Quad Projects // Update 02.22

February 22, 2019

The Quad Spring Innovation Consulting teams are underway for the semester. We will be bringing you weekly updates on each team that focuses on their project progression, team dynamics, exciting things happening, and more! Come back often and catch up with us!

During week one, the Altia, Augmented Reality team focused its first meeting on defining the outcome, identifying deliverables, exploring their individual interests and skills and how they would benefit different parts of their project. They also spent time getting to know one another. One of the first tasks they worked through as a team was understanding the deliverables and outcomes provided by their client.

This proved a little trickier than one might think because of the breadth of technical terms involved while working with a high-tech company. The team solved this slowdown by taking the time to understand and define each acronym and unfamiliar tech term. In order to keep those definitions front and center, they placed each term and acronym on a sticky note in their workspace. Innovative thinking at work! The team then created their work plans for the week based on the deliverables and outcomes of the project.

To ensure that everyone was engaged in the project the team focused on desired outcomes that mesh well with each of the team members diverse skills. For example, one team member, Ricci, loves to study the psychology of consumers so the topic she chose to focus on for the week was consumer perspectives and concerns. They are excited for their next meeting because they have the opportunity to share with their client their progress thus far and what they are excited to work on next. Great job, Altia team!

During the first week sessions of the Spring Semester Venetucci Farm Project, the team discussed their strengths and how they can be applied to this project. Each member then utilized Trello, a project management program, to apply their strengths to deliverables required of their client.  Currently, the team is tackling solutions brainstormed by the fall semester team to keep the farm sustainable and a key asset in the Colorado Springs community. This process includes creating “one pagers”, documents that outline the practicality, functionality and feasibility for each of the 30+ ideas complied from the fall semester team.

As with any innovative consulting project, there are times in which the team struggled with how to approach completing tasks and what direction to follow. The team noticed they had a tendency to sometimes get “lost in the weeds” with questions that do not necessarily relate to the overall objective of the session. In order to combat this specific challenge, members of the group strategically discovered ways to get back on track without negating the opinions and thoughts of others. Team work takes work and this team is doing a great job! 

For future weeks, the team has time slated to research additional uses for Venetucci Farm, standardizing each use as they did with the fall semester work. Moving forward, the team will analyze and combine all of their research to understand how to utilize the space at the Venetucci Farm for maximum financial income.

The Venetucci Farm team is in its third semester of work at the Quad. This new Spring semester team has scheduled to visit the Farm today, Friday February 22nd and is excited for the opportunity.

During the first week meetings for the El Paso County Public Health Food Access, the team created individual work plans for researching, gathering data, compiling information and composing a final solution for addressing Food Access in Colorado Springs and El Paso County. The team is utilizing information obtained regarding the ratio of food options categorized as “healthy” vs. “unhealthy” on a regional basis and will implement a process to establish more healthy diet options in lower income regions.

During this first week, the team engaged in bonding exercises to increase comfortability with one another as well as to enhance the ability for group members to engage in a productive and receptive workspace. The team indicated their strengths and weaknesses and used those discoveries to allocate their work plan accordingly. All team members took on tasks that they felt they were good at as well as tasks that they wanted to explore to help improve their indicated weaknesses.

The team did have some struggles in regards to breaking the project down into smaller tasks that could be accomplished by individuals every week. They resolved this by establishing a chronological timeline in which deadlines need to be met. Then, they separated these deadlines into smaller sub groups.The team also had concerns and difficulties with communicating exactly which part of the project each team member was contributing to. They were able to address this concern using the platforms Trello and Slack on a consistent basis to manage workload, assignments and time efficiency.

During the first week meetings for the Spring Innovation Consulting Affordable Housing Project the team worked through how best to utilize their diverse skill sets and interests. They have decided to work together on the first several deliverables to gain a similar baseline of knowledge on affordable housing in Colorado Springs, El Paso County, and beyond. Their preliminary research covers Colorado and Federal policy as well as zoning laws and opportunity zones as they related to affordable housing opportunities. Additionally, the demand for different types of accommodation, price points, and intergenerational housing options have been researched during the first week.

The team connected with Chelsea Gaylord, Economic Development Project Manager with the City of Colorado Springs and is excited to invite her to an upcoming work session. She is in charge of opportunity zones in Colorado Springs and will be sharing her knowledge with the team as they pursue financial models to make these developments possible.

As the team delves further into their project, they are identifying the types of information already that currently exists and what needs further data collection. As a group, the team is considering the possibility of crafting a survey to deliver to a wide variety of age groups in order to explore the demand for intergenerational housing and what types of intergenerational models might be sustainable.