design Judge 2012, 2014
    Notre Dame 2009
    WMU Team Captain 2008

  4. #4
    I wish we had 8-10 core team members we have about 4. No university credit, controlled acsess to shop makes it hard to work alot, also much of our team including myslef has to work to put themselves in college so its hard to keep people in.
    It seems when the initial go-fast racecar idea fades and they see design, redesign, test, redesign, build, redesign, etc,etc. everyone sort of leaves. I have a feeling there will only be three of us that design and build this thing.

    Oh well it will make us better engineers.
    Chip Cieutat
    Asst. Team Leader
    Chargermotorsports.com

  5. #5
    I know for our team we have about 4 core team members rebuilding our car for 2006 and then about 3 to 4 more members working on the frame for our 2007 car. Its hard to get everyone on the same page and with the same motivation. It only seems to happen when the team is up against a deadline or when our advisor comes an give a "motivational" speech. But as cieutag put it "it makes us better engineers"
    Matt Herset
    U of I FSAE 05-06
    Vandal Racing - http://www.uidaho.edu/~racing
    mherset@semitool.com

  6. #6
    Welcome to FSAE... and the world.

    There will always be people that work harder than others. And in college, there are lots of other priorities (studying, and of course partying). Not everyone will put FSAE first.

    Your car will never be as good as it can be either. It's all about getting the best compromises worked out and not designing something you can't finish in time.

    If you have 8-10 people working hard, that's one of the best situations I've heard of. We never had more than half that.
    mmmm..... Garlic.

  7. #7
    Its the old 80/20 rule. 20% of the people, do 80% of the work. Its the way things are.
    -Steve Yao
    UNM LoboMotorsports '03-'05
    UWashington Formula SAE '06-'08

  8. #8
    I personally think that FSAE shouldnt be used as a class credit. It actually create more work for the team. You usually have some kids in class that design some parts that are just too complicated. And to make matters worse, he/she usually isnt in the shop for you to criticize their design.

    So you ended up having to redesign everything from scratch.It sucks for those who are not taking it for credits, and are the core of the team. Reason being is that, you have like 20-30 students working on the design during the day, and those 5-6 core members not having any clue of why some system or parts are designed that way.

    It's hard that some students are just doing it for grades but i dont think it's entirely their fault, but im sure there are better ways to reward those core members without having to create more trouble by bringing in guys who are just doing it for the grades.
    RiNaZ

  9. #9
    I disagree, I think credit should be available, but only in such away that the amount of credit, is << less than the amount of work commited. So pretty much only those already dedicated can get it. That being said there's almost no way to get credit here (at brown) save our independent design project where it's pretty easy to grab a credit through FSAE, but no one who was not already on the team would do so.

    Replying to the original topic of the thread, we follow the 80/20 rule pretty well too.
    Brown FSAE 2004-2006

  10. #10
    In the past 2 years we have had probably 7-10 people who have done a lot of work (obviously some more than others) however this year we will be designing/racing with only about 5 or 6 core members. Hopefully we can get other students to do costing and management stuff to take some of that pressure off us.

    I think the key is (and i'm basing our team this year around it) to not try and re-invent the wheel every year. As long as you have got a good starting point from the previous year then you only need to change what is bad, not what is good. Once you get a really good base car, then you can start to look at doing more fancy stuff like a 500cc V8 etc etc

    We are trying like hell to get SOME credit from the uni too. It is kinda like pushing a Valiant Charger up a 50 degree hill though. We get some respect from the lecturers but no actual credit! That sux!

    Good luck Ian

    Cheers
    Matt Ferrier
    Team Manager/Co Chief Engineer/Drivetrain Team Leader
    Eureka Racing Team
    University of Ballarat

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