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Best Handoff Practices for Design Teams

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One of the most difficult engineering processes to nail down is a complex design handoff from one team to another.  Awhile back, I discussed this briefly using a football analogy.  I want to expand on that a little today:

  • What makes a handoff so difficult?
  • Why does so much information get lost?
  • Why do teams inherently place blame on each other when it goes poorly?

Other than the basic communication issues between engineers (that we’ve discussed ad nauseum here, here, and here), there are specific issues with an engineering handoff that make it difficult.

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Engineers are bad communicators: 6 ways to fix this, part 2

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This is a continuation of the previous post about how to improve communication amongst engineers, their teams, and their managers. Read the rest of this entry »

Engineers are bad communicators: six ways to fix this (part 1)

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Awhile back, I posted about “Best Practices for Communicating between Engineers“.  This time around, I wanted to be a little more specific about how basic communication blunders can be avoided.  I’ve seen countless violations of these rules, and they always seem so easy to fix.

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Finding Better Ways To Pour Coffee

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courtesy: David Yanko of Virtual Saskatchewan

This blog is about “finding better ways to pour coffee.”  At the risk of sounding like a bureaucratically-generated cliche, it’s a little like a more focused “think outside the box,” which I hate.  Allow me to explain what I mean, starting with a quick story.

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Streamlining Design from Concept to Production

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Industrial Interface co-founder, Chris Powell, presented to the local San Diego SAMPE chapter. In his presentation he discussed a variety of things that Engineers don’t normally encounter. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Practices for Communication Between Technical Groups

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Working with others is easy for some, difficult for others.  Engineers, in particular, often have a difficult time communicating clearly.  For many firms, the end goal (a finished product) isn’t finished until many, many engineers get their hands on the design.  Naturally, in the corporate world, this mandates that teams of technical gurus are created under the glorious umbrella of hierarchical chain of command. Read the rest of this entry »

Sustainable Energy: Best. Infographic. Ever.

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wind-turbine

Scientific American has created a ridiculously interesting infographic on sustainable energy sources.  The article outlines a plan to get the world off of fossil fuels in 20 years.  That’s 100% clean, sustainable energy by 2030.  Although not feasible for a number of economic and political reasons, it is still damn interesting to see how the authors (Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi) plan this out.  Give it a good read, there are a few surprises in there, particularly re: wind vs. solar.

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Top Ten Ways Being An Engineer Improves Your Daily Routine

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stratego

10. Time Management and Planning
This is only #10 because I think lots of professions train us to be effective time managers.

9. Being Logical
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard two people arguing about something and thought, “That doesn’t make any sense.  Actually, neither one of them make any sense.”  Lawyers run into this thought constantly as well.

8. Puzzles and Strategic Games
Everything we do at work all day is a puzzle of some sort.  Critical thinking to solve complex technical problems is what makes us engineers.

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