Previous in Forum: Engineering Manager (MEP Dept) - $95K- Rochester, NY   Next in Forum: Does This Person Exist?
Close
Close
Close
27 comments
Commentator

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 86

Manager vs. Engineer

03/18/2009 11:14 AM

Hi guys,

I worked for company for about 20 months as engineer, my role was just to troubleshoot the Instrumentation related problem as shift engineer. Now i have recently joined a big organisation in Manager cadre in engineering dept. I job responsibility is not only to deal with maintanence related, i have to deal with everthing starting from electrical to instrumentation troubleshooting, procuring, projects everything a manager for a plant has to do, how do i deal this because i have no help to get, as i have no one above as a colleague to take help from.

I feel as if i am accidental leader, how do deal with this situation, because i have to deal with things that i am not aware of i am expected to do it from day one.

Please help me a way out

thanks and bye

Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Power-User

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bahama, NC. USA.
Posts: 270
Good Answers: 17
#1

Re: Manager Vs Engineer

03/18/2009 12:39 PM

bmadhu_srao As a manager you should be capable of running your department as if it is a standalone factory. You take charge of all aspects of your department from assessment of manpower needs, material needs, budget, etc. You oversee the daily activities of your department and plan for the future growth needs so as to support the other departments that depend on yours to be productive and profitable. You need to be in contact with the other managers as to what needs you have to be prepared to meet and configure you abilities to meet those needs. Your personnel director can be one of your greatest allies in meeting your manpower needs and in keeping you informed of company policies and procedures. If you don't feel prepared to run your own mini factory then maybe you should apply for a less demanding position until you learn what a managers job entails. J.Conway

__________________
For every great advancement in medicine there is an equal and opposite advancement in the denial of treatment.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22873
Good Answers: 415
#2

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/18/2009 3:17 PM

You've been there long enough, that managment position may just have migrated to you.

First off, DON"T PANIC.

1.) You been there long enough to know what resources you have to work with. Untilize them or it.

2.) Second, a manager may also be a catalyst. You should know your peoples strengths and weakness. play off that, and follow rule one.

3.) organize the choas, the best you can. DO NOT IGNORE PROBLEMS. This can be procedures, personal, vendors, ect.... Address them.

I just threw these out there, there is no one way, every situation is different. What I know is that there has to be a catalyzer for it to come together and sometimes you have to make them up, as you go along. And the good manager, makes it happen.

good luck,

phoenix911

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kolkata, India
Posts: 447
#26
In reply to #2

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/27/2009 9:10 AM

Widen your technical knowledge by studying different docs related to the equipments you are handling. keep regular contact of equipment supplier's technical personnel. They are scholar people and is very helpful. You will feel no scarcity of a boss.

__________________
BNDas
Register to Reply
3
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 243
#3

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/18/2009 11:11 PM

Your engineering skills were suitable for 20 months and a promotion.

You obviously have talent.

"how do i deal this ???"

1) big sheet of paper

2) split into two sides: Needs and Wants

3) order the wants based on priority:

What needs to be done to keep people from being hurt?followed by whatneeds to be done to minimize loss? followed by what needs to be done to make most money? followed by what must be done to make my boss happy?

Then get to work on them in that order.

When you go home prioritize the wants, And if you get any spare time , work on the first one when you go back to work.

Keep 2 journals- 1 of what you did; second of what you learned. Every day.

Stay in touch.

milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 89
Good Answers: 1
#22
In reply to #3

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 6:17 PM

When you go home relax/ On my second job as an engineer I would awake at night and figure out problems that were bugging me. One day I woke up bent in a "U" when Dr. Davis came to the house 'they did that way back when' he told me if I continued that practice he would be treating my ulcer for life and it would make my life miserable.

From then on I would say I'll do that when I get home even bring the paper work, but somehow my brilliant mind would make me forget what I was going to do. Then I would go to work the next morning and solve the problem with no help from the night before. I have never had an ulcer.

Register to Reply
2
Associate
South Africa - Member - Member Shonver

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 51
Good Answers: 2
#4

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 2:46 AM

I think you need to distinguish between "Responsibility" and "Accountability". My guess is that you are accountable for all those areas that you mentioned. You now need to delegate responsibilty to individuals on your team who will perform the required tasks. You must delegate work. Imagine you are a sports coach; the coach does not play the game, but is responsible for strategy, assigning roles, making performance assessments and making improvements to these, etc. I am not saying that the manager must not be hands-on, but you have to step back a bit to get the full scope of what are aiming to achieve.

Write down your key performance indicators, then work out a plan for achieveing each of them. Check if your procedures are geared toward achieving these targets; improve these. Involve the team at some point, because they know best how to do their jobs. It will take a significant amount of time to drill down to the detail of getting it just right (but just when you think you are close to achieving that, there will be new challenges).

As someone new in this role, your manager or human resources department must know that you will need help, so get them to send you on some management courses. You will probably find that the team could also do with some or other training (which, BTW, should be ongoing).

Good luck. And above all, yes, DON'T PANIC.

__________________
DON'T PANIC
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
3
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2547
Good Answers: 103
#5

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 2:56 AM

When you have switched over the company, the HR department has found you suitable for the job. So be confident and judge their judgements unless you have misrepresented facts, which I suppose is not the case.

In the managerial cadre, you may be new, but the staff are old. Your work will be mostly to take administrative decisions.

First of all create a rapport with your staff. The best rapport is to involve yourself in their activities, ask questions and be a part of them

That way they themselves will tell you about the solution to most of the situations, Check up whether somebody in the cadre was expecting your job and was bypassed. handle him with care.

In any managerial activity, always a great opportunity arises through brain stormings. However always remember that the decision is always yours and hence the flak. credit will come to you.

You should be sensible enough to absorb the flak and pass on the credits. This will bring you closer to your staff.

Always remember, that in any organisation, if the systems are there, the decisions are automatically made in ? 90% cases (only we think that we have made them).

And last of all be humble, don;t think that not knowing everything will erode your power. A manager post is an administrative one and try to run the department efficiently after understanding its working.

__________________
Fantastic ideas for a Fantastic World, I make the illogical logical.They put me in cars,they put me in yer tv.They put me in stereos and those little radios you stick in your ears.They even put me in watches, they have teeny gremlins for your watches
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 243
#10
In reply to #5

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 8:51 AM

Good advice here, sb.

milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Durban, South Africa
Posts: 371
Good Answers: 7
#6

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 3:00 AM

Know your problem - I was a chemist who ended up as a manager.

I believe to manage you have to be able to define the real problems not the apparent ones. Use parallel thinking and your engineering skills to see what makes what work.

The next thing is to sell the idea to yourself, your bosses and the people working for you

__________________
You can always tell the pioneers - they are the ones with arrows in their backs.
Register to Reply
2
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Surrey BC Canada
Posts: 1571
Good Answers: 40
#7

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 3:17 AM

You will have a management level above you. So keep them informed!

Keep a record of everything!

Management delegates responsibility. It should not be your job to still be the #1 troubleshooter. People under you should now be given that role by your empowering them.

Sometimes you can end up in a no win situation, and that is the time to consider asking for a re-assignment or finding another job that better suits you. Not everyone has management skills or necessarily wants it. I have seen many companies where management jobs are cut before the skilled technical people get laid off.

It is sometimes better to be a bright star in your field than to struggle at your level of incompetence. (Peter principal - you are promoted to your level of incompetence.)

Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
2
Active Contributor

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14
Good Answers: 1
#8

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 6:24 AM

First off, congratulations. Second, a lot of good advice has been passed to you in this thread already.

Third, get educated fast. My guess is you cannot depend on your company to do this right now (seminars etc). Besides, the quality of such training is not always good; often too much emphasis can be placed on the formalities, rather than the essence.

I think my best contribution to your 'education' right now is to recommend a book, which I find excellent for beginners:

Mazda, Engineering Management (google or amazon for the details...)

Buy it ASAP and read it (it flows easily enough). Get up to speed fast: Remember, first impressions are the most lasting impressions. If you let people feel too much that you are a 'rookie' (well, don't pretend too hard that you are not, either), then it'll be much harder to get the confidence of your team later on, even when you will eventually merit it. This is not an ideal world; plan ahead.

Don't be overconfident, never be antagonistic or defensive, be positive, be human, don't be afraid. Read. See. Try. Learn.

If you have 'the stuff', you'll be ok.

And, by the way, in-company mentors are ok, but how do you know they are any good themselves?(!) And it's tough to shake the 'student' attitude with them, if you later need to: If you can manage it, just be a young peer instead.

(Finally: And, in case you didn't know, always invest in the people, not 'the company'. The company is some deeds in a lawyer's vault. To the stock-holders, you are just a figure in their investors' reports. Whatever good comes your way, it's because a person dictated it, not the company. To your staff you also represent 'the company' in the same way. Remember that whatever you do.)

Best of luck

__________________
-however, relying mostly on just a developed sense of smell, it is quite possible that I am missing something here
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 124
Good Answers: 3
#9
In reply to #8

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 7:59 AM

GA to you ponti(fe)x, outstanding points made.

Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: USA Soviet Socialist Dictatorship of Cook County& Illinois
Posts: 207
Good Answers: 15
#11

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 8:55 AM

Respect your employees, treat them as you would like to be treated yourself. Evaluate your employees and give them the projects and jobs they are capable of doing and help them when they need help. Your best approach is to empower them to succeed. Remember that your success is based on the success of your employees so that if you treat them badly, show favoritism or behave like an autocrat they will resent you and will do as little as they can.

Really very simple.

Register to Reply
Anonymous Poster
#12
In reply to #11

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 10:55 AM

hey thanks guys, that was really helpful

Register to Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 16
#13

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 11:03 AM

Having been in both positions. I have found that engineering methods work quite well on the managerial side. Identify the problem/objective, assess the variables, evaluate the solution space, etc. and come up with a plan and work the plan. The differences lie in the end product. As a engineer you knew what the output was supposed to look like. On the management side that is harder to visualize and much harder to determine success. The key lies in adjusting your challenges and developing the tools/knowledge necessary to accomplish the task. On the engineering side you had to have been constantly learning new technique and processes. It is no different on the management side. In fact in most cases it a little easier because the tools exist as a part of the established processes within the company. The challenge is to learn how to use them. No one will expect you to automatically know this. The second part to the dilema is that you will have to learn to let go of the responsiblities that you previously had. You can not effectively do both jobs! The challenges and end results are different and require different focus. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. Proper utilization of your personnel is one of the major challenges of management. Should you be successful, the company will benefit greatly from having a manager that has an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to actually get the job done, and you will gain new skills from a different perspective. Not an easy task to convert, but if that is the way you want to go, and that IS the big question, continue to use the METHODS that have been successful for you in the past. Different job but the METHODS do not change. (Just My Thoughts)

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hemel Hempstead, UK
Posts: 5426
Good Answers: 293
#14

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 12:48 PM

(DISCLAIMER: I'm an engineer not a manager )

Make decisions you can write down

about targets (or outcomes) you can write down

because of reasons you can write down.

There are often lots of different ways to do something: successful managers tend to be the ones who don't always make the best decisions, but, having made those decisions they stand by them, and, do their best to make them work.

Coincidentally: just as I was about to press the submit this comment button I read the quote which pops up at the bottom of the screen:-

"To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality." -- Anita Roddick

__________________
We are alone in the universe, or, we are not. Either way it's incredible... Adapted from R. Buckminster Fuller/Arthur C. Clarke
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 243
#15
In reply to #14

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 12:56 PM

Randall, where did this come from?

Make decisions you can write down

about targets (or outcomes) you can write down

because of reasons you can write down.

I like it a lot, and expect to cite it from time to time in my work. Is it original to you?

I think its great advice.

milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hemel Hempstead, UK
Posts: 5426
Good Answers: 293
#17
In reply to #15

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 1:30 PM

Thanks : I just made it up. Perhaps it needs re-writing a bit to address often perplexed's objections below (post #16).

__________________
We are alone in the universe, or, we are not. Either way it's incredible... Adapted from R. Buckminster Fuller/Arthur C. Clarke
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 243
#20
In reply to #17

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 3:04 PM

I didn't think so.

Make decisions you can write down

about targets (or outcomes) you can write down

because of reasons you can write down.

the decision is (after) and about targets ( implied that these had been identified) because of reasons that you had (also implied I guess) thought about and should now write down.

Regardless of temporal issues, it is succinct and remains great advice.

milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 16
#16
In reply to #14

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 1:12 PM

You can tell that you are an engineer. Good solid thought process. I would however suggest that the order decisions, targets, reasons are reversed. Without reasons there is no need for the other elements, and the reasons drive the other implementation activies. (Just My Thoughts)

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hemel Hempstead, UK
Posts: 5426
Good Answers: 293
#18
In reply to #16

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 1:51 PM

The reasons are the reasons for the decisions. So the whole thing is one sentence expressing a concept rather than a sequence, but, I wanted to emphasise the need to be able to actually write down (qualify) the thought processes.

Derrr: Oh phooey, good job you brought me down to earth after Milo's comments.

__________________
We are alone in the universe, or, we are not. Either way it's incredible... Adapted from R. Buckminster Fuller/Arthur C. Clarke
Register to Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Active Contributor

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 16
#19
In reply to #18

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 2:20 PM

Sorry! I did get the thought of capturing/documenting the process. My comments were an attempt to expand on your thoughts. Criticism is much easier than original thought. My impression was that you had entered the solution space without defining the problem i.e. a solution looking for a problem.

Register to Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Power-User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 302
Good Answers: 4
#21

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/19/2009 4:00 PM

You are manager now so manage.

Find out what you need to do, what need to get done and find someone to get it done. Check their progress often. Be prepare to get someone else if they fail their task. Resist doing the job yourself unless its the only choice. You can't manage anything if you're out there working.

__________________
Pineapple
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bahama, NC. USA.
Posts: 270
Good Answers: 17
#23

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/20/2009 11:50 PM

bmadhu_srao Did I understand correctly that this is not the company that you worked 20 months for as an engineer. This is a position you applied for at another company. At the interview were you aware that you would be filling a Managers position? Did you get introduced to your new superior and discuss your new responsibilities prior to accepting the position? Reading some of the replies I not sure your post has been thoroughly understood. Your future will be very rewarding if you can hang in there and become familiar with your employees they can steer you in the right direction. Good luck. J.Conway

__________________
For every great advancement in medicine there is an equal and opposite advancement in the denial of treatment.
Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 86
#24

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/22/2009 8:50 AM

I have been working for another company as an engineer, recently i have changed my job into this managerial position. No i was not told about my responsibility intially, now it is expected that i must be prepared as it was obvious

Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bahama, NC. USA.
Posts: 270
Good Answers: 17
#25
In reply to #24

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

03/23/2009 3:55 PM

Bmadhu_srao You are in a very awkward position. You need to call your employee relations manager and get an appointment as soon as possible, he's going to be your best friend. The person that hired you probably has a meeting with him every day for an update on the progress of the personnel in the facility. He should know exactly why and what you were hired for, he is responsible to monitor your progress and to assist you in overcoming any shortcomings you may have. He can arrange for others to assist you when needed or assign a full time mentor to you if he thinks it necessary. He probably has a wealth of media available that could help you learn how to manage. No body wants to see you fail and if you are willing to give everything in your power to make a go of this they will mold you into what they want you to be. Its going to be tough so humble yourself and soak up everything, take nothing for granted. Make yourself someone they can take pride in by showing them your trust and loyalty. Make sure you send a daily progress report and attend every meeting no matter the hardship it may cause in carrying out your other duties. Many times some managers feel as though other duties are a priority over daily reports and attending all meetings but this is how you stay abreast of daily and future plans. Plan on being in early every day to prepare yourself with a schedule of who is doing what, make arrangements for your people to be where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there and that you have people knowing where you are at all times and how to contact you. Every time you receive help or input from others follow up that day with an e-mail acknowledging and include your appreciation in the daily report. Making others look good makes it easier to get what you need, try to never turn down a request from others for assistance for this will all ways payoff. Last but not least avoid the backstabbing that always takes place, make it clear when around others and it gets started that you are not interested in that type of talk. And let it end there. Best wishes, J.Conway

__________________
For every great advancement in medicine there is an equal and opposite advancement in the denial of treatment.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Associate

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: British but live 50/50 Indonesia and Malaysia
Posts: 31
#27

Re: Manager vs. Engineer

04/03/2009 8:02 AM

Hi SB,

First dont panic, you are a lot smarter than you think.

Send me an email to djhelliweld@yahoo.com and I will send you an article about an accidental project manager that I got from Harvard.

Break everything down to smaller sizes and delegate to your staff who are strong in that area.

You can also get a copy of the one minute manager by Ken Blanchard, its been a best seller for 20 years for good reason.

Cheers

David

Register to Reply
Register to Reply 27 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (1); biswanath.das (1); bmadhu_srao (1); djhelliweld (1); GW (1); hazman (1); Jerrell Conway (3); Milo (4); Morgan 23 (1); often_perplexed (3); phoenix911 (1); Pineapple (1); ponti(fe)x (1); Randall (3); sb (1); Shonver (1); skeptical guy (1); travelerengineer (1)

Previous in Forum: Engineering Manager (MEP Dept) - $95K- Rochester, NY   Next in Forum: Does This Person Exist?

Advertisement