Monash Motorsport (MMS) is a non-profit student organization hailing from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where students band together to design, manufacture, test, market, and race their own Formula-style race car. How do they do that? Read on.
The organization, which started in 2000 to compete in the Formula SAE Australasia student design competition, has won the competition every year since 2009, a feat which currently ranks Monash Motorsport as 2nd in the world.
The team is composed of approximately 70 people each year — 35 senior members plus 35 student recruits. They're mostly from the varied faculties of Engineering, but also include the faculties of Science, Business, Commerce, and Marketing.
What's truly cool is that they get to dream up a car completely from scratch, and then actually use it to race with other student organizations. This entails coordinating the process of designing, manufacturing, and assembling over 10,000 individual parts over a period of only nine months. To accomplish this, they organize themselves into five sections, each section having its own technical and qualitative goals for the year.
Using Wrike for Collaborative Production
Due to the highly interrelated and non-linear design process of the car, work must be done simultaneously and numerous iterations over each part must be completed and tested to reach performance targets. This means that straightforward communication and coordination between each of the technical sections are of utmost importance as the teams collaborate on the car, piece by piece.
Monash Motorsport therefore uses Wrike as the tool to unite their teams' design and production efforts.
“The project is planned and tasked from the top down,” says Iori Nishida, student consultant for MMS. “The car’s major parts are assigned in Wrike with specific deliverables articulated as milestones. These deliverables are then broken down into achievable weekly tasks to ensure reliable progress and the successful completion of our project."
Using the Timeline feature (Gantt chart), the team is able to visualize how their concurrent projects are connected to one another, while also ensuring everyone understands approaching deadlines. Wrike’s mobile apps give each team member the chance to stay on top of project progress even when they're not in the workroom, ensuring accountability.
Planning a Year in Advance with Wrike
“We plan our whole year using Wrike,” says Edward Hamer, MMS' Team Leader. "First we input and block off the important dates — our university semester end dates, semester breaks, our planned Europe tour for the international competitions, our plan to begin designing our 2015 car — hard dates are set and travel dates are reserved, then project milestones can be scheduled around these.”
Planning was of particular relevance in 2014, with Monash Motorsport heading to Europe to compete in two of the biggest Formula SAE competitions in the world: the ones in UK and Germany. The team will be using their car from 2013, while simultaneously, they have to build this year’s car for the Australasian competition. Wrike helps them balance both.
Hamer says: "Obviously this is a huge task for a group of students and in order for us to succeed and achieve our goals we must be focused and organized. Wrike allows us to maintain a high level of organization within the team at a high efficiency."