Preparation for Hannover Fair – Tasks

It has been some time, since we gave you some feedback. This is because of the exams, that we all have to write right now. TU Munich is not easy on us, and even though most of us think, that it is way more fun to work on the Mi5-Project, it doesn’t really help – real life I guess.

So we figured, that the increased workload on less shoulders calls for a new way to organize and delegate the different tasks, that are important. Inspired from the load-balancer, that are so common in modern web-development, we implemented our own version of it.
We also wanted to make all the tasks visible, that everybody is doing, because sometimes, responsability grows, and is not really communicated around the team.

Every team member had to write his own tasks on a card, with his color on it. Divided into the categories, technical and other. Technical would be the things that belong to a module or the whole machine. Everything, that is mandatory for a running machine.Other includes for example, PR, website, documentation, communicating with new team members, and more.

We then started to build clusters for a person, so that tasks are delegated to a person, that is already doing something similar. Also, we could define a person, that is mostly responsible for a group of tasks and coordinates all tasks that are related to that group.

The result:
AufgabenMarkusMarkus handles the public relations, but is supported by Kilian and me regarding graphics and other picture material. Besides, he will continue working on the Siemens Teamcenter topic, and be the responsible person for the mechanical manufacturing.








AufgabenOliverOliver will handle and coordinate the tasks that belong to the new OPC UA server. He also coordinates the SVN Repo, and continues with his development of the process tool.





Jonas tasks consist of being responsible for the XTS development, contact with Beckhoff. He also became the buddy of Diego, our newest team member and will help him integrate into our team, and assist with all open questions he might have, regarding Email, SVN, GIT, etc.







AufgabenKilian Kilian will continue working on the simulation. He is responsible for the mover adapter. Besides he is going to help in the PLC programming.









AufgabenThomas I will continue working on the HMI, supported by Björn. The contact to our spanish team is mainly through me. A GIT introduction is to be done by me, and also I am responsible for the two webpages that we maintain, and delegate the writing of the posts.







The team gave a very positive feedback for this kind of task delegation. It was good to visualize what every person is doing, and for what everyone feels responsible. Furthermore it showed, which tasks are done by nobody and that needs to be done. It helped to balance the tasks according to the ability of each person and the time each of us has.

Please comment and leave a reply if you have used a similar approach to solve this problem. We are also happy if you get inspired by this method and leave a reply.

Stand Up Coffee Meeting

Inspired by some new management techniques, we summarized our previous efforts in one final meeting. In a collegial atmosphere, we stood together, drank coffee and cookies (no cocktails today) and mused about worldly issues. To grab our thoughts and put them in a more orderly fashion, we covered the tables with a paper table-cloth and distributed pencils to every table. In this fashion we put down:

  • Things we want to do better in the next step
  • Concrete ideas how to make something better
  • Whatever we could think of, that has something to do with the project.

For example, you can see on the left side an idea that is called FiVe. It gives five points that should be done for every new team member:

  1. Vertrag (eng. contract) – Figure out the details for a new team member regarding his personal contract with ITQ (working student, free team member, etc.)
  2. Vorstellung (eng. introduction) – Introduce the team member to the consultants in ITQ and to the office. Futher to all the Mi5 team members of course
  3. Verteiler (eng. emails) – Make sure, that the new team member gets all information!
  4. Verantwortung (eng. responsibility) – Define what the new team members capabilites and thus responsibilietes are
  5. Vorraussetzung (eng. prerequisites) – What the new team member needs to add to the team: initiative!

There we have also collected information to the following points, that I will sum up here shortly:

  • brainstorming needs to be shorter and at defined points
  • leadership organization according to abilietes
  • email to everybody difficult, often only 50% read and address the emails
  • targets in redmine need to be reachable
  • communication coach for the team
  • weekly meetings: figure out if the whole team needs to hear something or more the module part
  • mentor for new team members is good
  • more open reviews

Below you find our results. It is the same picture flipped by 180 degrees.

This kind of feedback round was widely appreciated. The team liked the cozy atmosphere of drinking coffee in the conference room. We could talk and sum up our efforts and get together for a last time, before everybody had to head back to his studies.

One thing for sure, we will do this again! Next time maybe with cocktails.