municated clearly to program managers and to the contractor Communication Trust

Municated clearly to program managers and to the

This preview shows page 118 - 120 out of 134 pages.

municated clearly to program managers and to the contractor. Communication – Trust and Integrity Clearly, one of the fundamental requirements for an effective systems engineer is the ability to com- municate. Key to effective communication is the rudimentary understanding that communication involves two elements—a transmitter and a receiver. Even if we have a valid message and the capacity for expressing our positions in terms that enable others to understand what we are saying, true communication may not take place if the intended receiver chooses not to receive our mes- sage. What can we do, as engineering managers to help our own cause as far as ensuring that our communications are received and understood? Much can be done to condition others to listen and give serious consideration to what one says, and, of course, the opposite is equally true—one can condition others to ignore what he/she says. It is primarily a matter of establishing credibility based on integrity and trust. First, however, it is appropriate to discuss the systems engineer’s role as a member of the man- agement team. Systems engineering, as practiced in DoD, is fundamentally the practice of engineer- ing management. The systems engineer is expected to integrate not only the technical disciplines in reaching recommendations, but also to integrate traditional management concerns such as cost, schedule, and policy into the technical manage- ment equation. In this role, senior levels of man- agement expect the systems engineer to understand the policies that govern the program, and to ap- preciate the imperatives of cost and schedule. Fur- thermore, in the absence of compelling reasons to the contrary, they expect support of the policies enunciated and they expect the senior engineer to balance technical performance objectives with cost and schedule constraints. Does this mean that the engineer should place his obligation to be a supportive team member above his ethical obligation to provide honest engineer- ing judgment? Absolutely not! But it does mean that, if one is to gain a fair hearing for expression of reservations based on engineering judgment, one must be viewed as a member of the team. The indi- vidual who always fights the system, always ob- jects to established policy, and, in general, refuses to try to see other points of view will eventually become isolated. When others cease listening, the
Image of page 118
Chapter 20 Management Considerations and Summary 203 1 Ethical Issues in Engineering , Johnson, Ch 15. communication stops and even valid points of view are lost because the intended audience is no longer receiving the message—valid or not. In addition to being team players, engineering managers can further condition others to be recep- tive to their views by establishing a reputation for making reasoned judgments. A primary require- ment for establishing such a reputation is that man- agers must have technical expertise. They must be able to make technical judgments grounded in a sound understanding of the principles that govern science and technology. Systems engineers must
Image of page 119
Image of page 120

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 134 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture