Four warnings as business heats up

June 2013 » Columns » FROM THE PUBLISHER
Mark C. Zweig

It's June! Summertime is in full gear now. The swimming pool heater is no longer costing me hundreds of dollars a month, thankfully. And wow — the design and construction industry is really starting to heat up along with the weather! It's great to see firms hiring again, in some cases literally screaming for people. What a change from a few years back! Everything is getting more expensive and, "Can you wait for that?" is becoming the norm.

When times are good and you're extra busy, you also are more likely to make mistakes. Just a few thoughts for you:

  1. Be careful with new hires. Don't let unproven engineers and technicians work on your projects without checking their work! You don't really know what someone can do or who you can trust until you've had some experience with them. Don't forget this!

  2. There is never time to do it right but always time to do it over. This is always a problem when you get overloaded. Slow down. Don't over commit. Don't compromise your quality control/quality assurance process.

  3. Protect critical relationships. There may be clients/bosses/regulators/consultants who are critical to you and your ability as an engineer and manager to achieve your mission. Just because you get busy and overloaded is no excuse to forget about these people and cut yourself off from them. It can be a huge mistake — and an easy one to make.

  4. Take care of you. Yes, you may be busy and, yes, you may convince yourself that you need to be working all of the time. But you also need rest, exercise, a decent diet, downtime for other activities, and time for your family and loved ones. It is easy to let these things slide — especially when you are a good, conscientious, responsible engineer — but you could do irreparable damage to your health, psyche, and interpersonal relationships if you aren't careful.

CE News for you here. In addition to our slew of technical and management articles and thought-provoking columnists, we have a new addition: David Evans, founder of David Evans and Associates (DEA) in Portland, Ore., and an old friend of mine. Check out his stuff on page 18. David's a smart guy and he always makes me laugh — and think.

Enjoy, and as always, please feel free to share your thoughts with me on how to make our publication better!

Mark C. Zweig

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