RE: [PipingDesign] OT: Dark Side of Management

From: <Tony>
Date: Sat Mar 24 2007 - 17:42:00 EDT

Some might describe delegating too much or not delegating enough as the "dark" side of engineering management, although in both of these cases it seems like the manager at least "cares" about what happens in his group from a technical point-of-view. If one listens to American congressional committees that have investigated recent plant accidents, one would think that the real "dark" side of management is the evil engineering manager that increases profit at the expense of safety.

Unfortunately, this overly simplified attitude has already resulted in excessive and unnecessary precautions that have likely resulted in less safe, rather than more safe facilities. Of all the knot-headed personalities I've encountered in engineering, I don't remember one that would even think about sacrificing safety for profit, (unless I am incredibly naive - which is highly likely).

It seems unfortunate to me that this is the "dark side" of engineering management as the world sees it, and that we, (as engineers), don't have an Angelina Jolie to stand up for us, to tell congress that we do our best to keep things safe in situations that are inherently dangerous, and that we should be praised for the job done so far - not condemned, and given more freedom to exercise reasonable judgment in safety matters, and not less, instead of being force-fed increased inspectors that put checks in boxes instead of putting their brains to work to see if reasonable precautions in unique situations are in place.

Please let me apologize for the rambling.

From: [] On Behalf Of Paul Bowers
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2007 4:14 PM
Subject: Re: [PipingDesign] OT: Dark Side of Management

Christopher Wright wrote:
> On Mar 24, 2007, at 3:03 AM, Paul Bowers wrote:
>> Part of this is that they are don't trust others to do it
>> "right" or they are afraid of losing their technical skills. The new
>> techie manager never really gives him/her self over to the dark
>> side of
>> management."

> I'll quibble with this and say you have it backwards. The manager who
> can't trust his staff to do the work is going to have serious morale
> problems and will probably never be a good manager. The guts of
> management is delegating work. A good technical manager has to
> understand the requirements of the work and know the limits and
> skills of the people working for him so he can grant enough autonomy
> that he isn't constantly stewing over details. The real dark side of
> technical management is the compulsion to look over people's

Agreed. Just for the record, I didn't write the comments, I pasted them from < VIpOIv_b7AGigeKeOXe9IVtxNdctNK_nsjhjvjd7bz9KVKDMDeFtd5ZNNwKDtVUKyyeo73Ak knyYWMb7bqSva7bwGfPrz2D4oRrmFNritqYKrhujjKrhh7c3xOaaq9JxMS2_id41Fr2QBFg8 xTQAhwqnjh060iAq80XoBjh0cigYQgltd40TId8-HY9CV-7PM76Qjqq9JeXZShPybXxLy4o_ xlK> Slashdot is
a tech site catering mainly to computer and software people.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed] Received on Sat Mar 24 17:42:00 2007

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