In this episode, I talk with Ed Overholt, P.E., PMP, a licensed professional engineer with Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, about how to build an engineering office from scratch, and assemble an effective team.
***The video version of this episode can be viewed here.***
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Ed:
- Can you explain assembling a team during the early stages of setting up an engineering office, ensuring that the team’s values align with the organization’s goals?
- What kind of coaching or training did you receive to develop the necessary business skills for growing the office, and how did you develop these strategies?
- Whose idea was it to establish the office, and how did you become one of the leaders driving this initiative?
- How did you manage resources while expanding the office to ensure the availability of necessary supplies and tools as the operation grew?
- When assembling a team, what specific qualities do you prioritize in potential team members, and how do you ensure a diverse skill set across the team?
- Could you share some strategies and philosophies that have contributed to your success as an engineering leader?
- How do you balance the technical aspects of a project and the leadership responsibilities when overseeing an engineering team?
- How do you handle project challenges with clients and within the team, acting as a vital link between the two, and how have you seen soft skills like communication and collaboration impact project success and team dynamics?
- What final advice would you give aspiring engineers or project managers aiming to excel in their careers and impact the industry?
Here Are Some Key Points Discussed in This Episode About How to Build an Engineering Office That Delivers Exceptional Results:
- When build an engineering office from scratch, various skills and adaptability are essential. Clear communication across different locations is crucial for building a strong team and overcoming challenges. This process leads to successful project management and ongoing growth.
- When managing office growth, seeking guidance from internal leaders and external coaches can help develop necessary soft skills and emotional intelligence. Balancing technical challenges with the complexities of managing people often requires a diverse skill set and support network.
- Understanding the importance of maintaining professional networks, as they can lead to unexpected opportunities, can be valuable in one’s career. The company’s dedication drove the decision to set up the office to meet client needs, a principle that shapes their approach to expansion in different locations.
- Expanding the office involves a careful balance between task management and avoiding micromanagement. It’s crucial to identify daily priorities and delegate tasks based on team members’ strengths. Building a strong internal network helps in acquiring necessary resources and external support.
- When setting up a team, focusing on ethics and sound decision-making cultivates trust and integrity within the organization. Effective communication supports successful collaboration, especially in a distributed team, enhancing adaptability in a remote work setting.
- Moving into a leadership role entails prioritizing employees’ well-being, acknowledging their significance, and cultivating a culture of empathy and understanding to assist them during challenging times. Offering thorough training and establishing transparent expectations for those transitioning into leadership positions can significantly contribute to the team’s overall success and morale.
- Managing a project involves handling technical tasks like scope, schedule, and budget, along with softer skills such as effective communication and owning up to mistakes. Meeting stakeholders’ needs is crucial for successful project outcomes, requiring a balance between technical expertise and interpersonal skills for effective management and client satisfaction.
- Focusing on team dynamics over technical aspects is crucial for project success, as strong soft skills contribute to positive working relationships and client satisfaction. This approach offers a fresh perspective to non-technical stakeholders, which shows the importance of effective collaboration and interpersonal skills in successful project management.
- Continuously learning helps understand different engineering aspects of projects, which promotes versatility and a deeper understanding. Building a network inside and outside the company is crucial, as it provides access to diverse expertise and support, encouraging effective problem-solving and career growth.
More Details in This Episode…
About Ed Overholt, P.E., PMP
Ed Overholt, P.E., PMP, is a highly motivated engineer with a track record of solving complex problems using technical solutions. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and the Lockheed Martin Certification in Engineering Management. Ed is a licensed Professional Engineer in multiple states, including California, and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Ed has worked as a consulting engineer specializing in the energy sector for over 11 years in a variety of roles spanning from design engineering through program manager, and currently serves as regional director at Campos EPC. Ed is a true expert in his field.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you can share on how to build an engineering office that delivers exceptional results.
Please leave your comments, feedback, or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, P.E., LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success