You’d think that your engineer would be wonderful in this area, as much of his work career is spent in managing projects. The only problem is that he spends much of his work time with other engineers, or executives who have worked around engineers for so long that they know how to keep the project on track, despite your engineer’s best attempts at alienating the entire team trying to help him achieve the mission critical improvements he’s been charged with delivering.
For you, there’s not enough opportunity to build these skills. After all, you ARE only working with ONE engineer at a time, right?
So here’s a quick lesson. Most projects don’t go well because all the parties don’t understand the scope of the work to be done. Scope includes defining the issue, the causes, what will we do to fix it, who will do those things and when they will be done.
If it works well for industry, do you think there’s any chance of it working for you as well?
Of course it can, and it will! You’ve got to be positive in dealing with your engineer or nothing will ever work out as you hope it will!
Your critical objective at the start of any activity or project is to make sure that your objectives and instructions were clearly understood. Be attentive in listening as many words do NOT mean the same thing to the engineer as they do to you.
You’ll also want to make sure you have your engineer’s attention entirely focused on your words. Our recommendation is to set up a pain avoidance strategy to help keep him motivated. Something like, “If you get this wrong this time, I WILL move my mother in!” should do the job quite nicely!
Insist upon the engineer repeating back to you what it is he thinks you want. Make him be very precise. When something he says makes you even slightly concerned, dive deep! Make sure you get exactly what you want!
If he’s going to build you something, be sure to ask for a drawing or sketch prior to starting to build.
Remember the management maxim – “There’s no such thing as too much planning.” He lives this at work – he can take it at home too!