The Crockalockin' Board

About the Crockalockin' Board

The poster board titled "What's Crockalockin'?" is 4311's primary project management tool. Based on the project management style known as Kanban, the board is used to organize team projects and goals during build season.

For many years, team coordination was a major problem on the Swampscott Currents, especially during build season. 4311 constructed robots without any definite plans or formal assignment of responsibility, leading to much lower efficiency. The Crockalockin' Board was implemented to solve this issue. It attempts to organize team projects in a simplistic, tangible manner. This allows all members to use the board effortlessly, improving team structure and efficiency.

A picture of the Crockalockin' Board, featuring the titular mentor, Mr. Crocker. Only one task remains in progress on the board - software testing - meaning that the team has finished most of the robot.

How to use the Crockalockin' Board

During build season, a variety of tasks must be completed to construct the competition robot. So members can easily find projects on which to work, the Crockalockin' Board represents tasks as sticky notes. Each note has the name of a project on it - like "prototype intake" or "program autonomous" - and is color coded by subteam. The sticky notes reside in three distinct sections: to do, started, and done. When choosing a project on which to contribute, members may either start a new one from the to do section or help with an existing one from the started section. Whenever members start a new task, they write their name(s) on the sticky note and move it from to do to started. This allows the captains to easily discern which projects are underway and helps them supervise properly. In addition, students looking for work can seek out groups by member names. When a group finishes their task, they move the sticky note to the done section. This method of management expedites the robot-building process and makes it easier for members to find things to do.

Leadership with the board

The easiest method to take on a leadership role is undoubtedly through the Crockalockin' Board. The board makes tasks that need to be completed very explicit and enables members to "take ownership" of their work. Members are encouraged to lead project groups from the board, as this removes pressure from captains (who are busy managing their own tasks) and provides an excellent leadership opportunity. Any members interested in the captain title must display leadership in project groups first.