Author Archive

The Ineffectiveness of Measuring Design Effectiveness

Metrics. It’s seems as if today’s business world is ruled by them. Metrics are essentially pervasive in just about every functional department in a manufacturer.

The Importance of People Skills for Engineers

What comes to your mind when you picture a stereotypical engineer? Most would say engineers have strong technical skills, high intelligence and lots of problem solving experience but typically are social introverts, personally aloof and lack interpersonal skills. For me, I find that stereotype to be terribly ironic. Let me explain.

The Intersection of Engineering IT and the Cloud

Seems nowadays its hard to read about engineering IT without coming across something about the cloud. And while it’s definitely an interesting concept, it hasn’t necessarily been explicitly clear what advantage or value it providers to designers, engineers or analysts. With ideas of IT related issues that have plagued engineering in the past, I started to think hard about the cloud.

Engineering Leadership Development is Key to Innovation Based Growth

Not long ago, I wrote an Introduction to Talent Management post that put that topic in the context of the engineering organization. I followed that up by looking at the question of What’s the Importance of Employee Alignment in Engineering? Today I’d like to delve into a issues that is direct related to engineering executives: succession management.

What is the Killer App for the Modern Engineer?

A couple weeks ago, I asked a question that has been on my mind for a while: do engineers have the broadest reach within the enterprise? I’ve always thought there’s been a little bit of a misconception that an engineer’s sole focus is on new product development and more specifically, design work. Instead, just about every day for an engineer is a firedrill where they’re scrambling all over the company to resolve issues across a number of product’s lifecycles. So after coming to that conclusion, I started thinking about another question: what technology would best enable engineers to do their job?

Do Engineers Make Good CEOs?

In my experience, I’ve seen many sales and marketing executives take over the CEO role, but what about technical folks, like engineers, stepping into the CEO role? It certainly can be frequent with startups where a technology visionary builds the company from the ground up. But what about engineers stepping into the role for established manufacturers?

Sage Advice from Executive Chris Weiss for Aspiring Engineering Managers

Ready for the next step in your career? Well, at least you’re not alone. Many engineers, feeling like the best opportunity for a better income lies in a managerial track, frequently ask themselves what they need to do to take that next step.

Could Engineering Transform into a Networked Service?

At the end of November, in a post called Are Engineers and their Employers Growing More Distant, I cite some points from a blog post by Jeffrey Pfeffer over at the Harvard Business Review called Take Care of Yourself First. I obviously saw this as a proof point behind a widening gap between engineers and manufacturers, but I think there’s also a little more at work here.

Does SharePoint Add Complexity to PLM?

It is a fast-paced and complicated world, isn’t it? While we’ve gotten instant access to information around the world, I think it’s gotten harder for each of us individually to really understand what’s going on in the world. There’s simply too much to register. I think that’s why, in general, we like concise perspectives that distill the gist of a situation so we can come to a conclusion and move on quickly.