Business and Professional Practices
Full Session without Abstracts
I used to believe that good engineers never made mistakes. Now I know that good engineers have just learned enough from their mistakes to never make them again. The truth is that every single one of us has failed at some point (or many points) in our career. When we are young, our mistakes are most often a result of our inexperience and can be valuable tools to help us grow. As we gain experience, the causes of our mistakes become more clouded but the weight of them grows as they often affect the financial interests; or even the safety, of our clients, colleagues, and the public. This session will look closely at the role mistakes can have for engineers. First, we will discuss why mistakes happen and our response to them once they do. Second, we will discuss some of the ways to create environments within our organizations and teams that are better suited to minimizing the frequency and the severity of our mistakes. Whether you are an entry level engineer, mid level manager, or a Senior Executive; how prepared we are and how we respond are usually the only differences to our mistakes becoming either a success or a failure. Combining his experience as a seasoned Professional Engineer with his background as a Ghost and Graveyard Tour Guide, Mike presents this topic in a way that is as informative as it is entertaining while sharing valuable lessons from his own experience that are sure to get a laugh. The session concludes with an open time of sharing 'war-stories' among professionals in the audience and the lessons which can be shared from them.
Next hear from Justin Smith, SE, PE, M. ASCE
JRS PE, LLC
The Underutilized Protective Weapon in Near Misses, Close Calls, and Claims: The Peer Review Process
This presentation will address the following: discuss the rationale for instituting a formal peer review process into a firm’s overall Risk Management Program, including advantages and disadvantages to doing so; identify aspects of a project that would indicate increased risk and therefore warrant third-party scrutiny; provide ways to develop an effective use of the peer review process that does not substantially increase time or cost to a project. Case studies highlighting near misses that were avoided (and some that were not, but could have been avoided) through effective use of the peer review process will be provided and a case will be made for inclusion of a formal third-party review program into every firm’s QAQC process.
In order to enhance business and professional practice in our field, this presentation will highlight practical tips for implementing the peer review process into firms’ formal QAQC programs in an effort to improve risk management and the delivery of quality products by our field. Continually striving to improve the quality of our work products and therefore the quality of the built environment, while mitigating project-related risks, is perhaps the most powerful tool that we as structural engineers have to enhance business and improve the profession’s standing in our communities.