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Decisions: An Engineering and Management Perspective

ISBN: 978-0-470-16759-5
320 pages
January 2015, Wiley-IEEE Press
Decisions: An Engineering and Management Perspective (0470167599) cover image

Description

DECISIONS focuses on how organizations can improve decision-making processes to improve organizational performance in a global economy.  
  • Presents research related to problems associated with meeting requirements, schedules, and costs
  • Defines the scope of macro and micro decisions
  • Raises the issue of the role of engineering, manufacturing, and marketing in making organizational decisions
  • Includes references to Peter Drucker’s studies on decision-making
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Table of Contents

Preface xiii

1 CONFRONTING THE REALITIES IN DECISION-MAKING 1

History of Failed Projects 2

Organizational Discipline 5

Sources of Decision-Making Knowledge 7

Making Organizational Decisions 9

Key Points 11

Notes 12

2 MANAGING THE ORGANIZATION 13

Management Model 14

New Management Paradigm 15

Executives 17

Managers 19

Engineers and Other Discipline Specialists 24

Project Managers 25

Common Requirements for Executives, Managers, Engineers and

Other Discipline Professionals, and Project Managers 28

Key Points 40

Notes 41

3 DECISIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES 43

The Knowledge Chain 44

External Decision Drivers 46

Expanding Worldwide Operations 48

Dealing with Acquisitions and Mergers 49

Restructuring Organizations 52

Investing in New-to-the-Market Product/Services 55

Investing in New Technologies 57

Entering New Markets 59

Discontinuing a Product Line 60

Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship 61

Locating Business Operations 65

Key Points 66

Notes 67

4 DECISIONS AND PROJECT SCOPE 69

Organizational Decisions 70

Low Impact to High Impact 71

Simple to Complex 72

Low Cost to High Cost 74

Low Risk to High Risk 74

Upgrade to Innovative 76

Current Business to New Business Unit 77

Current Business Unit to a New Game 78

Decisions in Functional Units 79

Limited Scope to Expanded Scope 80

Strategic to Operational 81

Knockouts 82

Thinking Before Doing 83

Key Points 87

Note 88

5 MACRO DECISION TO IMPLEMENTATION 89

Executing the Decision 90

Using Tools and Techniques 91

Describing the Problem 94

Improving IT Project Performance 96

Advancing Project Management Practice 99

Managing Project Cycle Time 103

Managing with a Systems Perspective 109

Key Points 111

Notes 112

6 MAKING PEOPLE DECISIONS 113

Energizing the Human Resource Department 114

Hiring Practices 116

Evaluating Employee Performance 120

Assessing Employee Potential 122

Promotions and Appointments 124

Selecting Team Members 126

Selecting the Right People 130

Assigning Work 131

Transitioning From Specialist to Manager 132

Salary Schedules 134

Continuing Education 134

Building a Succession Competence 136

Key Points 137

Notes 138

7 DEVELOPING DECISION-MAKING COMPETENCIES 139

Decision Dilemmas 140

Learning to Make Decisions 144

Educating for Decision-Making 147

Dealing with Ambiguity 153

Executing the Deliverables 156

Key Points 162

Notes 163

8 IBM ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA: THE SILVERLAKE PROJECT 165

Birth of IBMR Minnesota 166

Project Fort Knox 167

IBMR Faces Market Challenges 168

New Directions for IBM Rochester 168

Furey Asks the Hard Questions 169

Ambitious Goals 173

Market Launch 176

Lessons Learned 177

Key Points 184

Notes 185

9 BOEING AND THE 787 DREAMLINER 187

Dreamliner Scope and Expectations 188

Boeing—The Enterprise 189

The 787 Dreamliner Challenges 192

Commentary 198

Key Points 213

Notes 216

10 COMMUNICATION IN DECISION-MAKING 219

New-to-the-Market Product 221

What is Communication? 226

Types of Communication 228

Organizational Context 231

Barriers to Effective Communication 234

Ethical Issues in Communication 253

Eliminating the Communication Barriers 255

Key Points 258

Notes 259

11 EVALUATING DECISION-MAKING PERFORMANCE 261

People 262

Purposes 264

Processes 265

Strategic Thinking 266

Culture 267

Products and Services 268

Resources 270

Leadership 275

Innovation and Entrepreneurship 276

Organizational Readiness 278

Policies and Procedures 279

Employee Benefits 279

Downsizing 280

Going Global 281

Government Regulations 282

Offshore Operations 282

Integrating Organizational Units 283

General Governance Issues 284

Key Points 289

Notes 292

Index 293

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Author Information

Gerard H. (Gus) Gaynor brings more than 50 years of technical and management expertise in the process of managing engineering, technology, and innovation from a business perspective. Gaynor is a past president of the IEEE Technology Management Council, serves on many IEEE Boards and Committees, and is a retired 3M Director of Engineering.
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