Can Best Value Practices Be Applied To Create Higher Performance In Student-run/Volunteer Developmental Engineering Projects
In this paper, the impact of running a Best Value system in a student-run/volunteer group is measured, documented, and analyzed. The group being used for this test is the Arizona State University Society of Automotive Engineers Formula Team. The Arizona State University Society of Automotive Engineers Formula Team has participated in national Formula SAE competitions since at least 1992, however, in the last twenty years, the team has only been able to produce one car that was able to finish the competition on time. In a similar time period, Best Value has been successfully tested on over 1860 professional projects with a 95% satisfaction rating. Using the Best Value approach to increase transparency and accountability through simple metrics and documentation, the 2016 Arizona State University Society of Automotive Engineers Formula Team was able to complete their car in 278 days. In comparison, it took 319 days for the 2015 team and 286 for the average collegiate team. This is an improvement of 13% when compared to the 2015 team and 3% when compared to the average collegiate team. With these results it can be deduced that the Best Value approach is a viable method for improving efficiency of student-run and volunteer organizations. It is the recommendation of this report that the Arizona State University Society of Automotive Engineers Formula Team continue to utilize Best Value practices and run this system again each year moving forward. This consistent documentation should result in continuous improvement in the time required to complete the car as well as its quality.