Engineer & Company Relationship

The Unequal Job Future for Engineers

The discrepancy in 18-year job outlook for different types of engineers might surprise you. In America, we’ve been told we’ll face a dearth of engineers in the near future. We’ve learned to encourage students to major in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, as that’s where the job growth will be. Over the next …

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Stay Late or Go Home: Do Engineers Have a Choice?

I make an effort to read up on what’s going on the engineering world. Obviously, it’s relevant to what I write here at this blog. It helps me gauge what’s going on with lots of things ranging from technology, to engineering managerial issues to trends in engineering careers. One of the blogs I follow is …

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Mitigating the Engineering Brain Drain Threat

The impact of the retirement of Boomer engineers is something I have been tracking for some time. It poses a serious threat to productivity in engineering organizations. While there are process and organizational changes that can be made to address that threat, there are also some technologies that can make an impact as well. The …

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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.

Are Engineers and Their Employers Growing More Distant?

It seems that lately there has been a lot of talent management issues in engineering. With that in mind, I came across an interesting article written by Jeffrey Pfeffer over at the Harvard Business Review called Take Care of Yourself First.

What is ‘The Goal’ for Engineering? How Alex Rogo Came to Conclusions…

Sometimes, it’s the simplest questions that are exactly the hardest ones to answer. In a post last week, I wrote about a book I read some time ago called The Goal (wikipedia entry). In it, the main character struggles to identify both the goal, increased profitability, and constraints of that goal, production bottlenecks and sales limitations, in a manufacturing plant he oversees in an effort to save it from being shut down. Based on that premise, I asked what the analogue is to engineering. What exactly is the goal for engineering? What are the constraints keeping engineering from that goal?

General / Books

What is ‘The Goal’ for Engineering?

Besides bringing back memories of years ago, I have to admit, this book got me thinking. In the case of the plant, the goal was to be profitable. The constraints were bottlenecks in production. Alex ends up tweaking and twisting those bottlenecks to up production as well as bring in more sales at lower margins but huge volumes. So what’s the analogue in engineering?

Is the Relationship between Engineers and Their Companies Degrading?

My friend was finishing up his week of work in the middle of a Friday afternoon when he got the call. There’s a project in dire straits. They needed him to whip up a procedure for a particular product. Could it wait until Monday? Nope, they said they needed it by end of day. They were going to pass the procedure along to one of their technical centers overseas so they could actually utilize the procedure over the weekend. No waiting until Monday.

The End of Engineering’s ‘Black Box’ Operations?

The issues around designing and engineering a product are often so complex, it can be difficult to relate that to other stakeholders in the development process, including those in the c-suite. That’s why these other stakeholders have traditionally seen design and engineering activities as far more of an art and than science. To them, engineering has been like a black box. Market needs and requirements went in the front. Product designs popped out the back. And for the most part, engineering was left alone…

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