The Engineering Executive's Conundrum

Chad Jackson

The Engineering Executive’s Conundrum

May 20, 2019

Change initiatives represent a real opportunity for improvement… and disruption. In this post, we talk about this catch-22 for engineering executives.

The Engineering Executive's Conundrum

The Engineering Executive’s Conundrum

How do engineering executives approach new technology-led initiatives?

A Wave of Change

Let’s talk about initiatives for engineering executives. You know, it’s an exciting time for product development. There are a lot of changes happening. You’re seeing a lot of software and electronics making their way into traditionally mechanical products, and a lot of the executives are looking at that and saying, “You know what? Our current development process really wasn’t built for that.” And there’s a high probability that it won’t always work, right? If that happens, you’re going to miss deadlines, which undermines the company’s ability to launch or deliver products on time, which is kind of the paramount metric out there.

A lot of executives know they need to make a change. They know they need to make adjustments to develop these products on time, more quickly, and hit requirements. That motivates them to make changes, often in the form of initiatives. However, if you adopt an initiative in the wrong way, it can actually disrupt your current product development process. That’s a big problem because many people are struggling to hit deadlines right now, much less amid a significant change for an initiative.

Risk vs. Benefit

Executives are kind of caught between those two things, like a catch-22. They know they need to change, but they’re concerned about the potential disruption that comes with new initiatives, and that’s part of the reason that we publish a lot of guidance on different engineering efforts. We talk about what they are, if they’re ready for the mainstream, how you deploy them, what’s the return on investment, and what is the best fit for enabling technologies to support the effort? That’s what Lifecycle Insights does.

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