Overzealous Project Managers: Problems and Solutions

I have worked on many projects in my time as an engineer, and in that time, I have discovered that the project manager tends to be one of the lesser liked roles in the project team.  In my previous post, I discuss the reasons why project managers are critical to a project’s success.  However, despite the positive sides of project management, engineers, specifically, seem to experience both the overzealous and lazy project managers with a high enough frequency that the major complaints must be voiced.  Therefore, here are a few of the major points of contention with overzealous project managers and what you should do about them: Continue reading “Overzealous Project Managers: Problems and Solutions”

How to Handle Ineptitude

men discussing something

Ineptitude is a difficult issue to combat because there are, obviously, different levels of ineptitude.  They range from someone who is selectively disinterested in a specific task (I would argue this is the most frequent), all the way to completely dysfunctional.  In the case of the latter, expedient dismissal is the best option.  That being said, dismissal is a difficult issue to work with based upon your own organization’s policies regarding termination, and so, I won’t go into detail beyond documentation and getting them out as soon as is practical.

In the case of selective disinterest in certain pieces, however, there are some things you can do to help them to integrate more effectively into the team.

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5 Ways To Put Assholes In Their Place

Being an asshole is all part of my manly essence

Assholes assholes everywhere…. ok, not really.  I spoke about engineers who behave with utter disregard for anything or anyone but themselves in this post, and now the time has come to elaborate on how a leader can manager these types of individuals.  These can be very easy to deal with (for the idle asshole), or incredibly difficult (with the conniving ones), but regardless of how asshole-like they are, here are some tips to deal with them when they are under your employ.

 

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What Makes a Great Engineer?

Guy sitting looking at the camera with text saying "I am hoping that I can be known as a great engineer rather than a sex symbol"So here I’ve been sitting, contemplating how to write this post, and not having any epiphanies as to how to go about it. Shy engineers are easy to discuss, assholes are equally easy.  Ineptitude was a bit ranty, though in my defense, those engineers tend to rant of their own accord, so it seemed to fit.  Now comes the one that should be easiest to write, but is hard to really come up with something intriguing and useful.  So I’m just going to throw it out there for the record, because this is the category in which MOST engineers sit, and the reason engineering actually works in companies.  I’m going to refer to them as A+ Engineers because if they were in school, I’d tend to give them all A pluses for grades.

So, without further ado, here is a list of common traits to good, A+ engineers: Continue reading “What Makes a Great Engineer?”

Why Engineers and Managers Can’t Communicate

Hopefully, you have already read A Manager’s Focus and An Engineer’s Focus.  If not, I encourage you to do so, because the purpose of this post is to discuss why it is that engineers and managers tend to have difficulty communicating.  In fact, many times, while watching communication happening during meetings, it is fascinating to realize that both are talking, thinking their point is getting across but in reality they are talking to the equivalent of a brick wall!

Talking to a brick wall

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An Engineer’s Focus

Engineers (of all types) are logical, analytical, and overly detail-oriented individuals.  Because of this, their focus lies in the project on which they are working.  Ok, everyone knows that, but the more interesting facet is that engineers see the world in a completely different way.  Of course, they are fully aware of the future customer, and they are also cognizant of project requirements, but what is different, is how that information is processed.

two men looking at software design that is too complicated Continue reading “An Engineer’s Focus”

A Manager’s Focus

In the world of business, you can look at required tasks several different ways. At the largest scale, you can look at how a company’s stock price fluctuates with organizational decisions, ROI, Resource management and supplier/customer relations.  Each area you turn to, there are many different components which aggregate into the whole.  You can keep going further down until you finally hit those workers who are doing the seemingly menial tasks that must be accomplished in order to get the answers you (the manager) need to have in order to perform your job satisfactorily.http://www.sudospeak.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif

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