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Project Management | Robotics PM Advice

  1. Aug 27, 2015 #1
    Hey, I know this forum is filled with engineers so I want to really get other peoples opinion whether you should ask your Subject Matter Expert on a team if they are an expert and it is their profession in engineering. For example, I am the project manager of my high school robotics team. We are choosing between wheel based launch method and pneumatics for tshirt cannon. Our more aggressive mentor (who is an IT guy btw), says pneumatics will take longer, is more complicated, and will cost more. My main problem with those concerns is we haven't even brought in our expert in the subject matter. From my understanding in a professional team of engineers you would bring in the foremost expert on the issue before you throw out a design that could end up being better (less time, equal or less complexity, equal or less cost) if you have that resource available (we have a ME on the mentor team). So at our brainstorm meeting he wanted to throw out our pneumatics design without consulting the expert. I put my foot down to do whats best for the team and bring in our expert. Opinions from engineers or physics/engineering majors.

    P.S: Our ME is on business leave and I am going to proceed with the two wheel based designs but leave the pneumatics one open if our SME is able to give us his opinion and crunch some ballpark numbers we can then make a decision based on facts and non-bias based on what the SME says.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2015 #2
    Good for you. Average people cave.
  4. Aug 27, 2015 #3
    I am going to assume I am being trolled by that response?
  5. Aug 27, 2015 #4
    no not at all. I don't type much. Its my problem. My son was in robotics last year. A woman took control as mentor and every night I heard grumbling of how they disagreed with her taking all the jobs for herself. One guy on the team was (like you?) was going to oust her, but in the end, they all went along with her out of lazyness/contrition? Anyway, people get what they fight for. Perhaps I am off topic at this point. Either way, you will have some experience with project management....
  6. Aug 27, 2015 #5
    You're not off topic :). I appreciate the advice/story as that is similar to my situation. (one situation being the advisor/teacher and the other being the non-engineering mentor). I guess I have to continue to fight the system. :/ Thanks again!
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