This is a group of Cal Poly freshman with the SUSTAIN SLO program working with the Oak Creek Commons Co-Housing Community in Paso Robles! We are all really excited to be a part of this! Our project is to design and build a natural outdoor playground on the land in Paso.

Here is the beautiful place we get to work!

Safety is a big concern, so with the push from our IME 270 project management class, we've created this poster about safety issues to be aware of together.

Let's be safe!

Reflection: The first draft of our safety poster was very general as it took a while for us to have a defined project. It could have been the safety poster for any old project because we didn't know what we were going to be working on. Now that we have a better idea of what we are doing, we re-did this poster to reflect our unique project and concerns more.  Some of these ideas could still be used in a broad range of projects, but nonetheless, I am happy with the outcome. The examples of wearing appropriate clothing, using sun protection, and having care while lifting heavy objects are mostly common sense. Yet that does not make these three any less important- in fact, these are probably the safety issues we will be running into the most. Since we will be building/constructing things, it will be really important to make sure everyone is comfortable and knows how to properly use the tools, especially if we have to use more serious power tools. Personally, I think that the concern of communication is very important. We have to be able to communicate well as a group, with the OCC/SUSTAIN representatives, and also with the community as a whole. I really hope this project succeeds, and I think being honest and straight foreword with each other will help. This is definitely something I need to work on on a personal level- I am really bad at confrontation. And lastly, I think it's important to be aware of our surroundings. We will be working outdoors on land that is often visited by strangers. We will be building an area for the kids, so hopefully the kids will be around, but we have to be aware of our movement and language as not to harm them. We will also be working with all the diversity in OCC, so I think that we have to have respect for everyone at all times.


Reflection: When first given this assignment, we hadn’t had a defined project, so we first made poster for most simple projects in general. Then after we had a defined project, we slightly modified the poster again so that it was tailored towards our specific project, involving construction. I feel like for our group that is working on the project, most of these safety guidelines are a given, but the main issue that is posed for our project is letting the people in the community know when we would be coming out to work on the project and having them understand the safety concerns. Because our project is largely construction based and we also want to have the children involved with the making process, we would need to have people watch over the children so that they aren’t near or causing distractions to  people that are operating large hazardous power tools. This also means that any person operating any tool needs to have a complete understanding of the tool otherwise unforeseen injuries may occur and that is not wanted.  I felt like it was good that we did this assignment, so we would think about the possible damages that may possibly occur during our project.



As a follow up to safety issues, we developed this Risk Analysis document. We assessed the probability and impact of possible issues. 

Let's hope all goes well!

Reflection: Doing this risk analysis gave me more tangible ideas than the safety poster. Even though the overall theme is still safety, I was able to discover more vivid examples. Perhaps this is because I have a better idea of what our project entails. Or maybe it's because I found the graph provided by Liz to be so helpful. We made a graph with the x-axis being the impact and the y-axis being probability. And incident in the lower left quadrant was low impact and low probability, and moving right and up the incidents became both higher impact and higher probability. I was able to clearly see where any possibles incidents we able to fit in. Also, I had a really easy time thinking of mitigation and responses for the potential problems. It is also nice to know that we do have this resource in case any of the incidences do occur in the future.


Reflection:This assignment made us consider a lot more variables that I felt, would impact the project a lot more. Compared to the safety poster, this assignment goes beyond just physical injuries but also included relational, emotional, and structural issues that could occur; therefore, I felt that this was a lot more helpful in regards to the actual project. When first given this assignment, I thought that it was pretty pointless to consider some of the extremely low probability risks (like an earthquake) but it’s interesting how Roger pointed how it was often these low probability but high impact events that destroy operations because they are not accounted for. After having worked together for quite a few weeks, it’s interesting to see how many of these issues have actually occurred, how they have affected our project and our group, and how we reacted to them.  



After meeting with OCC and the SUSTAIN team a few times, we have come up with this Project Charter. It is kind of an extensive document, so it will not be posted in full on this web page. However, if you feel like learning more, look no further!

Project Charter:SUSTAIN project charter.doc

Reflection: I struggled writing this document, because our project kept changing. We started this document without a clear idea of what we were doing, so we've had to adapt multiple times as our project has adapted. I think that this charter could be very useful for some of the SUSTAIN teams, but it's not as relevant or fitting to OCC. OCC is such a well functioning community, and already has plenty of ways to organizing thoughts and projects, that this was redundant for our group. It created much more stress than useful ideas or documentation. I feel bad for being so pessimistic about this- it could come partly from having this document due right in the height of midterms week, adding to the stress levels. 


Reflection: For our group, the project charter was really just a lot of excessive work. It was interesting to see how project charters were like because I’ve never seen or written one before, but At the time of writing the charter, our group also didn’t have a defined project and was going through the research of multiple projects, so writing was charter was really difficult and by the time we had everything figured out to where we could be writing out the charter like other groups, we had already had so many discussions with OCC and within our group that we felt like it wasn’t necessary.   Also, when working together with OCC, they already do so many other things that keep us organized and on task. Our goal, deliverables, scope, and assumptions were already discussed so many times at the business meetings that were held at OCC, and we also had to do other things, such as writing project proposals for the community, neither Dede nor I felt like the charter benefitted our group very much. However, working with OCC is probably very different from working with other community partners and the charter may have benefited their groups more. 



After doing some additional research, here's some of the ideas we have for our natural outdoor playscape!

Awesome Teepee!(These aren't our photos or designs, just inspiration)Mini Ropes Course








We presented these ideas to the community at a discussion circle one night. All questions, concerns, and ideas were voiced and noted. Here's a picture of the whiteboard full of thoughts, and one of a few of the members of OCC and SUSTAIN:



We have released our project proposal to the community, and on Saturday, March 2nd, we will hopefully have our proposal passed through the consensus process and be able to move foreword! Here is the proposal:


                                                                                                               This is a visual Work Break Down Structure:


Reflection: I thought this was going to take a lot more time and effort than it did. I was surprised at how easy it was, and how helpful it actually was. We started with just brainstorming all we had to do, and trying to categorize all the work. We had our main idea in the middle and from there we used arrows to point to the different next steps. The next steps were very broad, more conceptual ideas, so from here we had arrows go to the more specific tasks. If necessary, we broke these down even further. It's nice to have an organized and visually stimulating design to look at and work with.


Reflection: This assignment was helpful in that it really made us consider and brainstorm what had to be done for the rest of our projects until the end of June.  It was good to have everything thought out first, rather than to think about it when facing the task, that way we’d be more prepared. Once we had our main goals listed out, it was easier for us to identify the tasks necessary to achieve those goals. 






And here is the Gantt Chart:

Reflection: It was also helpful to do the gantt chart to get a better idea of our timeline. Sorting out our workload into specific weeks and timeframes gave the project much more reality. However, there are a lot of variables in our project and we will most likely have unforseeable set backs, so we cannot rely on this chart too much. We will have to adapt it as our project continues. 


Reflection: I really liked the concept of the Gantt Chart, because of how it worked and how easy it was to manipulate and see the time it would take to complete the task.  I feel the hard part in this would really just be to accurately estimate a time for each task. At the stage we were at when making the chart, I don’t think it was able to help us out very much because a lot of the processes that we had to do didn’t have to follow any chronological order. For example, for the steps under preparation or implementation, none of them had to follow and specific steps and could be done all at once. So instead of looking like most other gantt charts, ours just had a lot of huge blocks together. When first planning out the gantt chart on paper, we had set the duration of each task based on weeks (ex. Week 8) because most of the actual work in OCC would be done in the weekends and we found that way easiest to organize but I wasn’t able to change that on the template online, so the dates make it look more confusing than it actually is. Overall I liked this assignment because it offered us a new way of organizing projects. 




We got the approval to move foreword with our project! Yippee!

Pictures of the project site:




Reflection: We decided to do our sprints on an individual basis rather than for our project for two reasons. The first was that we felt we didn't have a need for a sprint in our project at this time. The second was that we both have been feeling overwhelmed with school work coming into the end of the quarter, and this is a good tool to help with that. I mentioned in class that I see the sprints as a glorified to do lists. Just getting all the tasks down with the estimated hours helps put things in perspective.  I, like everyone, have been bombarded with tests, papers, projects, etc. at the end of the quarter, and have been thinking I have "a million things to do." So instead of focusing on one project or one specific task, I focused on a specific time frame. These are all the big school assignments I have to complete by mid-week during finals week. I grouped the tasks in different colors by what class the assignment is for. When I do the burndown chart, I am going to use the same colors and stack the tasks based on the nearest approaching deadline. 










The sprint is a pretty useful and helpful to-do list. I liked how you had to assign a time for each task because it really made you think about the task and consider the actual needed amount of time necessary. I feel like most of what there is to say is in the AAR.


After Action Reviews and Reflections:

Ning's AAR:

After Action Review.docx

Reflection: I felt like the after action review was a reflection assignment for the sprint because in a sense the aar is a tool for reflection. But the aar is a good way to review any action, even beyond sprints. Similarly to what we’ve discussed in class, it’s useful to actually say/write out the questions to the aar because although most of us seemingly already do a simple version of the aar in our mind after each task, actually saying or writing it out makes a big difference in the thinking process and would be much more beneficial that way.  

Dede's AAR:

SUSTAIN after action review.docx


Budget: As of now, we have no costs. 


Reflection: In reflection of the project as a whole, I am very satisfied with our end product.  Despite some early struggles we were able to accomplish our goal of creating a sustainable nature play-scape at Oak Creek Commons.  The whole process was long and exhausting, but also very rewarding.  I learned so much about the process of developing and implementing a project.  I also learned a lot about the way I communicate and work with others and how to improve those skills. This project helped me to gain real-life experience and problem-solving skills.  Our project has many components of sustainability embedded within the process as well as the physical project.  From the beginning of our project there has been a sustainability component.  As a group, we had to communicate with an entire community and make sure to take everyone's concerns into account.  Initially we were more concerned and focused on the social sustainability of our project; our efforts were focused on addressing the communities needs and desires to develop an initial project.  Once a project had been approved we could focus more on the environmental sustainability of the project.  Our project did not require many material costs because Oak Creek Commons already had materials for the project.  We were able to create a frisbee golf course with old posts, limbs for tee-pees from invasive plants, and stumps from a fallen tree. The only material we had to buy for our project was rope for a rope swing and a horseshoe kit.  Being able to reuse and repurpose material we already had, makes our project environmentally sustainable.  The last component of sustainability that is also found in our project is generational sustainability.  Our project created a nature play-scape for the children of the community to develop their creative minds outside.  But not only is this area for children, there are things for adults also.  There is a horseshoe pit by one of the swings and a frisbee golf course runs through the area.  With such a diverse play-scape it can function as a place for multi-generational congregation.  Our project accomplished our goal of a sustainable tangible product and  I could not be more satisfied than with that result. ~Bridget

Reflection: I don't want to be to redundant and repeat what Bridget just said above, so I will keep this short. Our goal was to create a natural, outdoor, multigenerational use playscape. It took us a long time to decide and plan this, and even longer to work with the community, so we were one of the last groups to begin actually building something. This was frustrating at the time, and we also had a few internal group issues, but all our patience and planning paid off and we had a hugely successful project! We created a fun area that all people in the community can use complete with a tee-pee, rope swings, horseshoes, a frisbee golf course, stump seats, logs to play on, and materials for future use. And, we were super sustainable as a whole! Even though we had the SUSTAIN budget and and additional $500 from the community, we used less than $100 total, and most of that went to feeding us and some friends for a work day we had. The stumps and logs we gathered and used were from downed tress that were interrupting water flow in a creek, so it was good we got them out of there. For the tee-pee, we really wanted thin and straight pieces of wood, and thought we were going to have to buy them. But then we learned about an invasive species of tree (I forget the name) that grew on the property and was about 30 feet tall and thin and straight. How perfect! So we harvested a few of these. The other materials we used were randomly collected at OCC. Also, we created a healthy, sustainable place for all generations to enjoy. ~Dede