Mechanical, civil, electrical, structural, and fluid engineers build their careers around an effort to understand how the material world works. Then they apply this understanding to the design and improvement of materials and consumer products. Engineers make it easier for humans to interact with the objects and conditions that make up our world, and a unique branch of this discipline, called systems engineering, brings all of these lessons together.
Systems engineers study the components and operation of large scale systems that are integral to the world around us. These may include industries, weather patterns, complex financial markets, and most important: people. At the intersection between two important disciplines—management and engineering—we find the results of some of these studies.
1. Scaling is essential.
To gain any meaning from the examination of a system, scale should be taken into account. And many principles that work on the small scale level tend to break and fall apart when they’re applied to larger scales. This is true of hiring and management. As companies grow, managers need to let go of tried and true methods that worked well when they first launched as tiny start-ups.
2. Systems usually provide a warning before they break.
But if you don’t have the right instrumentation and feedback systems in place, you’ll miss those warnings. If you tune out employees, silence them, or allow them to manage themselves without oversight, expect to be surprised when things go wrong.
3. Individual bugs and problems often stand in the way of successful scaling.
Remove problematic components that prevent you from scaling your system. In management situations, this usually involves employees who generate a constant source of friction and ill will. Bullies, weak links, and employees who refuse to accept change will need to be removed or transferred before the next level can be achieved.
4. Failure requires clear examination and assessment.
After a failed project, a post mortem will only have value if it’s conducted with clarity and zero blame. Blame generates fear, fear masks truth, and no project can undergo a meaningful review in a landscape of fear and distortion.
Engineering and management both involve complex systems with values that are very difficult to control, assess, and predict. As you move forward, learn from risk and failure and seek guidance from the experience of others. Start by reaching out to the staffing and business management experts at Tech Needs. If you are looking for engineering recruiters in Salem, NH, contact our team today.