In this episode, I talk to Milos Vasiljevic, PE, Program Manager at HDR, about fostering innovation on major infrastructure projects, and I mean mega projects. Milos has worked on some really interesting projects and will discuss some of the details and benefits of working on these megaprojects.
In this episode, which is the first episode in our new Civil Engineering Entrepreneurs series, I talk to Gordon Greene, P.E., of Patel, Greene & Associates about how to effectively measure business growth and the use of standing operating procedures in the business world.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Gordon:
- Why is it important for a company to have a vision or mission statement?
- How do you ensure that the everyday tasks or actions that your people are taking are contributing toward the overall vision?
- What is your philosophy around meetings?
- Does every person in your company have a goal or goals that they are working toward, and are these goals aligned with the vision of the company?
- Are there specific metrics, indicators, or numbers that you use to effectively measure business growth at your company?
- How often do you monitor those metrics and what tools do you use to monitor them?
- What have you found to be the most important indicator in the terms of the health of your civil engineering firm?
- Are the people who work in the company held accountable through key performance indicators and other metrics?
- Does your company emphasize capturing core processes that can be practiced consistently throughout the company?
- As a leader, how do you ensure these processes are captured and practiced consistently across the company and that they are followed by all the employees?
- As the company grows, should you consider stepping away from the project work?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Measuring Business Growth:
This is a guest post by Nader Mowlaee
Align your mission with a company’s mission that motivates you. It is tough to come up with innovative ideas by yourself, especially if you are starting to set new goals or changing your engineering career and you do not know where to start.
If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. Many engineers have been making career transitions this year and certainly last year in 2020, and I have been there guiding them along the way. I know how it feels to come up short and feel like there is no future for you, and in this article, I want to give you a simple 2-step process to setting powerful goals that can contribute to you successfully changing your engineering career in 2021.
Let’s start by accepting that the world is our playground and we can get to play with our own rules, especially as an engineer. We are a special breed of people who can acquire new skills on demand and can pivot whenever it’s necessary so that we can create better outcomes in our careers and lives. However, you do not have to create your own job from scratch. Just join an existing team, follow their footsteps, and enable them to achieve their grand vision. Then you can branch out later to create your own unique results.
Here is an example: When I decided to leave an engineering career behind and get into technical recruiting, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I had was a role model and an attractive staffing company I had just joined. So all the goals I set were fully aligned with that company’s vision and core values.
In this episode, I talk to Gil Hantzsch, P.E., FACEC, the CEO at MSA Professional Services, Inc., about his career journey of becoming a CEO. He provides some great learning and development advice throughout the episode, which makes it one of my favorites.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Gil:
- How big is your firm and what markets do you serve?
- What advice can you give engineers who want to be in a leadership role but are struggling to work with people?
- How do you see the civil engineering industry going for the next three to five years and beyond?
- With all that has happened with the pandemic, does this change the way you think about the future for the company?
- You are a big proponent of learning and development. Why is it important to you?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode:
This is a guest blog by Holly Welles
Technology and business today are inseparable. Taking advantage of available software solutions is one of the best ways to stay competitive. If nothing else, tools like project management technologies can make it a little easier to do your job.
More than 90% of organizations use standardized project management, but only 58% fully understand its value. You’ve probably heard that software tools can help you, but you may not know what that looks like. What precisely can these solutions do for you, and how do you find the right one?
Benefits of Project Management Software
The overall goal of project management tools is to streamline administrative tasks. They accomplish this in several different ways. While features vary depending on the software, benefits typically include:
- More straightforward communication and collaboration
- Scheduling tools
- Budget and spending tracking
- Simplified document management
- Standardization for work processes
- A centralized place to do all of this
Project management software has a lot to offer, and there’s no shortage of options, either. This variety means you can find the perfect solution for your needs, but it also means you may have trouble finding the right one. How do you sort through everything to find the best software for the job?
Here Are Five Tips to Help You Evaluate Project Management Technologies:
In this episode, I talk to Christian Knutson, CEng, P.E., PgMP, F. SAME, who has co-hosted this podcast in the past and now serves as the Europe Program Manager for Stanley Consultants. He is responsible for managing and coordinating Stanley Consultants’ activities in the U.K. and Europe as well as providing program/project management delivery and master planning solutions for clients in the U.K. and Europe. In this episode, which is part of a series we are publishing focused around the four key drivers of engineering managers, we talk about the third key driver: the ability to manage projects. Chris talks about the fundamentals of project management and how project management skills can help you to become a great engineering manager.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About Project Management Skills:
In this episode, I talk to Ann Tomalavage, PE, PMP, LEED AP, a licensed professional engineer who has spent the last 20+ years training engineering professionals on how to become great project managers. Ann talks about some of the key points to becoming a successful project manager, and she also discusses the role of project management in consulting engineering.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Ann Tomalavage:
- How did you get into project management training and how did you become so interested and passionate about the topic of project management?
- What differences could an engineer expect when transitioning from a project engineer to a project manager role?
- What made you decide to start a project management training course?
- You recently talked at an ACEC event on project management; could you tell us about it and the feedback that you received from the audience?
- What would you say is one of the biggest challenges for engineers in terms of making the transition to project management?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About The Role of Project Management in Consulting Engineering:
In episode 121 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I will be bringing you with me to visit with William T. Thomsen, PE, who is the President and CEO of Urban Engineers of New York, DPC. We will be talking about his career journey and what has factored into his success and progression from engineer to Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He’ll also talk about how his Engineering Management degree has helped him in his career.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Bill Thomsen, PE:
- Take us through your career progression from engineer to CEO?
- At what point in your career did you become part of the executive leadership team?
- What does it take to manage large scale projects like the ones you have managed?
- Your father was the President of a construction company, how did his career influence your career?
- You have a degree in Engineering Management, how has that degree helped you?
- What worries you about the Civil Engineering industry right now?
- Is it possible to have work-life balance as an engineering executive?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Going from Engineer to CEO:
In episode 117 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I visit with Tracy Bratton, PE. who is the Land Development Division Manager at Doucet & Associates, based in Austin Texas. We talk about the importance of staying calm, cool, and collected as a civil engineering professional. We also talk about the role that sound technical experience plays in an engineer’s confidence level as well as the ability to manage projects.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Tracy:
- Tell us about your career journey.
- Tell us about the time you spend in Venezuela.
- When you started working in Land Development, was it something that you initially liked doing?
- Talk about the importance of having sound technical knowledge in your field in order to become a successful manager.
- What are some of the things you learned about managing teams in different locations?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About Staying Calm, Cool, and Collected as a Civil Engineering Professional:
In episode 112 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I’m taking you with me to the offices of Louis Berger where I will be speaking with the Department Manager, Muzamil Husain, PE. We talk about the importance of managing mega civil engineering projects and how to stay calm during stressful situations.
Here are some of the questions I ask Muzamil Husain:
- In terms of project management, what would you say are some things that you have done that made you successful?
- How do you determine what tasks to work on each day?
- Can you describe the Magnetic Levitation project?
- As a project manager you need to get good at understanding your resources and deploying them in the right areas. How does one get good at that?
- What do you do to improve the culture on your team?