I’ve been sharing my building industry experience through my technical writing going back to 1976, when my first feature article title, “Energy Conservation Through Value Engineering,” was published. Since 1992, I have had the opportunity to contribute monthly columns to Engineered Systems as well as write feature case study articles for the magazine. This year, I’m very proud to announce my latest book, “A Practitioner’s Guide To Management in the Building Industry,” can be purchased on www.amazon.com. In the book, I separate my management discussion into three parts: 

Part 1 - Managing Your Professional Development: written for readers interested in growing professionally in the building industry. 

Part 2 - Managing Your Projects: written for current and future project managers who are anxious to continuously improve their skills to manage jobs. 

Part 3 - Managing Your Group: written for individuals responsible for a small group of employees and/or a small company to provide the practical skills necessary to be successful advancing in their professional development.

The book also includes 15 standardized templates I continue to use today. With each topic (e.g., project manager job description), I offer up my knowledge of the topic and end it with my own professional experience on each topic avoiding the negative phrase “do as I say and not as I do.” Here, I share with the reader what I have found worked for me throughout my years in the building industry. It is important to note this book is based on my professional experience beginning as an entry-level HVAC draftsperson working for a consulting engineering firm. From there I moved on to mechanical contracting, construction management, and then operating my own company. 

Through each of these three segments, I take pride in providing the same advice I have conveyed through my work in consulting, commissioning, troubleshooting, construction, and operation and maintenance management. 

Managing one’s professional development is a journey that only ends when the individual wants it to end. Not everyone strives to reach the top rung on the ladder of success. Whatever peak he or she chooses to plateau at, I encourage them to still do the best they can and take pride in their work. 

Through managing one’s projects, I have observed there is a good-better-best approach. I’ve learned from several mentors who taught me time management, documentation, communication, and follow-up. All four are discussed in my book. I’ve managed groups (small and large) and small companies. 

I’ve also generated business plans designed to initiate new profit centers and offered boutique technical business opportunities that many other companies overlook, which often results in missed project opportunities. 

Next month, I will be back to my more traditional “Tomorrow’s Environment” discussions touching on Resilience and Safety, a very important agenda that Engineered Systems magazine now features in a new monthly column written by Scott Campbell, vice president of structures and codes at the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.