The Place of Systems and Procedures in Managing an Engineering Organization 680684
Key engineering executives have achieved their positions largely through past demonstrations of outstanding acumen in technical matters. Yet, recently increasing pressures brought to bear upon the companies engaged in defense work have demanded from these executives a larger and larger investment of time in non-technical matters, thus prohibiting the fullest use of the talents in which they are most expert. The alternatives to this condition include the use of a qualified “in house” staff of expert business consultants and analysts to assist in nontechnical matters. Simultaneously, the emerging profession of systems and procedures is providing engineering practitioners equipped to perform this staff work. The role of a modern day engineering systems and procedures group in a large engineering organization is discussed. Their well-earned recognition as experienced problem solvers permits meaningful participation in the development of management systems, graphic procedures and profitable applications for automation and computer graphics systems. This practiced “principle of intimate familiarity” is in contrast with that of staffing with “experts by appointment.” Certain key operational philosophies influence the contribution of this function and the broad scope of its operations furthers the practical implementation of engineering management philosophies. A brief discussion of the required level of people skills indicates that the term “management consultants” aptly fits the mold.