A new semester! And probably the last semester I will have (of school) for some time. It’s an exciting prospect. The winter break was good, both for catching up with the hobbies I can’t really do in Houston (climbing, snowboarding, and trail running to name a few) and hanging out with family and friends. While a couple minor things made forward progress with my projects, in general, not much has changed since the last time we talked. So…what to talk about on the blog?
Right! The team is trying something new this semester. It’s called a Sprint or, in our case, multiple Sprints over the course of the whole semester. But first, a bit of context.
One of the most challenging things about this program is the balancing act. For last semester not only are we all taking required classes outside of those required for GMI but we also have all of our projects. Last semester we were struggling our time between these (1) other classes, (2) Truvent (the “smart” AmbuBag), (3) our personal project (Teledermatology in Brazil for me), (4) the team project (Needs finding and narrowing primarily—we’ve now nailed down Costa Rica Dialysis as our project), (5) working (I worked 20 hours at LivaNova as an intern in their electrical R&D lab, the others all had TA jobs or other commitments), and finally (6) trying to find a job after college. Oh, and sprinkle national and international travel in there as well.
Sounds like a lot, huh? Don’t worry, IT IS manageable (though I am not working this semester so that I can definitely get my graduate commitments completed). The hardest part though, and I think what added to the stress and difficulty of last semester, was trying to switch focus from one thing to another to another. Everyone had different schedules so it was exceedingly challenging to make forward progress on all of these things all the time. Which brings me back to the Sprint.
If you’ve never heard of the Sprint style before, its taking a week and focusing, as a team, on just one thing. This week we are focusing on Truvent and getting a working, testable prototype together (If you want more information the book Sprint by Jake Knapp is a surprisingly good and quick read). This also means that everyone will have a hand in everyone else’s personal projects. Of course, there will still be an owner, they lead the sprint (LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES -cough- resume buzzword -cough-). Each sprint will jump from a personal project back to the team project to the personal projects and so on. For the team project the Sprint lead will change each time.
So…yea! We’ll see how this changes things. Hopefully it will be a productive and rewarding spring.
That’s it for me,