Strategy Selection

Every game has rules, and in early January thousands of FRC teams around the world get see the rules for the new game and kick off their season. But before you dig in to the rules and get going your needs to do two very important things. Set goals and identify the team’s realistic capabilities.

 

Create Team Goals for the Season

Your team needs to know what is trying to accomplish as a team. Are you trying to inspire the most kids, teach kids how to try or win an event. All of these goals should be documented so that the team can use them to drive priorities during the strategy discussion. Here are some examples of competition goals that will have a big impact on your strategy.

  • Make it to elimination as a 2nd pick at districts
  • Make it to elimination as a 1st pick at districts
  • Make it to elimination as an alliance captain at districts
  • Make it to elimination as a 2nd pick at super regional
  • Make it to elimination as a 1st pick at super regional
  • Make it to elimination as an alliance captain at super regional
  • Make it to elimination as a 2nd pick in a CMP division
  • Make it to elimination as a 1st pick in a CMP division
  • Make it to elimination as an alliance captain in a CMP division
  • Win a district event
  • Win two district events
  • Win a super regional
  • Win a CMP division
  • Win CMP

Here are some examples of team goals that will have a big impact on your strategy:

  • Build 1 robot
  • Build 1.5 robots
  • Build 2 robots
  • Build 3+ robots
  • Robot needs to fit easily into a mini van

 

Identify your Strengths & Weaknesses

Every team has limitation has strengths and weaknesses that need to be well understood to make good decisions about strategy. We really recommend teams use the SWOT tool break down the team and its resources prior to kickoff every year so that the team can select a strategy that has a high chance of being realized. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. You can learn how to use the SWOT tool here. Let’s walk through an example SWOT analysis so we can demonstrate how it impacts strategy selection.

  • Strengths
    • Have and know how to use drill press
    • Have and know how to use band saw
    • Have and know how to use a variety of hand tools
    • Know how to CAD and have 1 robot’s worth of experience
    • Have $6,000 to spend on a robot
    • Have 2 very good technical mentors
  • Weaknesses
    • Do not have access to CNC mill
    • Do not have access to lathe
    • Do not have access to supplier who can do sheet metal
    • Do not have access to supplier who can weld
    • Can locate drill and cut features within .2 by hand
    • Have not done CAD during a build season
    • Will only be able to get into workshop 2 times a week for 3 hours a piece
    • Have a student to mentor ratio of 20:1
    • Team has not used pneumatics on several years
  • Opportunities
    • Maximize use of versa frame
    • Pre-select and pre-order parts for drive train
    • Standerdize fasteners
    • Standerdize motor controllers
    • Use pneumatics to keep weight low
    • Be very organized and maximize limited lab time
    • We may get additional mentors
  • Threats
    • Versa frame is heavy
    • Versa frame is expensive
    • Snow days – last year the team had 6
    • School usage costs could go up
    • Several sub team’s have members with low attendance

 

Read the Rules

  • READ THE RULES!!!!!
  • Understand how teams will be measured at competition
  • Understand how teams will advance
  • Understand limitations defined in the rules

 

Break the game down

  • Identify every way to get points
    • In 2015 we had the periodic of the stack
      • 64NrPJU
      • This was a great example of all of the possible ways to score. The same needs to be created for each year’s game
  • Identify every way to win
    • Start running game simulations in your head or on the board to create scoring scoring solutions
    • Watch the 3 day builds
    • Read chief delphi to see if you missed any and then add them to the list
  • Identify the every type of robot task needed to get every point and execute every way to win
    • List all of the the ways a robot could play the game during auton.
    • List all of the the ways a robot could play the game during teleop.
    • List all of the the ways a robot could play the game during coopertition.
  • Identify what percentage of teams at a district, regional, CMP division, CMP championships will be able to perform each capability
    • We use the common, uncommon, rare or impossible method. Refer to your team’s goals for which level you do this for. The numbers below are for a regional. The should change based on the event type and level.
      • Common 25-50 teams could do it
      • Uncommon 10-25 could do it.
      • Rare 2-10 team could do it
      • Impossible 1-2 teams could do it.
  • List everything your team could do based on its SWOT
  • Go through and pick which strategies your team should design for
    • For most teams limit yourselves to 1 rare or 2 uncommon or 3 commons
  • Start brain storming ways to make your strategy a reality
  • List all of the mechanisms you need
    • Looked at past robots
  • Put together a baseline solution based on your team’s risk level

 

Sub Pages

 

Additional Resources

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*