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Don Winiecki will be presenting “The Problem of Many Hands (POMH)”

Don Winiecki

Don Winiecki will be presenting “The Problem of Many Hands (POMH)”.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Noon – 1:00 pm

RUCH 103

Commonly, engineering involves collaborative behavior between members of work teams, and cooperative behavior between work teams and between teams from different contractors.

Collaborative behavior requires shared knowledge of the project and process, including informal knowledge that is acquired ad hoc in the project. Cooperative behavior is often mediated by contractual requirements and other official or semi-official instruments. Informal and ad hoc knowledge acquired in an engineering project is often not, or not adequately, communicated through contractual, official, or semi-official instruments.

This introduces a risk in engineering projects where cooperative rather than collaborative behavior is the norm. In such instances we frequently observe a phenomenon known as the ‘problem of many hands’ POMH in which informal and ad hoc – but important – knowledge is not shared between teams and different contractors. POMH can threaten the success of projects and can lead to loss of control over the intended engineering outcomes of a project and resulting violation of standards of ethics in engineering. POMH can also lead to loss of public trust in an engineering company and large scale litigation that threatens the viability of an engineering company.

This seminar will help attendees identify, describe and analyze factors contributing to POMH, and identify and describe ways to avoid and/or recover from instances where POMH occurs.

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