In The Trenches
players. Nor is the coach expected
to play on the field. A good coach
shapes the team to make the
best use of the individual strengths
of the players. Athletes — like
engineers — want to perform to
First and foremost, listen to
what your engineers say. In all
probability, they are smarter
than you. They are certainly
able to appreciate the technical
situation better. If they are not
considering some political or
administrative factor, tell them so.
Give them the opportunity to consider it and respond. There’s a good
chance that they can provide a
usable compromise solution. Don’t
simply dismiss them with, “You
don’t understand the situation.”
Take the time to make them
understand. That’s part of your
job (making your personnel more
Engineers dislike meetings and
consider them a waste of valuable
time. Most often, they’re right.
Consider this: a one-hour meeting
with eight engineers consumes one
man-day of engineering time.
On the other hand, suppose you
walked around to each engineer and
got a personal progress report. At
five minutes per engineer, that’s less
than one man-hour of engineering
time. You increase efficiency, make
your engineers happy, and gain
their respect. What’s wrong with
that? It still takes you an hour with
either method. So, unless there is
a real need for a meeting, don’t
Allow the engineers to solve
resource allocation (or other departmental problems) by themselves. It
often happens that some major
piece of equipment is needed by
multiple people. If you set the rules,
you will be required to settle each
and every dispute about equipment
use, forever. Is this what you really
Instead say something like, “I
expect you to be able to share the
machine. And I will not take your
inability to get machine time as an
excuse for being late. If you can’t
share, I’ll set an arbitrary schedule
nobody will like.” A little psychology
can go a long way.
I often say that engineering is
common sense with attention to
detail. With the most important
thing being the details. This is
because the details are absolutely
critical to the success of the design.
Countless catastrophic events have
SCHEMATIC & PCB
as low as $99
Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP Compatible
Schematic Capture, PCB Layout, Automatic Router
Gerber Creator / Viewer & Spice Simulator
Up to 32 E-size sheets, 256 Layers
Over 25,000+ parts / symbols / Footprint
User expandable Library
Up to 50 different pad shapes and sizes.
Export to 15 different CAE programs.
Routes multi-layer boards, 2 layers at a time,
with different line widths.
Full interactive graphical symbol & part editor included.
FREE DEMO DOWNLOAD
Tel: (954) 784-0900 Fax: (954) 784-0904
Circle #117 on the Reader Service Card.
Circle #122 on the Reader Service Card.