Project Post-Mortem

August 31, 2008

To wrap up the last project, and get ready for the next one, a proper post-mortem to figure out what happened.

To put it bluntly, I didn’t like how my presentation went. I think the project really needed more time, and that time I had ended up misallocated thanks to some shoddy planning on my part. Lets go through some feedback I got from the reviewers and other classmates:

1. The model backpack I made was nice, but could have used some more work on certain things.

2. Most of the work I did ended up more on the engineering side of things, and even that didn’t quite have enough work put into it.

3. Needed more work on Ergonomics

4. Boards were hard to read in parts where colors overlapped.


And, honestly the reviewers were right – I did spend far too much time on the engineering side of things, but in my defense, in a way, I kinda had to. If I had an engineer on my team working with me, sure, that would have been their concern, but I was told to tackle a problem that had a large amount of ‘how it works involved, and I wasn’t quite comfortable working on ergonomics of the pack when there was such a gaping hole in the plan, such as “how the things fit together”. As not to be completely depressing, It isn’t without its lesson – in the future, an approach closer to Wes’ (leaving the mechanical details in the air to some extent, and use some awesome computer renders to distract the reviewers) may work better.

I think the model backpack was what killed me – scratch that, I know its what killed me. When I have roughly half a week to go from vague concept to presentation, I just didn’t have time to be in the shop chiseling out a backpack from a block of sign foam, nor the time to spend another 5 hours gluing fabric on said block. With another week, that would have been a valid addition to my presentation, without some of the corner-cutting, such as proper-looking padding for the ergonomic people, and perhaps some more care taken when gluing to allow for an ‘open’ view or something. Unfortunately, a lesser model wasn’t possible, ignore fabric and you have an ugly brick of sign foam, ignore the sign foam and you have a hopelessly complicated sewing job. The route I probably should have gone would be a nice render of sorts, but since building a good computer model is, once again, nearly impossible for fabric in the programs I have in my skill set, marker would probably have been the way to go, allowing me more time to work on other more important issues. But, alas, I’m not sure my marker skills are up to the task – yet another thing to add to my to-work-on list.

As for boards, I was quite disapointed with them – I had such awesome plans, but just plain-old ran out of time – despite only stopping work between Wednesday and Friday for classes on Thursday and 3 hours of sleep Friday morning. Didn’t help that most of that was spent gluing fabric on a brick of sign foam, but yeah, we’ve been over that. Next time more planning is in order, with the hope that something nice’ll come out of it.



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