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Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase
9

Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

(OP)
Looking for a little advice and guidance on how to handle a particular situation.

I am currently a piping designer for a small engineering firm that is looking to expand. About a year or so ago, the CEO approached me about trying to develop company quality standards for the piping and drafting/design departments. The company has always been more of a mom and pop organization and standards and procedures were never really developed along the way. But the boss is really interested in trying to expand the company and wants to try to become ISO 9001 certified. We have a lot of work to do before that can be a possibility.

So I agreed, and developed and implemented a few standards for our departments to follow. So far everyone seems to be very pleased with the standards, although we have a few that are a little more hesitant to adapt to them because they’ve been so used to doing it their own way for 10-20 years.

Now, I am being approached about doing more. The CEO believes our project management and coordination are still lacking, and our PMs are not doing their part for the success of our projects. His belief is that this is partly because they don’t have quality procedures/standards/templates to follow. He wants me to be in charge of developing these. Some of the items he has specifically mentioned include project execution plans, project schedules, cost estimating tools, scope of work templates, document control procedures, etc.. I am up for the challenge, but am concerned about a few things.

First, if I agree then I am essentially taking on part of the responsibilities of the PM, like scheduling, PEPs, etc.. I would also be responsible for managing the workload and project coordination for the drafting/design and piping teams.

Second, I am still expected to complete my role as a piping designer, although my production levels would probably be greatly reduced and a lot of that workload would fall on my colleagues.

Third, I’m being asked to develop, implement, and monitor all the company quality standards/procedures.

Now, all of this is a lot of responsibility and with it, a lot of added stress. Obviously, I want our company to grow and be successful, and I do agree that all of these things are needed in order to ensure that that happens, but not without being fairly compensated for it. So far, I have not had any discussions regarding compensation for this amount of workload and responsibility. My goals have always been to end up in a managerial role, such as that of a quality manager or operations manager, but I would expect to be compensated fairly for it. This is where my issue lies.

I am looking for some thoughts and opinions on how to handle the situation. I have an idea myself of what to do, but I’m always up for second opinions. This is still pretty new territory for me. Ideally, if I agree to take on the role, I would like to be given the added title of Quality Manager and a 20% rate increase. My basis behind the rate increase is that it puts me at a fair and comparable level to others in the company who have more levels of responsibility and who take on dual roles. I’m also aware of some base level guys with far less responsibility than myself, who are at about a 10% higher rate than I am currently.

In your opinion, what is the best way to handle this situation in a professional sense, and negotiate the terms I would like met for the added level of responsibility?

Thanks to all who took the time to make it through that long of a post and respond.




"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it."

-Henry Ford

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

2
Paraphrasing how I would approach this:
-> Glad you like the procedures I've done so far
-> Glad they are taking the business in the direction you want
-> Eager and willing to continue contributing to this
-> In order to do so we need to have a 'Quality Manager' or 'Quality Department' who owns this
-> I'd like the be the Quality Manager because ...
-> I think you will benefit having me as the Quality Manager because ...
-> In recognition of the increase in responsibility I would like ...
-> Yes or No?

Don't sell yourself short, but do consider the 'value' of having "Quality Manager who developed procedures necessary for ISO 9001 accreditation" on your CV and what this may open up in the future. Maybe settling for less will pay out long term? I can't speak to the exact economics of your situation.

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

I think RandomTaskkk hit the nail on the head on all points with the reply above.

I was in a pretty similar situation before and waiting for the company to recognize it is paying you far less than you are worth and "correcting" that is going to be a long, long wait.

Speak up; present your case in a way that displays the value you offer, the evidence of your abilities, and why and how much of a compensation increase is warranted.

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

(OP)
Thanks guys. Sounds pretty much along the lines of what I was thinking. Glad to know I'm not way off in my approach.

"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it."

-Henry Ford

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

DGrayPPD
Congratulations. It would appear that your company is on the brink of transforming from an entrepneurial to a corporate style of management. However it looks like you have been selected to implement that leap, are you really ready for that?
This unfortunately is a step that companies have to make as they grow. As companies get bigger they become more impersonal and the CEO just cannot keep up with day to day decisions. The result is that without rule and procedures like the ones you are trying to implement, in place, decision making, gets slowed down or is just plain wrong. The people who started with this entrepneur will dislike these new rules because they will see this as crimping their freedoms. but as the place gets larger and more impersonal they may not be able to be reached for decision making, this need to be explained.
There are as many books and articles on this subject as there are printers, some are on target, others are speculative, and some are plain bullshit.
Here is one, it may not be what you want but you can search for others : https://www.managementstudyguide.com/common-threat...
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

(OP)
berkshire,

Thanks. I will give this a read.

And yes, I believe I am up for the challenge if I am given the role. But my strategy will be to attempt to keep it as simple as possible and not overly complicate things. Most people here are pretty laid back and go with the flow, but I do think the more we try to restrict their freedoms, the lower morale will sink and productivity may suffer. There will be some give and take between what others are used to doing and the new methods for accomplishing the tasks. And plus, the more difficult something is made, the less likely others are to follow it. It will also take time, and I will try to focus on only incorporating a little at a time, instead of all at once. In the beginning, it will be all about establishing a good base document. You have to have a good foundation before you can build upon it. As others adapt and the consistency/efficiency increases, then I may add a little more. This could end up being a multi-year process in itself.

In the end, hopefully everything will work out and we can take that next step as an organization. I'm sure I'll have to throw in a few contingency plans here and there, but hopefully with enough planning they won't be needed very often. It would be quite the accomplishment if I can pull it off, and a very proud bullet point on the CV.

"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it."

-Henry Ford

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

I would highly recommend taking some time to reflect on your experience and the motivations of your management before signing up to write standards or process for other departments, and certainly do so before asking to become their supervisor. The situation presented honestly sounds like many small companies struggling to grow - rather than hiring experienced talent they place current employees in positions which are less than ideal to be polite. Unfortunately this usually has the adverse affect of costing the company money which when discovered, points toward incompetence and often leads to demotions or layoffs. Many engineers fall into the trap of "this is easy," not recognizing how deep PM, quality, and other fields really are. JMO, but unless you've held a role at a large company don't try to dictate process or standards for that role at a small one. OTOH, if you've BTDT then surely asking for a position you're qualified for should be easy.

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

(OP)
CWB1,

That is probably the biggest concern that I have. Most everything I have been involved with writing and implementing has been piping related (which is my area), but trying to create and implement standards for other departments would be difficult, since I don't have any experience in them besides what occurs during project coordination. It would definitely be a long process and something that would probably have to be continuously reviewed and updated to improve.

"The only limits in life are those which we impose upon ourselves."

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

4
having been involved with writing engineering standards, specifications and guidelines for several agencies (cities and country), getting buy-in from the "subject matter experts / department heads" is essential for a successful project. Without discipline leader buy-in, your standards will probably not be followed. I would recommended that you approach this from a team standpoint from the outset in order to allow free flow of ideas and also to allow others to also have some ownership of standards other than piping.

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

DGrayPPD,
cvg is right on the money with his post. From bitter experience, I can tell you that, if, the department heads, do not, buy in, your project is doomed to failure even before it gets off the ground. This may be the time to call in an outside expert, however even this can be a booby trap because not all experts are as expert as they are cracked up to be. What you are doing is an extremely important step for a company to grow and prosper. Unfortunately many have companies have died because they could not navigate this crucial hurdle.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

Just to re-iterate, don't write the processes yourself single handedly.

View you role more as 'collating' the right input from the right people.

As 'Quality Manager' your responsible for managing how quality is assured and controlled. That doesn't have to entail writing the process, and definitely shouldn't if you are not familiar with the subject area. Make it clear what you view your role will be, and the support you will need from others for that role to be productive.

Make sure everyone understands it is in their own best interest to get involved early and support the process.

When dealing with change management it's important emphasis what can be lost by not changing, not just what can be gained. This 'opposite' motivation works better for some people who are resistant to change.

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

The best thing to you should do is to recognise the higher authority to know about the real value of each an every employees. They are giving work without thing about the condition of employees ,what are they feeling about it . Some of the above given replays really good .

RE: Guidance for Job Role/Responsibility Increase

This is exciting for you! It's been a few months, I'm curious what has happened?

I agree with many of the comments above:
  • Don't write everything yourself
  • Speak honestly and present your case
  • Identify the other stakeholders (CEO, PMs, other engineers, others) - partner with them on developing the standards. Don't simply impose.
  • Make sure this is where you want your career to go
  • Have fun with it - take a positive attitude and step up to the challenge!
  • Get a mentor - another leader or someone who has been through a process like this. This will be critical as you go through all of this.
Change management is tricky business - there are highs and lows for everyone as you go through the process. Keep the end in mind and work hard to bring people along with you. Buy-in will work much better than force fed changes.

Good Luck!

Jeff
morethan-engineering.com

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