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रविवार, 7 जुलाई 2019
skills for engineers
7 Skills Needed to Be a Top Engineer
Engineering is one of the most exciting and potentially lucrative professional paths a young person can choose, and is highly sought after as a career. However, it is also highly demanding in terms of gaining the skills and knowledge required to get a foothold in the industry.
In other industries, you might be able to get started in a variety of ways. Engineering, like most math- and science-based careers, is slightly more rigid in terms of entry path.
Most firms require potential applicants to not only possess relevant qualifications but also to display evidence that they possess other skills, which can be more difficult to quantify.
The “top” engineers all have different strengths and weaknesses that they bring to their teams and projects. However, they have some essential skills in common which allow them to work on the biggest engineering projects all over the world.
Here’s what they are.
1. STEM Skills / Knowledge
The core foundation of any engineering degree is a series of qualifications in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects at university, masters and post-grad levels. At heart, engineering is a series of mathematical and logistical problems to be worked out and resolved so work can take place or continue.
2. Ability to Work as Part of a Team
Nobody completes an engineering project by themselves: there is a vast team working on various parts of the project. It’s rare that any one engineer will be chosen to head up the whole thing. This means that the ability to work as part of a team is essential. Participating in course projects at a university gets budding engineers used to working within teams. That experience is then built upon throughout their working life.
3. Strong Analytical Mind
Engineering is a profession full of problem solving. Therefore, almost every task needs to be approached with an analytical mind. The solution has to be developed so that it meets all of the requirements with as little risk in the construction process as possible. This might involve experimentation and testing before work actually begins so budget isn’t wasted on failed attempts.
4. Attention to Detail
Engineering projects are extremely complex. There are millions of details that have to be thought through during the planning and construction processes. Engineers need to possess a high level of attention to detail to ensure nothing important gets forgotten that could potentially derail the enterprise. If the success or failure of a project falls upon you, attention to detail is one of the most important attributes you can possess.
5. Excellent Communication Skills
Engineering is an industry in which a lot of technical language is used on a daily basis. When talking to clients and people that might not understand that sort of technical language, use plain English. Additionally, clear communication is vital when working with other teams and personnel on any project, and in letting other people know what you expect of them.
6. Desire to Learn
Any diligent professional who is passionate about what they do makes an effort to keep abreast of industry changes and developments. They take it upon themselves to learn new techniques and new technologically advanced pieces of equipment in order to perform their job to the best of their abilities. Be able to demonstrate that you know the current state of the engineering industry and can work effectively within it. Anticipate where it might go in the future.
7. Leadership and Management Skills
As an engineer progresses through their career, they will be given more responsibility, perhaps eventually leading to becoming the manager of a sub-team or even the entire team. To be successful in this venture they need to possess leadership skills. These might include the knowledge about when to step in or back off; how to best utilize a team member’s strengths; how and when to discipline someone and so on. You don’t become a top engineer without leading at some point, so possessing and developing these skills is vital.
What is a project? And what is Project Management?
The Project Context and Process
Planning the Project
Budgeting the Project
Scheduling the Project
Allocating Resources to the Project
Delivering the Project
There’s a big focus on the skills that apply to individual project managers and contributors. But what about your project team as a whole? Your team needs to possess some essential skills in order to ensure their productivity, sanity, and the successful delivery of projects.
Project teams are generally comprised of a variety of specialists such as developers, programmers, engineers, analysts, QA specialists and technical writers—all of whom have different skills and strengths. At the same time, there are underlying team-wide skills that distinguish high-performingproject teams from all others.
Here are seven essential skills that your team needs to be a top-performer.
1. Basic project management
No longer can a successful project team have just a project management professional responsible for the welfare of a project. These days, every team member has to have a basic level of project management skills in order to help contribute to the overall direction of the project. With the days of Gantt charts behind us, and more companies using cloud-based project management software (such as LiquidPlanner), all team members have better access to all of the components of the project.
Distributing access to a cloud-based project management platform to team members requires participating team members to have some or all of the following skills:
Basic analytics is going to be an emerging skill for project teams, as more cloud-based project management software adds analytics tools that open up the wealth of project data they hold. All project team members need the skills to use this new class of project management feature set to better improve processes and their delivery cycle.
Along with basic project management skills, project teams standardized on a cloud-based project management platform need to have some level of collaboration skills.
I split collaboration skills into two categories:
Interpersonal. This includes team communications, document reviews, code reviews, and related interactions about project deliverables.
Technology/online collaboration. This includes user skills with cloud-based and desktop collaboration, project management, and other standard productivity applications including document sharing.
2. Problem solving
You can tell a lot about a project team by how the team members solve the major and minor technology and business-related problems that occur—often on a daily basis. You might expect that Agile development and DevOps teams have institutionalized troubleshooting in development and engineering; but teams still need to treat problem solving as a skill that needs to be continuously refined, especially as technologies evolve.
3. Conflict resolution
Some people lump conflict-resolution under collaboration; I see it as a skill unto itself. When you gather a large group of dedicated and intelligent people in a room with a whiteboard to discuss a business or technical issue that can potentially impact a launch of new service or product, you will invariably get some flurry of internal conflict. Effective conflict-resolution skills are at the heart of a truly collaborative team—especially when big egos are on the line.
4. Transformative conversation
I came across the term transformative conversation from a recent Michael Hyatt podcast. Hyatt is a leadership expert and speaker and his concept of transformative conversation as a skill can help a project team be more creative and get buy-in from all team members.
While getting a bunch of smart people in a room with a whiteboard can lead to conflicting views, it’s also the proving ground for transformative conversations. All jokes aside about technical teams and social skills, conversations can be important to the progress of any project.
5. Technical documentation
Writing technical documentation can be a neglected task but a valuable skill for project teams. Too often documentation isn’t part of the team’s workflow—but it should be. Whether or not a project team has a staff or contract technical writer assigned to its project, documentation is an important skill for a project team. I define documentation skills to include:
It’s also important to note that documentation doesn’t necessarily need to take place in traditional-type documents. In fact, today’s project teams are often better served by wikis, enterprise social tools and online project management tools. What matters is that the documentation is centralized, online, secure and auditable, and searchable by the team and by management.
A new technical documentation methodology called DocOps might even transform documentation from an irksome task to a standard element of the process.
6. Risk management
Risk management isn’t just for project managers anymore. It’s actually a skill that needs to be distributed among the project’s team members. This is especially important with team members with cross-functional specialties where there’s no skilled oversight of the project tasks.
Cloud-based project management tools such as LiquidPlanner help you capture potential risks and their potential solutions by allocating work, estimating effort and then rolling every task up to the project plan at large. The key to distributing risk management across a project team is that the team members are accountable and can anticipate and then explain the potential risks in their project tasks for wider audiences.
7. Customer and client management
While there are less enlightened organizations that still believe the project manager should be the first and only contact with clients, too often your clients (internal or external) will do what they can to bypass project managers and speak to the team member who is doing the actual work. Each team member should have basic customer/client management skills to work directly with clients and answer any of their questions about their portion of the project.
Essential project management skills for project teams drive project and team success through acquiring a well-rounded set of proficiencies. No team can be a disparate group of individual specialists and reach its full potential. The good news here is that you’re offered a vast field of opportunity for learning and growing over the life of your career.