In College, we learned a lot of technical expertise to be an excellent mechanical engineer. With this technical knowledge and set of technical skill, we should be able to design, develop, manufacture the product and test it. However, that is not enough to boost our career in the industry. We need to learn and practise some soft skills. More you learn and practice, probability of success increase.
When we were hired by a company as an entry level mechanical engineer, we need to learn soft skill named spider web theory. This soft skill explains about strategic steps to grow up our connections. We need to assess all related team or people that influence our work achievement. Then we need to make smooth and fruitful interaction with this people.
Let say, I was hired as a junior maintenance engineer in a petrochemical company. My role and responsibility are to maintain static equipment in a ammonia plant. My supervisor is a Maintenance manager in Maintenance team consist of 4 sub-team as mentioned below
- mechanical (maintenance) engineering, 4 employees
- electrical and instrumentation engineering, 4 employees
- mechanical technician, 20 employees
- electrical and instrumentation technician, 12 employees.
In this team, my customer is the Maintenance manager. I need to make him satisfied with my work achievements. My peers are 3 mechanical engineers.
By using spiderweb theory, we need to define stakeholder that influence our work. Below are my assessment results:
- All mechanical engineers. This group is the most significant stakeholder. I need to make a very excellent relationship in this group. These engineers will support my daily problems. When I was in trouble, I expected these engineers helped me.
- mechanical technicians. This group is my 2nd priority. Mostly these people will follow up my technical recommendations. I need to have a good relationship with them so they can understand and follow my technical instruction. They will give feedback to me if I make improper recommendation.
- Operation supervisors. These poeple is Maintenance team’s customer. Basically, my work supports these gentlemen to operate the plant safely. I need to make these people satisfy with my contribution, then they will give positive feedback to my boss.