Going With Their Flow: A Qualitative Case Study of Practicing Engineers

From the desk of Kathy Doyle

Carole Schmidt and her client, Lesleigh Campanale from The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), have published a case study in the December issue of Quirk’s Magazine.

IEEE is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.   IEEE does a great job at meeting the needs of engineers working in academia, but to grow the organization’s value they recognized the need to do a better job of meeting the needs of practicing engineers in a corporate setting.   So they set out to learn about these engineers:  How do they work?  what are the processes they use to get things done? where are their pain points? What are those innate behaviors that people just do without really thinking about them when they are working?

In order to get to this level of specificity, it was decided that qualitative research should be conducted over time through the use of a digital app that allowed for mobile journaling.   Over several days, engineers were encouraged to record “what I am doing right now, and how I am doing it” with prompts for details as needed.  The results led to the identification of four emergent engineering work styles that led to the development of a target persona for corporate engineers.  The insights from this study are used everyday at IEEE to bring key learnings to various departments, and to assist in product development.

To read the entire article, click here