Engineering management is particularly difficult because of the technical demands combined with the necessary business acumen and interpersonal abilities. A manager’s technical ability often dominates over the other necessary competencies, resulting in significant opportunities for improvement in productivity and employee engagement.
We can help improve the effectiveness of your engineering leaders and managers by implementing all or part of this ten-step approach:
1) Initiation of a program begins with management understanding and commitment. This may require an overview of best-in-class engineering management practices. The key elements people need to know in support of engineering management must be communicated to the rest of the organization. One-hour seminars tailored appropriately for executives, HR managers, engineering managers, and engineering staff can provide an understanding of the concepts needed to support the successful development of engineering managers and engineering executives.
2) Team building may be necessary in organizations that do not have strong teamwork within project teams, within functional groups, or cross-functionally. We can help identify teamwork improvement opportunities and facilitate team building events suitable for technology professionals, and facilitate team building workshops as required.
3) Organizational structure. We can review the organizational structure, assess the strength of manager/employee relationships, and focus on unresolved interpersonal conflicts.
4) Leadership and management competency development. Key competencies at all levels of engineering management can be assessed, including:
- Effective delegation of work
- Distribution of project responsibilities
- Project management
- Employee performance management
- Performance review
- Cross-group collaboration
- Knowledge management
- Ability to influence
- Meeting facilitation
- Project reviews
- Technical reviews
- Status reporting
- Communication with executives
- Customer relations
- Supplier relations
- Strategic planning / contributions
- Negotiation skills
- Technology development and management
- Resource allocation
- Budgeting / forecasting
- Prioritization / task management
- Engagement / commitment
- Employee empowerment / trust
- Process management
- Continuous improvement / employee development
- Interviewing / hiring
- Interpersonal problem solving
- Stress management
- Coaching / mentoring
Once priorities are identified for developing competencies, we can then provide appropriate coaching and training.
5) Specific goals must be identified based on individual manager’s needs. We can help each manager create personalized action plans for achieving their goals, and facilitate discussion with sponsoring managers so expectations are clearly communicated and firm agreements are established.
6) Expectations pertaining to engineering managers’ roles and responsibilities can be reviewed and revised if necessary to correspond with individual manager’s abilities. Distribution of responsibilities can be considered for managers who are overloaded.
7) Documentation can be created if documented engineering process is identified as an opportunity for productivity improvements.
8) Organizational information can be updated / created / communicated to help with employee engagement and retention. We can help to identify and communicate the aspects of company products and services that will inspire technical professionals to perform at their highest level.
9) Recognition and reward practices can be reviewed to insure managers and staff are receiving feedback and compensation in line with internal peer groups and industry standards. We can work with HR and executives to help tailor practices for the unique needs of engineering teams, while remaining fair and in accordance with company policy and budgets.
10) Monitoring improvements and continuing education are key to short and long term success. We can help establish benchmarks, metrics, learning management systems, and ongoing training tailored for engineering managers and technical staff.
Contact Us for more information.