Momentum - October 2020 - 14

Student Generation

In A&M team's structure, two Scrum teams were formed and
overseen by a chief engineer and director.

The simulated instantaneous velocity of different SAE aircraft taking off, which are loaded
to score 20 points each.

energy is wasted on problems.
The team also works at a sustainable pace. "In previous
years, the bulk of the design work usually fell on the officers as
deadlines were missed" remarked Kyle Curnutt, the team's
director. "As college students, it is easy to prioritize things over
SAE, or simply procrastinate, but that last-minute work leads to
team-wide burnout."
Given the complex dependencies of aircraft design, one
small delay leads to weeks of lost time. Scrum sprints prevent
that by requiring complete deliverables presented throughout
the design phase, which are refined after receiving feedback
from the whole team. SAE teams work under a fixed time
requirement, so the scope must be varied to effectively meet
the deadlines. Throughout the season, the development teams
write out tasks that must be complete, their effective size, and
the definition of "done." The product owner then assigns each
task a value and prioritizes them in a backlog. Before each
sprint, the whole team decides on which tasks will fit within the
sprint. As a result, the workload is appropriate and the
members, who decide their own work, ensure everything is
done. Most importantly, the system is agile by allowing the
teams to splice in new tasks or reprioritize at any point for a
better result with less waste. Scrum eliminates obstacles as
they arise rather than plan for them, or not plan for them, in
advance-a simple answer to the complex problem of project
For the technical manager, Scrum allows for more accurate
planning compared to a Gantt chart, and produces a product
that contains the essentials. Diving into Scrum lingo, the
average number of points a team accomplishes per sprint is its
velocity. That velocity can calculate the capacity of a sprint or
series of sprints, which can be thought of as a distance, or
velocity multiplied by time. Prewriting important tasks and
assigning them a point value based on broadness gives an idea
of what can be done within a certain time frame. However, the
constant reprioritization of those tasks makes adapting to
change and solving problems easy and does not ruin a rigid
plan. Rather than making a Gantt chart and hoping nothing

14 October 2020

A Scrum burnup chart numerically represents the physical progress made
during the design of a component.
goes wrong, A&M uses real-time data to meet deadlines with a
complete product. With plan-driven design, their plane had
tremendous aerodynamic and stability refinement but
incomplete structural work due to unforeseen setbacks
throughout the season. After adopting Scrum, all aspects of
the plane receive the appropriate amount of attention creating
a well-rounded aircraft.
Agile product design has greatly increased the productivity
of Texas A&M's Aero Design team while decreasing inter-team
frustration and managing the workload. A&M hopes other SAE
teams explore the newer management style and gain the
similar benefits, so the technical innovations at competition
continue to evolve and the core purpose of SAE be fulfilled. n
John Blausen, a senior majoring in mechanical
engineering at Texas A&M University, wrote this article for
MOMENTUM. He was chief engineer of Farmers Flight, the
university's SAE Aero Design team for 2019-2020. For the
2020-2021 team, he is continuing as chief engineer.



Momentum - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - October 2020

Momentum - October 2020
Big Changes to CDS coming next year
Ditching the bells and whistles
One-on-One with Matt McCoy
Ambition and its conundrums
Sprinting to Success
2021 Ducati Superleggera V4 is a lightweighting tour-de-force
Simulation’s next generation
SAE 101: SAE Mobilus
Practicing the ”art of learning”
Dossier: Juan Vasquez of Pariveda Solutions
Momentum - October 2020 - Momentum - October 2020
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - October 2020 - 1
Momentum - October 2020 - Big Changes to CDS coming next year
Momentum - October 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - October 2020 - Ditching the bells and whistles
Momentum - October 2020 - 5
Momentum - October 2020 - 6
Momentum - October 2020 - 7
Momentum - October 2020 - One-on-One with Matt McCoy
Momentum - October 2020 - 9
Momentum - October 2020 - Ambition and its conundrums
Momentum - October 2020 - 11
Momentum - October 2020 - Sprinting to Success
Momentum - October 2020 - 13
Momentum - October 2020 - 14
Momentum - October 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - October 2020 - 2021 Ducati Superleggera V4 is a lightweighting tour-de-force
Momentum - October 2020 - Simulation’s next generation
Momentum - October 2020 - SAE 101: SAE Mobilus
Momentum - October 2020 - Practicing the ”art of learning”
Momentum - October 2020 - Dossier: Juan Vasquez of Pariveda Solutions
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover4