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									                            Professional Practice Skills
                           PPS 2: Goals and Assessment
                        (Adapted from MPS-3, Don Woods 1998)

Pre-class assignment
   1. Read sections What isIt?, New Concepts, Why Do It?, How to Do It, and
       Learning Objectives
   2. Establish your Baseline on this skill on the Goals and Assessment Feedback
   3. Be able to define the concept of goals when asked in class.

                                     What is It?
Goals are desired results. Goals should be unambiguous and stated in terms of
measurable criteria. Assessment is the comparison of the measured result to the
specified criteria.
                                    New Concepts
Goal, Assessment, Sub goals, Objectives

                                         Why Do It?
A good engineering drawing is the simplest example of an unambiguously defined goal
with clearly measurable criteria. If the vendor gives you a part that meets the print
specification, they have achieved the goal. Inspection of the part, which usually involves
measurement of dimensions and material characteristics, constitutes the assessment.
Without clear criteria, clear assessment is impossible.

Unfortunately, most goals given to the engineer are stated much more ambiguously
(“We want this part to be cheaper”), and the engineer must define the goal and clarify
the criteria.

You may also have the responsibility of evaluating employee performance
(assessment) in your role as project manager. This is a difficult task for everyone, but
much easier with clearly defined goals and measurable criteria.

                                         How to Do It
Often you will start with a goal that is a general statement of what you want. Rose-
Hulman’s goal of “Being the best undergraduate school of science, math, and
engineering” is like that. It is a noble and ambitious goal but needs specific
unambiguous, measurable sub goals (some use the term objectives).

Our objectives or sub goals should be specific and measurable. One such sub goal or
objective could be to “Be named No. 1 in the US News and World Report Survey on
Colleges”. Another could be to have the highest average entering freshmen SAT score
in the U.S. You may wish to have the highest ratio of graduating Fundamentals of
Engineering (FE) score to entering SAT score as a measure of student improvement. All
of these sub goals are clear and measurable. Note that just because a goal is clear and
measurable does not make it a good or appropriate goal.

In developing design goals, we often use quantitative goals. Suppose we are asked to
redesign an icemaker to “be cheaper”. “Cheaper” could be stated as costing no more
than $20.. “Cheaper” could be also quantified by saying “The new design should cost at
least 15% less than the old design.

PPS-2                                  Page 1 of 8                             11/15/2010
Focus on results rather than actions. If you were trying to get thinner, you may say that
you goal is to eat less and exercise more. Those actions may indeed be the means to
the end, but they are not the goal. Better statements of goal may include “Weigh 20 lbs
less” or “Reduce waist diameter by 4 inches”. Statement of goals as results opens up
alternatives in what actions lead to the goal. Perhaps you can skip the exercise and go
straight to surgery.

With technical goals, a focus on results is also preferred. The ANSI drawing standards
for a hole used to allow the statement “Drill Hole 1.00 inch diameter”. Now, the standard
says to just state the hole size without constraining the manufacturing method.

Use of specific standards such as the ANSI drawing standard can make defining
measurable objectives easier. In the Rose example, US News is a type of standard.
For the icemaker, UL certification could be a specific objective.

Finally, some people use the SMART acronym for setting goals or objectives. In that
nomenclature, a goal should be
    Specific
    Measurable
    Attainable
    Realistic
    Time Constrained

In this unit we will concentrate on the first two. The last three are particularly relevant for
addressing business or personal goals.

                                  Learning Objectives
You should be able to:
   1. Define and state and example for each of the terms listed in New Concepts
   2. Given a listed goal state if it is unambiguous and measurable.
   3. Given an ambiguous goal, you can develop sub goals with measurable criteria
      that an independent observer can use to evaluate a result (example: generate a
      drawing of an existing part such that a vendor would produce an identical part.
      Write a design specification in which all the sub goals are measurable.)
   4. Given a vaguely-stated goal, develop specific and concrete examples to show
      that the goal is met. Example: If asked if your product is reliable, you could
      respond by stating the mean time between failures, MBTF, for your product and
      compare that with your competitor’s product.
   5. Define a personal goal in observable terms, with measurable criteria; collect
      evidence; and evaluate that evidence in a way that most independent observers
      would agree with your assessment. (Example: I want to be able to juggle two
      golf balls in one hand through 15 repeated vertical throws such that there is
      never more than one ball in my hand and all 15 throws are caught. I should be
      able to accomplish this at least once in every five tries. Evidence is in the form of
      a videotape or personal exhibition.)

PPS-2                                    Page 2 of 8                               11/15/2010
Exercise 1 (3 min.): As part of a small group, consider the following goals. Determine if
       they are unambiguous and measurable.
            A child should not be able to open the pill bottle.
            To really understand calculus.
            To determine the heaviest of five bowling balls.
            To run faster.
            To eat three McDonalds Quarter pound hamburgers in three minutes.
            To run a Marathon

Exercise 2 (3 min.): As part of a small group, rewrite two of the ambiguous goals from
       Exercise 1 to make them unambiguous and measurable.

Exercise 3 (4min): As part of a small group, determine how you would set up a
       competition to determine who in the class is the fastest writer.

Exercise 4 (6 min): As part of a small group, select one of the numbered goals in the
       following example, state if it is unambiguous and measurable, and, if not, write
       down suggested modifications. Note that this is not about values. It doesn’t
       matter if you think this is a good or bad goal. Only concern yourself with
       ambiguity and measurability.

PPS-2                                  Page 3 of 8                             11/15/2010
                                  PPS-2 Assessment
                                      Assignment 1
A company for which you would like to work has asked you to submit an application.
From their literature you know that they want engineers who can a) manage a project
independently and b) work cooperatively with others.

Write a cover letter in which you present evidence from your own life that you have met
those goals. This is a case where you don’t get to define or refine the goal, but need to
develop specific evidence to show an independent observer that you have met those
goals (assessment).

Write the letter to
Ms. I.M. Sincere, Director Human Resources
Engineering Teams Inc.
51 Southside Drive
Humanville, Texas

Your first paragraph can read “I am writing to apply for a position in your Engineering
Start summer internship program. I see from you literature that you are looking for
engineers who can a) manage a project, and b) work cooperatively with others.” And
then describe how you meet those objectives. This will be evidence from your life, not
from you imaginary friend.

You will be scored in two areas, Writing and Quality of Assessment

Quality of Assessment:
   Excellent (10): Assessment is specific, quantitative and clearly relates to the criteria
                   (e.g. independent project management). Example: “In my Eagle
                   Scout project, I proposed a plan to the city parks department,
                   coordinated with the city forester, and then planted 25 new trees in a
                   park. I maintained them for one year with only two of the trees
                   needing to be replaced.”
   Mediocre:(5) Assessment is vague, and reader has to make assumptions.
                   Example: “I ran a Lawn Service in the summer.” This could mean
                   your parents made you mow the lawn. It would be improved by
                   stating that you were “responsible for mowing, trimming and edging n
                   different residential lawns for x months. I recruited customers,
                   estimated costs, performed the work, and collected the fees.
   Weak:(0)        “I am a very hard worker who can manage projects and has had lots
                   of experience with projects”. The reviewer will conclude that you have
                   CDD (clue deficit disorder) and burn your resume.
   Excellent (10): Neat, mistake free (spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.) with clear
                   topic sentences followed by supporting sentences. One paragraph
                   per topic.
   Mediocre:(5) Two mistakes. Missing topic sentence(s), two concepts per
   Weak:(0)        More than two structural mistakes. Everything shoved into one

PPS-2                                  Page 4 of 8                             11/15/2010
                                  PPS-2 Goals
                         Assignment 2 Engineering Drawing

From the sketch and description below, make a fully dimensioned and specified detail
drawing that could be sent to a job shop for fabrication.

   (10 pts) All necessary dimensions are present, with no over-dimensioning
   (4 pts) All the dimensions are measurable with commonly available inspection
   (2 pts) The material is stated clearly and unambiguously.
   (8 pts) Who, What, Where, and When are clearly indicated on the title block.
   (2 pts) Consistent with ANSI drawing standard.

PPS-2                                 Page 5 of 8                           11/15/2010
                                PPS-2 Assessment
                          Assignment 3 Engineering Drawing

Determine if a particular object meets the requirements of the engineering detail
drawing. Use the available equipment to measure the dimensions of the hardware, then
compare those dimensions with the dimensions on the print.

Given: An engineering drawing, a part that is supposed to be made to that drawing, and
      measurement equipment (calipers, micrometers, etc.)

For each dimension on the drawing, measure the corresponding feature on the part.
Compare each measurement and note any dimensions that are out of specification

You will be graded on how closely your assessment agrees with that of the instructor

   Excellent (10): All print dimensions are measured and recorded. Each measured
                   dimension that is not within spec is noted. Agreement between
                   instructor and student is within the inherent accuracy of the measuring
                   device multiplied by a factor of three. (e.g. If a micrometer is accurate
                   to 0.001 in, the agreement must be within 0.003)
   Mediocre:(5) Some dimensions not measured. Several dimensions disagree with
                   instructor’s measurement
   Weak:(0)        Many measurements missing or inaccurate.

PPS-2                                  Page 6 of 8                              11/15/2010
                            PPS-2 Goals and Assessment
                             Assignment 4: Personal Goal

Select some personal goal for your life that is reasonably attainable within one month.

Part 1 -Turn in a memo that
    States the goal
    States observable and measurable sub goals or objectives
    Describes how you will collect evidence to assess performance with respect to
        those goals.

You will be scored in two areas, Writing and Quality of Assessment

Clarity of Goals:
   Excellent (10): All sub goals or objectives were unambiguous and measurable.
   Mediocre:(5) Some sub goals or objectives were ambiguous or not measurable.
   Weak:(0)        Goals were primarily ambiguous and un measurable
   Excellent (10): Neat, mistake free (spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.) Clear memo
                   format with To, From, Date, Subject. One page or less.
   Mediocre:(5) Poor format with grammar/structure errors.
   Weak:(0)        Several mistakes and/or missing format.

Part 2 - In one month, turn in a second memo that
    States the goal, objectives, and measurable criteria.
    Describes the collected evidence.
    Assesses the performance by comparing the collected evidence to the objectives

You will be scored in two areas, Writing and Quality of Assessment

Quality of Assessment:
   Excellent (10): Evidence is specific, concrete, and clearly relates to the criteria.
   Mediocre:(5) Evidence is partly specific, but has vague aspects and/or is not
                   directly related to the criteria
   Weak:(0)        Evidence is all vague, missing, and/or unrelated to the criteria
   Excellent (10): Neat, mistake free (spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.) Clear memo
                   format with To, From, Date, Subject. One page or less.
   Mediocre:(5) Poor format with grammar/structure errors.
   Weak:(0)        Several mistakes and/or missing format.

PPS-2                                  Page 7 of 8                            11/15/2010
                           Goals and Assessment Feedback Form

Name _______________________

1. At the outset of this unit, place a “B” in each category of the chart to indicate your self
   assessment of your initial, or baseline skill level.
2. At the end of the unit place an “A” in each category of the chart to indicate your self
   assessment of your skill level after practicing the skill. Be prepared to provide documentation
   for your assessment.

 Novices (less      Beginner      Good Start      Getting        Almost         Expert     Experts (more
  successful)       (Need lots      (some         There           There                     successful)
                       more      progress, but                 (just a little
                     practice)     could do                        more
                                    better)                      practice)
                      (1-2)          (3-4)          (5-6)          (7-8)        (9-10)
Goals are stated                                                                         Goals are stated in
as actions                                                                               terms of results
Goals are not                                                                            Goals are
measurable                                                                               observable and
Goals are vague                                                                          Goals are clear and
and subject to                                                                           unambiguous

                                     (after completion of the unit)
What did I learn from this?

Which of the skills do I do pretty well? (List Evidence)

Which skills could use some work? (List Evidence)

PPS-2                                            Page 8 of 8                                  11/15/2010

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