Introduction Chapter 1: The Five Trends Shaping Modern Engineering Profitable Growth and Engineering Staffing The Visibility Mandate for Engineering Operations The Expanding Role of the Modern Engineer The Increasing Volatility of Engineering Work The Coming War for Engineering Talent Chapter 2: Five Initiatives for Today’s Engineering Manager Agile Product Development Processes Engineering Knowledge Management Just in Time Engineering (JIT) Right the First Time Principle Talent Management Strategy Chapter 3: Six Technology Categories to Enable Initiatives Design and Simulation Engineering Collaboration Engineering Guidance Product Lifecycle Management Talent Management 3D Visualization Closing and Next Steps
I have to admit, I've really pined to write this eBook for quite some time. You see, as I've written blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, developed and analyzed surveys and had discussions with users and software providers, there's always been a connected network between them in my mind. It's just that the scope has always been very large. Too often it's been too big for a single eBook, blog post or discussion. So finally, after clearing my schedule, I dedicated over a month of my time to write this, The Engineering Manager's Survival Guide. In it, there's a flow from the trends shaping engineering to the initiatives engineering managers can pursue and ultimately to the technologies that enable those efforts. For a sneak peek, here's the introduction:
Newly promoted engineering managers rarely imagine the challenges that await them. Of course, development schedules are shorter, products are getting more complex and budgets are shrinking. However, those are all simply constraints. Engineers are used to dealing with constraints. Strangely enough, the biggest challenges for engineering managers today aren’t technical. They are managing personnel. They are managing executives. The non-technical issues are often the stickiest. Before being promoted, most engineering managers were top-notch engineers. They possess above average technical skills to solve complicated design problems. They were willing to put forth super-human effort to push projects over the finish line. However, all the characteristics that got them promoted aren’t the ones that make them good engineering managers. They need to take action and pursue initiatives that will keep the engineering organization productive. Ultimately, that is the purpose behind this book. It provides answers to three simple yet difficult questions that engineering managers face every day.
- What are the issues? Improvement can’t be achieved without identifying the problems first. Chapter One outlines The Five Trends Shaping Modern Engineering and the challenges that occur as a result. It identifies challenges that plague many organizations as well as their root causes.
- How to address those issues? The next step is to develop a plan of action. Chapter Two defines Five Initiatives for Today’s Engineering Manager. It provides options the engineering manager can pursue in order to address the challenges discussed in Chapter One.
- What technology can help? Many different technologies can enable any one initiative. The trick is figuring out which ones would be most effective. Chapter Three defines Six Technology Categories to Enable Initiatives. Engineering managers can then plan out the adoption of new technologies alongside any people and process changes required.
Make no mistake, being an engineering manager today is no easy task. However, the initiatives needed to solve the problems of modern engineering organizations are there. It just takes an engineering manager willing to make the change.