December 28, 2007

Engineers as Managers

I saw this article in the Antelope Valley Press. The Palmdale Water District is looking for candidates for a new General Manager. The Valley Press reporter Alisha Semchuck interviews water board member Jeff Storm. In the interview the paper quotes Mr. Storm as saying

As far as qualifications, Storm said, "I'd like to see somebody with more management background." The current General Manager is an engineer.

"Whether the appropriate candidate also needs an engineering degree like LaMoreaux is debatable, according to Storm."

"Engineers can make good managers. Some do make good managers," he said. "But, my experience has been very few engineers are good managers."

In my small aerospace world have met engineers who were good managers, but I must admit they have been few and far between. I now think good managers are just rare and this a wider problem not just among engineers.

I think good manager's can not be completely clueless about the product and be successful. You can't just go get a manager or engineer out of a vending machine with no domain knowledge and expect them to become effective. This is a common problem in aerospace.

I can say if I was a Palmdale resident, since water is a basic need we all have, I would want the best technical expert running my water plant that the district could afford.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home