The culture of product development in student organisations
Product development in a multidisciplinary student organisation brings many challenges; varying experience, adaptation and involvement of members. This article will discuss how a multidisciplinary student project maintains a learning culture for product development and project management. The identified factors for a learning culture; 1) define product specifications, 2) involve alumnis, 3) facilitate an open minded culture for failure and learning and 4) collect experience and adapt an agile framework suitable for the project. These are factors that should be an implemented part to increase the chances of maintaining a learning culture. Align Racing UiA, the case of this study, is a student organisation with over 60 engaged students in multi-disciplinary challenges. The common team goal is to produce one race car a year and compete in Formula Student. The rules for the technical side of the project are substantial, resulting in concrete boundaries to realize the project. However, every piece of the car is designed, produced and assembled by the members. Looking at the first year of Align Racing UiA, the initial project management was not optimal for a student project of this scale. Consequently, it was realized that a strong emphasis on project management, agile development method and communication would be key to a more efficient product development and project management.
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