Author Archives: Mike Shipulski

Improving Engineering with WHY, WHAT, HOW

When asked how to improve manufacturing, the recipe is clear: lean. When asked how to improve engineering, the recipe: there isn’t one. Each engineering improvement effort is unique; though there are common themes and building blocks, each has its own fingerprint. Each company has its own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; each company has unique products and markets; each its ...

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How to Help Engineers Innovate

Creating new products that provide a useful function is hard, and insuring they function day-in and day-out is harder. Plain and simple, engineering is hard. Planes must fly, cars must steer, and Velcro must stick. But, at every turn, there are risks, reasons why a new design won’t work, and it’s the engineer’s job to make the design insensitive to ...

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Go Green by Designing Out Brown

We’re starting to come to terms with the green revolution; we’re staring to realize that green is good for our planet and even better for our business. But how do we put greenwashing behind us and truly make a difference? To improve recycling, find the non-recyclable stuff in your product and design it out. Make a Pareto chart of non-recyclable ...

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The Abundance Mindset

We’re too busy. All of us. Too busy. And we better get used to it: too busy is the rule. But how to make too busy feel good? How to make yourself feel good? How to make the work better? Pretend there is abundance; plenty for all; assume an abundance mindset. There’s a subtle but powerful shift with the abundance ...

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Secret Sauce that Doubles Profits

Last month a group of engineers met secretly to reinvent the US economy one company at a time. Here are some of the players, maybe you’ve heard of them: Alcoa, BAE, Boeing, Bose, Covidien, EMC, GE Medical, GE Transportation, Grundfos, ITT, Medrad, Medtronic, Microsoft, Motorola, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon, Samsung, Schneider Electric, Siemens, United Technologies, Westinghouse, Whirlpool. Presenter after presenter ...

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Do Magical Work

We are responsible for our actions, for what we do, for our work, and others are responsible for their response to it. (That’s why they call it responsibility.) Though we know we can’t control others, we still snare ourselves in worry trap: What will they think? Will they like it? What will they say? Worse than the worry trap, however, ...

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The Human Side of Technology

Technology has strong character traits; it has wants and desires; it plans for the future. It’s alive. Technology continually tries to reinvent itself. And like rust, it never sleeps – it continually thinks, schemes, and plans how to do more with less (or less with far less). That’s Technology’s life dream, its prime directive – more with less. All day, ...

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Learning Through Disagreement

It’s a little-known fact that you can disagree and still be a team player. (Really, it’s true.) It’s okay to disagree, but it should be done effectively. (Disagreement is not argument.) And disagreement can be a great source for learning. I learn most deeply from smart people I disagree with. As a self-declared smart person, I hold my thinking in ...

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Making "I Don't Know" Safe

Doing new is difficult and scary. For safety, we create complexity and hide behind it; we swim for the weeds; we dive for the details. (At least we’ll come across as knowledgeable about something when we bury our heads in details.) All of this so we can look smart and feel safe. But with new stuff, looking smart and feeling ...

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