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The Unwritten Laws of Engineering: With Revisions and Additions

Description | Details

This fully revised and updated edition of the 1944 classic, serves as a crucial compilation of “house rules,” or a professional code. It addresses three areas: what the beginner needs to learn at once; “laws” relating chiefly to engineering executives; and purely personal considerations for engineers. Packed with contemporary examples, this timeless volume is a must for those entering the engineering field or those interested in improving their professional effectiveness.

  • Copyright:
    All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. ©  2001  ASME
  • ISBN:
    0791801624
  • No. of Pages:
    60
  • Order No.:
    801624
Front Matter PUBLIC ACCESS
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  • What The Beginner Needs To Learn At Once

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      • However menial and trivial your early assignments may appear, give them your best efforts.
      • Demonstrate the ability to get things done.
      • In carrying out a project, do not wait passively for anyone — suppliers, sales people, colleagues, supervisors — to make good on their delivery promises; go after them and keep relentlessly after them.
      • Confirm your instructions and the other person's commitments in writing.
      • When sent out on a business trip of any kind, prepare for it, execute the business to completion, and follow up after you return.
      • Develop a “let's go see!” attitude.
      • Avoid the very appearance of vacillating.
      • Don't be timid — speak up — express yourself and promote your ideas.
      • Strive for conciseness and clarity in oral or written reports.
      • Be extremely careful of the accuracy of your statements.
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      • Every manager must know what goes on in his or her domain.
      • One of the first things you owe your supervisor is to keep him or her informed of all significant developments.
      • Do not overlook the steadfast truth that your direct supervisor is your “boss.”
      • Be as particular as you can in the selection of your supervisor.
      • Whatever your supervisor wants done takes top priority.
      • Whenever you are asked by your manager to do something, you are expected to do exactly that.
      • Do not be too anxious to defer to or embrace your manager's instructions.
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      • Never invade the domain of any other department without the knowledge and consent of the manager in charge.
      • In all transactions be careful to “deal in” everyone who has a right to be in.
      • Cultivate the habit of seeking other peoples' opinions and recommendations.
      • Promises, schedules, and estimates are necessary and important instruments in a well-ordered business.
      • When you are dissatisfied with the service of another department, make your complaint to the individual most directly responsible for the function involved.
      • In dealing with customers and outsiders, remember that you represent the company, ostensibly with full responsibility and authority.
  • Relating Chiefly To Engineering Managers

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      • Every manager must know what goes on in his or her domain.
      • Do not try to do it all yourself.
      • Put first things first in applying yourself to your job.
      • Cultivate the habit of “boiling matters down” to their simplest terms.
      • Do not get excited in engineering emergencies — keep your feet on the ground.
      • Engineering meetings should neither be too large nor too small.
      • Cultivate the habit of making brisk, clean-cut decisions.
      • Do not overlook the value of suitable “preparation” before announcing a major decision or policy.
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      • Learn project management skills and techniques, then apply them to the activities that you manage.
      • Plan your development work far enough ahead of production so as to meet schedules without a wild last-minute rush.
      • Beware of seeking too much comfort in planning your engineering programs.
      • Be content to “freeze” a new design when the development has progressed far enough.
      • Constantly review projects to make certain that actual benefits are in line with costs in money, time, and human resources.
      • Make it a rule to require, and submit, regular periodic progress reports, as well as final reports on completed projects.
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      • Make sure that everyone has been assigned definite positions and responsibilities within the organization.
      • Make sure that everyone has the authority they need to execute their jobs and meet their responsibilities.
      • Make sure that all activities and all individuals are supervised by someone competent in the subject matter involved.
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      • Never misrepresent a subordinate's performance during performance appraisals.
      • Make it unquestionably clear what is expected of employees.
      • Promote the personal and professional interests of your employees on all occasions.
      • Do not hang on to employees too selfishly when they are offered a better opportunity elsewhere.
      • Do not short-circuit or override your subordinates if you can possibly avoid it.
      • You owe it to your subordinates to keep them properly informed.
      • Do not criticize a subordinate in front of others, especially his or her own subordinates.
      • Show an interest in what your employees are doing.
      • Never miss a chance to commend or reward subordinates for a job well done.
      • Always accept full responsibility for your group and the individuals in it.
      • Do all you can to see that your subordinates get all of the salary to which they are entitled.
      • Do all you can to protect the personal interests of your subordinates and their families.
  • Professional And Personal Considerations

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      • One of the most valuable personal traits is the ability to get along with all kinds of people.
      • Do not be too affable.
      • Regard your personal integrity as one of your most important assets.
      • Never underestimate the extent of your professional responsibility and personal liability.
      • Let ethical behavior govern your actions and those of your company.
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      • Be aware of the effect that your personal appearance has on others and, in turn, on you.
      • Refrain from using profanity in the workplace.
      • Take it upon yourself to learn what constitutes harassment and discrimination — racial, ethnic, sexual, religious — and tolerate it not at all in yourself, your colleagues, your subordinates, or your company.
      • Beware of what you commit to writing and of who will read it.
      • Beware of using your employer's resources for personal purposes. It may be considered suspicious at best, and larcenous at worst.
Back Matter Public Access
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