Follow these for professional success.

Level One:: If we follow the established path, we can do well simply.  If we strive to do the normal flawlessly, you can be great. If you insist on doing things your way, you might be an entrepreneur and you might become great.

Working for others implies your authority to take risks is minimal. I see many young engineers ask why why why instead of how how how. Many of them try to reinvent project delivery and redefine deliverables. This is ineffective, risky and likely to get you in trouble.

I liken the daily project life to combat. Once in a battle, you depend on everyone to do their part, remove obstacles, achieve objectives, and be where they say they will be when they are supposed to be there. You cannot afford to divert resources to new objectives, to take different paths, to be ahead of the supply train. You will be cut off and severely punished.

The work punishment is less severe but can ruin your career,

Learn the procedures. Know the scope and schedule. Report progress and setbacks frequently. Stay on plan and keep up with what the plan is.



Smarter, Faster, Better! Now with Zen!

From the LeadProcesssEngineer.Com Book of Knowledge

Update 8/21/12: I have demonstrated a 25% reduction in P&ID development on a major project. The secret is …………………..!  You will need to hold a seminar to get this secret. It’s worth too much.  One hint. Less = more.

This is one of my oldest posts. I maintain it because it is the essence of Process Engineering done right and best represents what this web site is intended for.  I apply these concepts daily and they work. Process Engineering needs to be a quick, sharp attack to define the process and choose the winning options from viable alternatives.

Applied correctly, process engineering leads to faster FEL completion, and a better defined scope that results in lower cost projects by 20% to 30%. Shorter schedules also result, with production on stream earlier. Need more info?  Email or Call me.


There is a better way to do Project Front End Process Engineering. Done right, Process Engineering saves clients money, accelerates project schedule and minimizes project problems.

Ask yourself:

1- Can I actually schedule creativity when developing a process?
Yes you can! If you answered no, I can show you how to break Process Development down into manageable, executable activities, all of which can be scheduled. If you answered yes, you’re on your way. I can show you how to tighten things up to maximize your impact as a Lead.

2- If I take a long time to do the front end work, how will it save time later?
If a few engineers can’t figure out the job during Front End Loading, how will a hundred people in the field do a better, cheaper job?

3- Being a Lead is hard work. I’m checking calculations, PFDs, P&IDs and managing people problems all day and night. Then the Project Manager wants me at meetings all day. Help!
You’re right, it is hard because you didn’t plan BEFORE the job started and you haven’t figured out your proper role as a Lead Process Engineer and what other team members need to focus on. I teach both of these and more.

4- I have trouble managing mountains of project information and document revisions. The confusion has caused problems with clients.
Information is one of the hardest things to manage. I have some simple methods to help you track information and documents. If you only rely on your document control people, or your corporate data system, you won’t succeed. They are in place to help archive, not to help you execute.

5- I am not a Lead Process Engineer but I want to be one. Can you help?
Following my methods will quickly show your manager that you have good lead abilities. I can help you become noticed.

6- I am not a Lead and do not want to be one. I want to be a successful Process development engineer and a technical specialist. Can you help me to become successful?
I can. Learning how a project progresses and learning why a Lead does what they do makes it easier for you to do the right thing at the right time. You won’t develop the schedule or manage it, but you will understand its importance and help you to help your management. You will be wanted on projects because you get things done.

7- I have trouble writing and expressing myself in front of people. Can you help me?
I had to learn these too. Yes, I can help you.

8- How can I keep my technical skills up o date? When you manage your time better, you create opportunities to learn through self study or professional courses.

Copyright 2010 John Lagace LeadProcessEngineer.Com. All rightsTo the name LeadProcessEngineer.Com, Blog content and the look and purpose of this site are protected.

LPE Basic Skills

From the LeadProcessEngineer.Com Book of Knowledge: LPE Basic Skills


The role of Lead Process Engineer begins the day you are given responsibility for process project execution.  It might be a one week study, or part of a utility system.  You are being tested and trained for better things, at higher pay with more responsibility.

At the other end of the experience continuum is the Lead Process Engineer for a $7 Billion Refinery/Petrochemical Complex with multiple joint venture partners.  You could have hundreds of people reporting to you.

The basic skills are the same in both cases.  Learning the proper skill set at a simple level will make it easier for you to expand into bigger projects with more parts and people.

The basic skills are:

1) Planning:

Developing process scope and determining the deliverables, schedule, and process hours required.

2) Execution:

Forming your team,delegating work, following work development, dealing with work flow issues, quality control, interfacing with project management, clients and other discipline leads. Knowing your procedures for completing activities such as P&ID development.

3) Communication Skills:

You must be able to talk to people easily and get your point across.  You must be able to diffuse confrontational exchanges to stay on track and keep people working effectively. You must be able to speak in front of groups to present information. You must be able to write succinctly and forcefully.  You must be able to listen, take notes and restate what others tell you to confirm understanding on your part.

4) People Skills:

Ability to influence superiors, clients and team members to your way of thinking and knowing when to be influenced by others.

5) Tracking and Reporting:

Ability to determine and show progress against expectations, develop recovery plans and provide useable data to the process team, management team, client and fellow team members.

6) Technical Skills:

You need to be technically competent to follow the work your team does. You need not be the technical expert as your time is needed in managing the project while others handle the technical content.

The better you are at each of these, the further you will advance.  I list them in my order of priority. There is much more to each of these that I can provide you with.

You must determine your weaknesses and work on them.  You must determine your strengths and leverage them effectively.

John Lagace PE

Copyright 2011, by John Lagace, LeadProcessEngineer.Com reserves all rights to this material.

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