Strategies for successful engineering management


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Leading projects is one of the most challenging—and rewarding—roles engineering managers will take on. Beyond the technical challenges to confront, there is the added difficulty of managing diverse teams with limited resources. Optimal President, Carla Fair-Wright has teamed up with 2013 Society Of Women Engineers President (Houston) Jill Almaguer to describe the challenges faced in engineering projects and also suggests the best ways to overcome them to ensure success.

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  • Jill – holding questions until end (questions) Please turn off or silence PPE
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  • CarlaAbsence of trust—unwilling to be vulnerable within the groupFear of conflict—seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debateLack of commitment—feigning buy-in for group decisions creates ambiguity throughout the organizationAvoidance of accountability—ducking the responsibility to call peers on counterproductive behaviour which sets low standardsInattention to results—focusing on personal success, status and ego before team success
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    1. 1. Strategies for SuccessfulEngineering Management SWE ‘12 NATIONAL CONFERENCE Jill Almaguer, PE, MBA, PMP Carla Fair-Wright, PMP, CSQE
    2. 2. Agenda Learning Objectives Introductions Experiential Learning Q&A Evaluation
    3. 3. LEARNING OBJECTIVES  To understand the importance of Project Management  Provide tools and techniques to improve the overall management of a project  Help participants manage projects more efficiently & effectively  Share lessons learned and best practices
    4. 4. JILL ALMAGUER, PE, MBA, PMP  Registered Professional Engineer in Texas for over 20 years (B.S. in Bioengineering from TAMU)  Managed large projects at HP, Agilent Technologies, Texas Medical Center, Harris Health System, SWE  Experience in healthcare, IT, telecom, semi- conductors, education, energy  Adjunct Faculty, DeVry University  Certified Project Management Professional, member PMI  President, Society of Women Engineers Houston Area Section
    5. 5. CARLA FAIR-WRIGHT, PMP, CSQE  President and CEO, Optimal Consulting LLC  Certified Software Engineer over 20 years (B.S. in Computer Science)  Managed projects for Shell, BP, Pitney Bowes, CNPC, USAF, Cameron, SWE  Experience in IT, Reliability Maintenance, EAM, public safety, energy  Certified Project Management Professional  Past President, Society of Women Engineers Houston Area Section
    6. 6. Factors Constraining Project Success Slide © 2009 SOUTH-W ESTERN, CENGAGE LEARNING 1-6
    7. 7. Challenges of Engineering Projects The complexity of large engineering projects has led to the abandonment of many expensive projects and led to highly impaired implementations in other cases. Yaneer Bar-Yam, New England Complex Systems Institute •Constraints and Dependencies •People and Technology •Evolutionary Process
    8. 8. What Is Project Success? R. Ryan Nelson, University of Virginia
    9. 9. Obstacles to Effective Leadership Personal agenda Micromanaging Failure to act Fear and self doubt
    10. 10. Leadership Models
    11. 11. 4 Functions of Management vs. Project Management Leading and Directing: Staff training, supervising, delegating, motivating, counseling and coordinating Planning: Deciding what needs to happen in the future (today, next week, next month, next year, over the next five years, etc.) and generating action plans Organizing and Staffing: making optimum use of resources required to successfully implement plans including structure and job analysis, recruitment, and hiring for appropriate jobs Controlling: Checking progress against plans
    12. 12. PlanningPlanning is an essential part of project management.The project plan is a roadmap with milestones.The first step is to define the project objective (destination or deliverable). The objective must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timebound (SMART). The objective is usually defined in terms of scope, schedule and cost. The project objective should be clear and concise and agreed to by the teamand sponsor at the beginning of the project.Develop a baseline plan: Divide and subdivide the project Define the specific activities to be performed Graphically portray the activities in a network diagram Make a time estimate for how long it will take to complete each activity Make a cost estimate for each activity Calculate a project schedule and budget.Determine if project can be accomplished within time, funds, and availableresources.
    13. 13. ORGANIZING AND STAFFING: Project Life Cycle Effort Slide © 2009 SOUTH-W ESTERN, CENGAGE LEARNING 1-13
    14. 14. Controlling the ProjectMonitor progress : Measure actual progress; compare it to planned progress Track which activities have been started and/or completed & when How much money has been spent Compare on a timely and regular basis Take corrective action to get back on trackA regular reporting period should collect: Data on actual performance Information on any changes in scope, schedule, and budget Data should be collected and used to update the schedule and budget Compare updated schedule and budget to the baseline and analyze Shorter the reporting period, better the chances of identifying problems early and taking effective corrective actions
    15. 15. Project Management Maturity Model  The Project Management Maturity Model (PMMM) has five levels.  Level 1: Common Language  Level 2: Common Processes  Level 3: Singular Methodology  Level 4: Benchmarking  Level 5: Continuous ImprovementSOURCE: HTTP://WWW.MY-PROJECT-MANAGEMENT-EXPERT.COM/PROJECT-MANAGEMENT-MATURITY-MODEL.HTML
    16. 16. Project vs. Matrix Teams (Leadership)Define roles and responsibilities clearlyAgreement between the functional andproject manager on roles andresponsibilitiesShared performance goals and metrics
    17. 17. Common Problems in Project Teams Lencionis Five Dysfunctions of a Team 1. Absence of trust 2. Fear of conflict 3. Lack of commitment 4. Avoidance of team accountability 5. Inattention to team objectives
    18. 18. The Role of the Project Manager •Focus on collective Outcomes •Confront Difficult Issues •Force clarity and closure •Mine for conflict •Go First
    19. 19. Effective Global Teams / Virtual Teams Challenges •Differences in Work Norms and Behaviors •Violations of Respect and Hierarchy •Fluency (accents and vocabulary)
    20. 20. RESPONSIBILITY MATRICES  Responsibility Matrix (RM)  Also called a linear responsibility chart.  Summarizes the tasks to be accomplished and who is responsible for what on the project.  Lists project activities and participants.  Clarifies critical interfaces between units and individuals that need coordination.  Provide an means for all participants to view their responsibilities and agree on their assignments.  Clarifies the extent or type of authority that can be exercised by each participant. McGraw-C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 0 6 T H E MC G R A W - H I L L Hill/IrwinC O MP A N I E S . A L L R I G H T S R E S E R V E D . 4–20
    21. 21. RESPONSIBILITY MATRIX FOR THE CONVEYOR BELT PROJECT FIGURE 4.10 McGraw-C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 0 6 T H E MC G R A W - H I L L Hill/IrwinC O MP A N I E S . A L L R I G H T S R E S E R V E D . 4–21
    22. 22. The Agile Process Coined in 2001 by the Agile Manifesto Used primarily in software development projects The premise of the Agile method is that a team of cross- functional professionals works closely together to develop, test, and implement the software in small steps called iterations. The iterations are short in time and may last only a day, a week, or a month. In the Agile process, the project team is focusing on just getting a small component of the larger project completed and then moving on to the next iteration. The management of the project is different from traditional scheduling methods in that a project manager isn’t scheduling out the entire project at the outset. Typically, activities have dependencies and don’t start until one activity has ended.HTTP://WWW.WIZIQ.COM/TUTORIAL/16-INTRODUCTION-TO-SCRUM-AGILE-PROJECT-MANAGEMENT
    23. 23. Next Steps Please fill out online evaluation for session Thank you for coming and hope you enjoy WE ‘12 in Houston! FY13 SWE Houston Area Section Theme: A Year of ENRG - Encourage Networking Recognition and Growth Next SWE Houston Area activities:  November - Professional Development meeting at BP  December – Ten Thousand Villages Holiday Networking Fundraiser
    24. 24. Jill Almaguer, PE, MBA, PMP, President@SWEHouston.orgCarla Fair-Wright, PMP, CSQE, Please visit us at or Stop by the Houston Area Section Table at the SWE Boutique