I am an engineering consultant/contractor with 30 plus years of experience including material handling, automotive, military/civilian aerospace, and agriculture. My these associates and my family have shown me great patients, encouragement and support. Managers to technicians all have shown me great amount of support and mentor-ship. ECM is more about letting people work in the best possible environment.
I've worked under some truly great:
Phil Schneider, JEPSAN Group Inc, hired me out of college in 1984 and demonstrated what a capable team leader can pull off. Specially with a diverse work force and seamingly conflicting requirements. I've never worked on a more complex system and at the same time had better results then under his lead. He talks a lot about "herding cats", but he set a common goal for all of us and made it a team. We have huge differences politically and religiously, but even today I count him as a great manager, leader, mentor and valued friend.
I come from a line of engineers who specialized as tool makers. I've come to believe people with the right tools can make most anything and everything possible.
In high school, put together a kit computer, then designed my own additional memory interface. I received a BSEE in 1984, (computer digital design) from Michigan Technological University.
A key motivating factor for me has been the support from my co-workers. The phrase "if anyone can" has encouraged me to follow through on the ECM project. Over the years there has been several highly motivational phrases like "Not possible!" Another favorite is when managers have threatened to put me on a job, just as a motivation to others. This is a huge boost,,,, or slam to me, but it seems to be effective since it has been used more than once and I do have a reputation for pressing forward.
I've delivered considerable test capabilities through end products for many companies. You will not find a more engineering process passionate person that can demonstrate nearly as productive paradigm.
Delivering what people need to do their job is absolutely critical at all levels. I've seen more gurus lost to management to prevent bad decisions. I like to see this trend reversed so that everyone is recognized for the value they contribute. I fully agree with CMMI in most respects except for two: First, fully use the individuals, including gurus, not just for fire fighting, but all aspects. Second, recognize that many metrics used do not actually correlate with costs and schedule.
Dependencies on third party companies that has "Planned Obsolescence" as a strategy can be fatal for product lines. As a supplier of test equipment for long term products, all dependencies must be scrutinized. The Free Software Foundation's (FSF) GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection is the benchmark of long term planned support. The GNU/Linux follows by maintaining standards with backward compatibility policies. Specifically Debian GNU/Linux has been a rock for me in the last 8 years always maintaining a free, safe, and redistributable releases. Finally the FSF GPL Licensing allows a safe, stable, haven to provide services.
I owe a personal debt to the freedom for about 20 years of my life. Placing ECM under the FSF GPL Licensing is my hope to support the free business model and standardize on how capabilities are communicated. A second and far more important reason to follow GPL is to establish a standard policy.
Typically individuals are more productive then committees. But, committees not individuals can or should approve final acceptance or criteria on important issues. There is a balancing act here, which often leans to far in one way or the other. Seeking the final approval of qualified people is proportional to the importance of the issue. Although I am known to run pretty free, I always seek basic approval of those effected by the work I do. Hence creating a dynamic committee based on needs.
Lowering expectations is becoming a bad trend. Consider the use and promotion of third party kernels for embedded applications. The 1980s saw a 3 user system supporting some complex navigation integrations and sub millisecond response requirements on a single 1 MHz 64K byte computer. Today, if asked, many software engineers could produce a real-time kernel scheduler within a few hours. The "Not Invented Here" is a real syndrome with a double edge. Having an in house stable solution can keep the all important personal ownership of a product. Apathy is the greatest threat to all organizations.
I can tell a lot about a person from their favorite and important issues, so here are mine: Man's impact on the planet has been a long issue on my mind. Bob Seger in his album "Face the Promise" asks "there has to be a plan." I fully believe the engineering profession is the key element for a suggesting different and workable long term plans.