Management Skills for Engineers
Part Time Year 3a
A personal appraisal of my competencies/ attributes and behaviors needed to become a more effective and successful professional engineer in the workplace.
Word Count – 2036
Word Count – 2036
TOC o “1-3” h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc512182530 h 1Reflective Essay PAGEREF _Toc512182531 h 2Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc512182532 h 7References PAGEREF _Toc512182533 h 8Appendices PAGEREF _Toc512182534 h 9Appendix 1 – Matrix highlighting competencies, attributed and behaviours PAGEREF _Toc512182535 h 9Appendix 2 – PDP document PAGEREF _Toc512182536 h 10Appendix 3 – Leadership Quiz PAGEREF _Toc512182537 h 11Appendix 4 – Leadership self-assessment PAGEREF _Toc512182538 h 14Appendix 5 – Problem solving pack PAGEREF _Toc512182539 h 16Appendix 6 – Myer Briggs Personality Indicator PAGEREF _Toc512182540 h 22
The aim of the Engineering Management Skills for Engineers module is to develop skills required to deal with complex, open-ended problems when faced within an engineering career. Within the reflective essay key areas from the lecture programme which have highlighted personnel competencies, attributes and behaviours will be discussed and compared to the requirements specified by the UK-Spec document. These areas will be highlighted in a matrix refer to appendix 1. Any weakness/improvement required will be highlighted on a Personnel Development Plan (PDP).
The Engineering Management Skills for Engineers module emphases on the demand for engineers to demonstrate ethical practice, essential for engineering work. Captain Topping royal electrical and mechanical engineer from the ARMY delivered a presentation on Personnel Management in the workplace, an oxford definition of morals and ethics was given. Morals refers to a set standard of behaviour, principles of right and wrong. Ethics refers to the moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity (Oxford University Press, 1989). Captain Topping lead on to explain how morals and ethics differ between personal life i.e with friends and family, compared to within the work place between trusted colleagues or employers. This has raised my awareness of how employability can be increased by quickly adapting ethics and morals to suit the current situation.
It was made clear through the presentation that management skills are a key attribute to increase employability and bring awareness to other career opportunities. Captain Topping stated that being a good manager involves understating two intentions and determining a suitable compromise, this is directly linked to section E5 of the UK-Spec which states the requirements of being a responsible leader involving listening and informing. I believe currently I do not have the managerial skills and experience required to determine a solution. This area has been highlighted in the PDP document, refer to appendix 2. Throughout the presentation several scenarios were presented based on ethical issues within the workplace, relevant to each scenario a comprised solution/outcome was determined, taking into consideration the individual and company. When determining a solution, it is crucial that company policy along with current law legislation is considered.
The statement of Ethical Principles published by the Engineering Council and the Royal Academy of Engineering Reference, states four fundamental principles which engineers are advised to use as a guide to achieve the a professional status:
Accuracy and rigor.
Honesty and integrity.
Respect for life, law and the public good.
Responsible leadership: listening and informing.
Accuracy and rigor is the first fundamental of ethical principles, which states “professional engineers have a duty to ensure that they acquire and use wisely and faithfully the knowledge that is relevant to the engineering skills need in their work in the service of others”. This principle is vital to achieve professional engineering status, as inaccuracies and carelessness during engineering projects can result in failure (The Royal Academy of Engineering, 2011). In my current role I have participated in several engineering projects which have been successful, throughout the project professionalism within the team was shown.
Honesty and Integrity is the second fundamental of ethical principles, which states “Professional Engineers should adapt the highest standards of professional conduct, openness, fairness and honesty”. When relaying information of a project back to manager, they will need to have a form of trust to ensure the information is complete and accurate. Trust is gained over time and through demonstrating commitment and determination, I believe in the workplace I have a good repour with the management. Integrity is acting ethically, even when there is no personal advantage. A person of integrity is consistent and reliable, and they follow up their beliefs with actions. Integrity can be interpolated many ways, integrity may mean standing for something, not following standard practices and instead coming up with an alternative (The Royal Academy of Engineering, 2011). This is an attribute which I personally need to improve on and gain confidence in, this has been highlighted on my PDP document.
The third fundamental of ethical principles is Respect for life, law and the public good, this principle when discussed by engineering ethics tend to focus on major accidents, where people have been injured or killed. Particularly cases where negligence has been involved. However, this group of principles is not just limited to health and safety, it also covers respect for the law, protection and respect of the natural environment. Michael Davis a leading ethicist stated that these principles overlap significantly with the previous principles, as failure of accuracy and rigour can put the public at risk. Also, the reputation of the profession could be jeopardised as a result of failing to be honest and show integrity. I believe this principle is as of high importance as the rest and sometimes may not be considered maybe as much as it should be. This principle is relevant to all level of engineers, not just managerial level. Within my current position I participate in risk assessments and zip audits, which are carried out to identify any risks within the workplace to prevent accidents from occurring.
Within the section of Responsible leadership, listening and information it is stated that a professional engineer “should aspire to high standards of leadership in the exploitation and management of technology and are expected to demonstrate that they are seeking to serve wider society and to be sensitive to public concerns”. Commonly an engineer is responsible of making a decision often at a particular time, at this time this is when the above quotation would be used. It is expected that when an engineer is presenting a report, they do not accept any form of bride to revert from the truth within the report. (The Royal Academy of Engineering, 2011). Within the workplace I have on a regular basis reported the status of the project back to the manager, at no point have I ever been tempted to lie about the process to give a better impression
Within my current employment position as a Toolmaker ethical practice is demonstrated on a day to day basis. All company standards and procedures are followed, when relevant these standards are reiterated to other employees. If employees are non-compliant this will be reported back the relevant supervisor. I am fully aware that I do not have a supervisory role, therefore can only advice other employers.
During the lecture programme Lt. Stuart Savery from the Royal Navy delivered a presentation on leadership. The Competence and Commitment Standard for Incorporated Engineers under the UK-Spec section C3, states the individual should be able to lead a team and develop staff to meet changing technical and managerial needs. Throughout the presentation a range of leadership attributes were discussed in detail, personally the three main most important attributes are courage, determination and cheerfulness. Without the previous listed attributes, you would not be successful in meeting the UK-Spec criteria. I believe I currently have the determination and courage to lead a team and have demonstrated this in previous projects, however still required further development in leadership. This area has been highlighted in the PDP (Personnel Development Plan) document as an area which requires improvement.
Lt. Stuart Savery highlighted a clear difference between Management and Leadership, however expressed how both are equally important in achieving success. Managing involves accomplishing a set target by having responsibility over others. Leadership is influencing others within the team and taking action. By comparing an individual’s directive behaviour against supportive behaviour their leadership style can be determined, there are three main leaderships styles directive, consultative and delegating. To identify my personnel leadership style, I took part in a leadership test and self-assessment refer to appendix 3 and 4, the test consisted of selecting answers to a range of scenarios. The results highlighted my personnel leadership style to be consultative. This leadership style has several advantages and disadvantages, the advantages being when in meeting scenarios I would encourage the participation of various members of the group, which is relevant to the requirements set by the UK-Spec. Another advantage is a good relationship with the team members is generally gained and have a concern for each individuals feeling’s. The primary goal of a consultative leader is to have good interpersonal relations with others, even at the sacrifice of the goal, which can be taken as an advantage or disadvantage. However, when in high stress situations a consultative leader finds it hard to reach the end goal. To meet the UK-Spec this poor attribute has been highlighted on the PDP document.
Within my current job role as a toolmaker I show leadership characterises on a day to day basis, when working with younger apprentices. When working with an apprentice it is my responsibility to ensure they are aware of the correct company procedures for carrying out engineering tasks, ensuring the relevant health and safety legislation is adhered too. By sharing knowledge/experience I have obtained with the apprentices, I am contributing to the training and development of the individual. This attribute is listed under the C3 section of the UK-Spec.
During the lecture program Andy Price delivered a presentation on Enterprise, he highlighted how over time employer’s requirements for graduates have changed. Employers used to look for graduated who were skilled, knowledgeable, good communicators and are well organised. However, employers now state they are looking for graduates who are business savvy, customer focuser, creative and innovative and are emotionally intelligent. Employers are now looking for individual who have an enterprising approach as well as an entrepreneurial mind set. Personally, this has raised my awareness on the key attributes current employers are looking for. Andy highlighted the key characteristics of an enterprising mind set to be creative, evaluation and analysis, determination and opportunity spotting. I believe I currently have the some of the listed characteristics, the areas to improve on have been highlighted in the PDP document. It was also highlighted the first step towards being enterprising to employers, is by proving you can combine work ethic and personnel ethic.
Within the work place I was tasked with taking lead of an improvements project, the project was engineering based. The purpose of the project was to reduce overall downtime of a facility (A1), to improve the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). The project team consisted of 4 people including myself, working alternative shifts over a twenty-four-hour period. Each member of the team had a different skill set and personality, which meant the leadership style was often adapted to suit the individuals. A company problem solving pack was used throughout the project, including defining the problem and objectives, ISHIKAWA diagram and verification of likely caused refer to appendix 4. The problem-solving pack demonstrates one of the key attributes of identifying the source of problem, specified under section B1 of the UK-spec.
The defining the problem and objectives document was completed first, highlighting the issue and potentially how it is going to be resolved. The ISHIKAWA fish bone diagram was then used to brainstorm potential root causes, this document was completed within a group of 5 people with different engineering roles. The verification of likely causes document was then completed by selecting potential root causes highlighted from the ISHIKAWA diagram. The document covers the requirements of proposing a solution, defined in section B1 of the UK-Spec. Throughout the improves project I believe several competences have been demonstrated, covering section B1 Identify problems and apply appropriate methods to identify causes and achieve satisfactory solutions.
On reflection the main goal of the lecture programme has been achieved, in raising personnel awareness of the requirement for competencies and personal attributes to gain a professional engineering title. Throughout the essay 3 sections from the UK-Spec have been discussed, the presentations from the guest speakers were successful in highlighting key attributes. The process has helped to demonstrate my employment potential, by highlighting several strengthens and weakness relevant to each section of the UK-Spec. Within the PDP document (appendix 2) a proposed solution has been made to overcome any weakness, relevant to each learning need a proposed deadline has been set. The lecture programme has helped to identify personnel key attributed which I already have, along with improvements required to increase employment potential and gain a professional status.
ReferencesOxford University Press. (1989). Definition of morals. Available:https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/moral. Last accessed 10th March 2018.
Oxford University Press. (1989). Definition of ethics. Available: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/moral. Last accessed 10th March 2018.
The Royal Academy of Engineering (2011). Engineering ethics in practice: a guide for engineers. London: The Royal Academy of Engineering. p 6-24.
Appendix 1 – Matrix highlighting competencies, attributed and behavioursThe below matrix was used to identify competencies/ attributes and behaviours to focus the reflective essay on.
Matrix to be used to indicate source of competencies/ attributes and behaviours from the module. Competency from UK Spec
E5 Exercise responsibilities in
an ethical manner. C3 Lead teams and develop staff to meet changing technical and managerial needs. B1 Identify problems and apply appropriate methods to identify causes and achieve satisfactory solutions.
Ethics (week 5,6) X
Leadership Royal Navy. X
Generating a business idea (week 2) X
Appendix 2 – PDP document
PDP Development Action Plan
Review of Learning Needs Development Plan
Date Ref UK Spec/ Career aspiration In what area do I need to improve How does this link to other objectives (find placement, Group Project module, study/ work responsibilities, career advancement etc.) What do I need to learn or experience in order to achieve this? What will I do to achieve this? What are the likely support and resources that I will need? What evidence will need to be collected?
How will I evaluate a successful outcome? Deadlines for meeting this target
12/3/18 1 C3 Lead teams and develop staff to meet changing technical and managerial needs. Experience of leading a team through an engineering project. In current job role get little opportunity to show leadership. Preventing progress within the company to management / supervisor level. Show determination and courage to other work colleagues. Take lead through a project, presenting management skills throughout. Guidance from other management / supervisors. Discuss feedback from other work colleagues highlighting further improvement / training required. 01/05/18
12/3/18 2 C3 Lead teams and develop staff to meet changing technical and managerial needs. When in high stress situations a consultative leader finds it hard to reach the end goal. Unable to achieve the target goal which could results in wasted time, money loss and effect company repour. Experience in working / making decisions when in stressful situations. Confidence in making a final decision based on my own beliefs. Support on final decision from other work colleagues. Praise / recognition when end goal is achieved. Personnel Reference/ Feedback.
Summary / Results of project. 01/05/18
12/3/18 3 E5 Exercise responsibilities in an ethical manner.
Responsible leadership, understanding two intents and determining a compromise. Unable to determine a compromise when faced with an ethical issue. Do not currently have the skills required for a managerial role. Leader ship skills.
Experience in ethical decision making. Get involved in ethical discussions /disputes and determine a suitable solution/outcome.
Participate in self personality test, on personnel basis and also within a team.(Appendix 6) Leadership training which would explain several approaches to determine an outcome. Feedback from all employers involved in debate.
19/3/18 4 E5 Exercise responsibilities in an ethical manner.
Standing up for something I belief in and not following standard practices. Improve employability.
Help to gain professional status. Improving confidence to present my opinion and not just follow standard practices. Present opinions within a group project. Push for new practices to be implemented. Support from other work colleagues. Project report based on new practice being implemented. 07/05/18
19/3/18 5 B1 Identify problems and apply appropriate methods to identify causes and achieve satisfactory solutions. Gain an enterprising mind set. Improve employability. Identify opportunities when presented. Research
Adapt to current processes. advice from current entrepreneur / someone who specialises in enterprising.
Outcome will be highlighted in current job role. 17/05/18
Template modified from CDP Development Action Plan http://www.ice.org.uk/Information-resources/Downloads/ICE-3006A—Continuing-Professional-Development September 2016
Appendix 3 – Leadership Quizright42033700
Appendix 4 – Leadership self-assessment
Appendix 5 – Problem solving pack
Appendix 6 – Myer Briggs Personality Indicator
Referring to reference 3 on the PDPdocument, as part of the self-development plan the below questionnaire will be used to improve on section E5 of the uk-spec, to exercise responsibilities in an ethical manner.