Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Project Update and Engineering Win

Most engineers know that there are 7 stages to a project. I summarize them here:

Phase 1: Uncritical Acceptance
Phase 2: Wild enthusiasm
Phase 3: Dejected disillusionment
Phase 4: Total confusion
Phase 5: Search for the guilty
Phase 6: Punishment of the innocent
Phase 7: Promotion of nonparticipants

We are currently in Phase 3 and rapidly heading into Phase 4. Management has come aground upon the shoals of reality and are realizing that cost and schedule estimates developed with fairy dust by magic unicorns do not stand up to reality when you have start putting the iron together. They are grasping at straws and asking us to investigate kneejerk cost saving scenarios, thereby taking us away from the task at hand and further delaying the project.

On the positive side, I did have an engineering win recently.

My niece asked for my help with her senior physics project, which was building a bridge of specific dimensions and weight out of balsa wood. We penned out a simple truss design and built it. The short story is that not only did she get a "100" for her project, it was the most efficient of the class carrying a load of about 30 lbs while weighing in at just under 15 ounces.

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