Managing an engineering project can seem very daunting and insurmountable at the time. It can seem almost impossible to manage a team of engineers no matter how talented they are if you don’t bring good engineering management skills in to play. If you are leading a team of engineers it is quite difficult to decide when you stop being an engineer and start being a leader. You are required to be a part of the team and work alongside them as an engineer as well as carry out the additional task as a leader. Bringing together a set of people of different calibers, mindsets and working styles together and collaborating to work towards a common goal involves striking a very delicate balance. In order to do so, you may need to try out various approaches before you finally get it right. Let us look at 9 such elements that can help you establish that balance.
- Pick the right candidates:
Though a good manager must be able to find the best talent hidden in every individual it is quite necessary that you take on the people with a right set of skills so that you can save a lot of time as well as get some of the expected problems of acclimatization crossed off even before they start working with you. Knowing that a person will fit well with your team and gel well with your work culture, is a great place to begin managing your project. List out some of the basic qualities or specific aptitudes you are looking for in a team member. Identify areas of weaknesses in your existing team and find an individual who could bridge that gap. Only when you have the team in place, can you get started with the actual project. Look out for the people with various knowledge in CAD, CAE and who can take long way road on Product concept design. Their contribution to the organization will help to enhance the company progress better.
- Measured autonomy:
Engineers are qualified professionals who have their own methods of working. Giving them the space to carry out their tasks in their own way might bring in the best possible results of their work. Forcing them to work around a complex routine might hinder their creative thinking and reasoning abilities. Giving them sufficient time but ensuring deadlines are put in place is one of the chief concerns of the manager. Ensuring that the autonomy given to them is put to good use and contributes to the team’s efforts and progress involves constant measuring and diagnosis activities on the part of the leader. They can be allowed to even work remotely with regular updates provided to you or review each other’s work and submit reports to you if necessary.
- Managerial workload
Managing your own workload should be the first step in managing an engineering project. If you are leading a team and are overburdened with your own tasks, it can reflect quite poorly on the team performance. Hence your engineering tasks must be kept to a minimum. Implying the design approach in the organization to the key success of engineering management. While other engineers can carry out such tasks, the task of leading and managing can only be carried out by you. Giving up some of your routine duties to take over the managerial duties is the first step forward. This can also help get your mindset fixed on the task of leading. With management being your primary duty, your creative energy can be used effectively in analyzing various decisions and allocations.
- Staying up to date:
As a manager, your technical duties may have been reduced. As the tough task of managing a team keeps you occupied, you might want to take some time out to update yourself with some current knowledge. Technical competence is very important for the manager of engineering projects. By staying in touch with the latest technologies or tool you may be able to better understand the complexities faced by your team members. This makes it easier to make suggestions to them on various areas of improvement. Simple activities like reading technical journals or looking up online videos can help you stay in pace with them as well as upcoming technologies. This can also help you strategize contingency plans in case a team member leaves or new problem occurs.
Setting targets is the easiest way to get people working as well as gauging your team’s progress. Being the head of the team this duty falls on you. Setting targets that challenge your team members but at the same time not overburden them. This also facilitates your team members to work towards a common goal. The task is split into individual targets as well as periodic team goals. Each of the individual targets must bring them closer to their team goals which will eventually lead to the completion of the project. Especially 3D printing and technology have enormous targets which needs to perfectly achieved. It is not limited to time only but also with the technical details
- Reduce distractions:
Providing a focused working environment for your team is your duty as their manager. Reduction of unnecessary interruptions from external factors can make your employees spend more time on their individual and group targets. Continuous and dedicated hours of work with a suitable number of breaks get their creative ideas flowing which can eventually lead to faster and more efficient completion of tasks.
- Crisis management:
Your efficiency as a manager is put to its ultimate test when you are faced with a crisis. Such times may require to be present with the team and facing the issue at hand. All your previous work strategies, experience, knowledge will come in handy at this juncture. By being physically present with the team and actually keeping your calm, you instill confidence and a stable environment to the team. This helps you as well as your team to think clearly and come up with various feasible solutions.
While not all crisis can be predicted, it is possible to come up with some scenarios where everything may not go as planned. While team members simply act on the instructions received, it is up to you to actually put back up plans in place in case of such emergencies. This involves preemptive planning. You must be able to think weeks, months or even years ahead for all possible eventualities. These plans can be discussed with other managers or even team member to gain insights at both the top level as well as grass root level. Setting long term objectives and aligning your everyday tasks accordingly can help avoid the crisis altogether.
Being a good manager is not something you can achieve in a day. It is a continuous process of evolution where you may make mistakes and learn from them for the future. Especially in engineering as technology keeps advancing, you need to advance your skill set, knowledge, and experience and keep growing. Your strategies and plans need to grow with you and you also need to take your entire team along with you as you grow. Getting one decision right at a time and combating one problem at a time is the way to proceed on this ever-changing journey.
How have we transformed engineering cycle of the industry?
Engineering is the crucial part of any product. You need to understand the techniques, technology of every single element of the product and deliver them on time. With growing competition it is highly impossible to track and accomplish your goals. Thus, Maxbyte has launched bytefactory engineering which can reduce the time taken for the design cycle.
byteEngineering works brilliant with its intelligent system and offer you with the following objectives
Engineering Program Management: Our byteEngineering system allow you to create new projects in the dashboard, resource allocation for the project, tracking the on-time delivery of each project and create reports and analytics.
Engineering Performance Insights: With the insights derived you can always analyze and set the objectives for the project. You can review the performance on daily basis in order to create a better environment that supports management, training and on time delivery trends.
Engineering based on Organizational Policy: A progressive analysis can be performed that support access definition for multiple roles in the company
Engineering Team Forecast: Now Planning is no more an hassle with byteEngineering as they support calendar for you to maintain. This will be accessed by the entire team to check if you are on the right time schedule or if there is any push-over for the projects that are yet to be completed.
Engineering Issue Management: Crisis is the successive goal assets. But you always need to be prepared on how you can manage the unfortunate incidents. The issue management analysis let you plan for the forecast and gain results on the impact of the problems.
Rewards & Recognition: Create a culture with the employees and build a strong team for your organization. Digital rewards based on performance analysis and customer feedback are monitored timely with byteEngineering.
Although, product lifecycle management is flexible and open, there are quality and resource constraints. WIth the growing technology you can reduce the time, monitor the cost and increase the quality of the products.