Detailed documentation is critical. There is no way we could have kept track of the functionalities of our various hand-built devices without having thoroughly recorded information such as pin functions and connector orientations. Our use of documentation in this way allowed us to create more modular and testable designs since the majority of points in our circuits are easily accessable via a pin connector.
Mapping out potential roadblocks early on in the project saves a huge amount of time in the long run. We saved ourselves a lot of headaches by determining which elements of the project were going to take the most time and research to complete. We knew where to focus our efforts in order to get the best results, and we knew where the major time sinks were going to be. This allowed us to budget our time effectively in order to hit our milestones on schedule.