I have a strong foundation and interest in quality leadership and am constantly striving to improve. At Facture I have been given the chance to take charge of small teams to be the project lead on complicated multipart electro-mechanical assemblies. I have been responsible for coordinating my team through the design and assembly of our pre-production prototype on a very compressed timeline. I also have an intense belief that excellent teams (matched with quality leaders) are the driving factor towards group’s success, and things like resources and money only help to enhance that synergy. One important step of leadership (and also project management) is, after a major milestone or project is finished, to take stock of what worked for your teammates and what didn’t. Being able to adapt and respond to your team’s requests and working styles allows teams to operate at peak efficiency while allows people to feel heard and like their input carries weight. I just finished doing this process after a recent project and learned that I needed to adapt how I motivated specific people to keep they engaged during the full extent of the project.
I have now managed several of our smaller projects for Facture, on the order of tens of thousands of dollars, and have learned some hard lessons quickly. Making sure people keep rigorous documentation is key as it is rare for you to retain the same team from the beginning to the end of a project. Also regularly checking in with your team to make smaller course corrections earlier is much easier (and far less costly) than having to make larger course corrections late in a project. Finally making sure that you keep the feedback loop small between where you are actually at vs where your schedule says you should be allows you to adjust expectations early and often to prevent anger and frustration for everybody down the line.
Verbal and written communication are the bread and butter of any organization and I know it well. Between written design reviews, technical drawings, and team meetings I am always working to improve how I express my ideas to others. In addition to general communication I have had the added benefit of having to convey technical concepts to my non-technical clients during my time doing freelance consulting work. As a result I have honed the skill of breaking down technical jargon to get to the details and focus on communicating what really matters.