Monitoring Progress

As the liaison engineer, you are the primary person at your company who monitors the progress of the project. We do not want you to consider the project a faculty project; it is and must remain a student project. Project progress can be effectively monitored by liaison engineers through contact with the Capstone team and through weekly status updates and conference calls.

Contact with Capstone Team

Teams have limited success when they work on their own without weekly contact with the project sponsor. This leads to surprises for both the company and the team. The company is surprised when the work of the team fails to meet their needs; the team is surprised when the company is disappointed with their efforts. Through consistent contact with the team, unanticipated problems can be avoided. For companies that are close to Brigham Young University (BYU), we recommend that you attend team meetings on occasion. Consider having some of these meetings take place at your company, if possible, where other personnel can be in attendance. At these meetings, we hope you will let the team leader be in charge, but we want to ensure that your needs and wants are brought up so that the team can work with you to meet them. For companies that are not located near BYU, we have web conferencing capabilities available for use by the team. This should allow the team to have meetings with you, even though you are at a remote location.

Where possible, it is helpful to have the team visit your facilities. For companies outside of Utah, we hope to arrange at least one trip. For local companies, we expect to have multiple trips. We hope to have teams make final presentations of their work at the sponsor site. Please keep in mind that all travel by the team outside the state of Utah is to be paid for by the sponsoring company, so these trips should be carefully planned between you and the team.

Contact with Capstone Team

In addition to your contact with the team, we suggest that you contact the team leader frequently. We will try to have the leader contact you weekly to update you on the project status and to get your feedback. If you are not getting weekly calls, feel free to call the team leader at your convenience. We will provide you contact information for each team member and the faculty coach.

During weekly calls with the team leader, you may feel free to discuss your thoughts of the team’s performance and give any advice to the team leader. However, in order to have a consistent voice between the company and faculty coach, it’s better to relay your advice to the team coach first.

Written Communication

Teams prepare a project update that is emailed weekly. These weekly updates will often have attachments including results relating to the project team’s work on the project to date. If you are dissatisfied with the progress of the team or feel they have a misunderstanding of your needs, an email from you that carefully lays out your best thinking on the problem acan be of great help to a team. Not only does it provide documentation that the team can read over and over again, but it also serves as a basis for future discussions with the team.