Canadian Consulting Engineer

Article says engineers are a stumbling block

An article in the Globe and Mail's Report on Business called engineers "often the biggest stumbling block to succes...

April 21, 2003   Canadian Consulting Engineer

An article in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business called engineers “often the biggest stumbling block to success when it comes to introducing change into any organization.”
The article, published April 21, was quoting Stephen Armstrong, a licensed professional engineer himself, who is also a “change consultant” and president of AMGI Management of Toronto.
Armstrong was educated as a mechanical engineer in Belfast, Ireland, but went into management consulting in 1988 and worked for what was then KPMG Peat Marwick. He then launched his own consulting firm in 1993.
According to the Globe and Mail article, written by Terrence Belford, Armstrong blames engineers’ reluctance to embrace change to their training. Belford quotes Armstrong saying: “They are educated in silos … with little understanding of how their specialty area of the profession interrelates with other engineering disciplines or other business functions. As well, engineers base their approach to problem solving on historical data and precedents. Abandoning the tried and true is anathema to them.”
Armstrong recently published a book by Cambridge University Press titled “Engineering and Product Development Management: the Holistic Approach.” In the book he outlines the “Bombardier Engineering System” method of approaching aircraft design which he helped develop. The system emphasizes concurrent tasking, as opposed to taking a sequential, serial approach.
www.theglobeandmail.com


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