It is important for engineers to appreciate the organisational environment in which they operate and recognise the requirements and constraints created by this environment. This module is to provide the engineering student with an appreciation of some of the practical problems and issues involved in managing an engineering organisation.
For the purposes of this module an engineering organisation is simply defined as an entity that employs at least one engineer. The organisation could deliver a product or a service for profit or as a public service, it could be any size from a single consulting engineer to a global corporation and it can take a variety of legal forms.
A common way to manage engineering businesses is via the use of projects which necessitate participation, management and leadership of multi-disciplinary, often multi-national/cross-cultural teams of contractors and suppliers (of design and bought-in product services and materials and processes). Group dynamics are an important feature in success. This applies across a wide range of activities, from large-scale, one-off projects to production-line processes for example. Engineers also need to understand the management of finances, for example to develop a fully-costed business or project plan.