On Oct. 5th and 6th, more than 30 of Henderson’s technical leaders gathered for their annual summit. The goal of the summit is to bring the technical leaders together to generate high-level priorities for their group and quality as a whole for the coming year.

During the two-day gathering, the leaders reviewed 2017 accomplishments, their current team structure, and signing and sealing responsibilities. They also spent time talking about current challenges facing the company and brainstormed ideas that their teams could help implement.

Quality work has been a focus for Henderson Engineers since the firm started. Henderson’s technical leader program was created in 2015 to build on that heritage. The intent was to identify engineers across all disciplines in the company who wanted to focus on helping us deliver quality work on a daily basis. Collectively, this team spends more than 50,000 hours a year on drawing reviews and mentoring. They have also established an ongoing training curriculum and create/maintain our engineering resources.

“To be successful, our team needs to set collective priorities around what we want to accomplish,” Senior Vice President and Director of Engineering Dustin Schafer said. “We each have specific team responsibilities throughout the company. This summit gave us time to meet collectively, share issues, and focus on how we can be more effective in our individual roles. Accountability is a big deal on our team, and that starts with having a solid plan that everyone understands and is a part of.”

Dustin also touched on the technical successes of this group over the past year and areas they’ll be emphasizing going forward.

“I believe we’ve done a good job creating an infrastructure to support our designers,” he explained. “The Designer Interface (an internal resource for design standards), new hire training, and structured mentoring plans that we put in place last year are working really well. With the support of the whole company, we have definitely raised the standard for quality at Henderson.

“This was the year that we started to reap the benefits of the investment we’ve made in our quality control process,” said Dustin. “Our overhead costs have come down a lot this year, even while our impact on projects continues to increase. In 2018, we are going to continue the programs that have proven to be successful, and look to expand our focus on project management training and support.”

President and CEO Rich Smith echoed Dustin’s sentiments.

“I’m proud of the technical advances we’ve made and continue to make throughout the firm and our continued focus on quality,” Rich said. “The effort and impact of the technical leader program is a huge part of what it means for us to be the firm that is changing the industry.”

Focus areas for our technical leaders include training, mentoring, conceptual design assistance, drawing reviews, and process improvement development.

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