Individual Leadership Project – Jonathan Sugerman
ILP Project Client:
Honeywell Safety Products, a global manufacturer of leading personal protective equipment
ILP Project Title:
Individual Leadership Project (ILP) on the creation of a global product development process
Secure a final, customer-validated design concept for a new product that would serve as the baseline for similar future product development activities
Jonathan Sugerman, MSEM ’12, Product Development Engineer, Honeywell Safety Products:
“This is an important project for our organization. We are developing an entirely new product for a series of high-profile customers in a market we believe is critical for our long-term growth. When it was time for me to identify my Individual Leadership Project (ILP), Honeywell was in the first phase of this new product development effort. The second phase of the work presented a number of engineering, leadership, and project management opportunities that would make for an ideal ILP.
I was named research and development team leader, with responsibility for providing technical direction to the team and for completing a number of development tasks of my own. My project goal was to complete all of the deliverables for phase two of the product development program and secure executive leadership approval to move into phase three. Over a six-month period, our global cross-functional project team successfully transformed the qualitative needs of our customers into a real product concept with quantitative design targets. The concept took the form of computer renderings and physical prototypes that I later presented to a select group of customers for validation. The project yielded documentation and a schedule framework that we expect to incorporate for future development programs. Completing phase two was an important step toward the launch of a platform product expected to add value to Honeywell through strong revenue and product portfolio growth.
The crux of my ILP was about team building. As the lead engineer, I was responsible for coordinating the efforts of other engineers in the United States and abroad. I established a strong base for collaborating, developing ideas, providing feedback, and challenging one another in constructive ways. Because of my MSEM program, I understood the importance of establishing roles and responsibilities, evaluating personalities, overcoming mental models, and encouraging productive conflict. As a result of my ILP, I’m a more confident engineer and leader. I feel more prepared to take on future challenges, and my managers are confident in me and my abilities. The ILP gave me an opportunity to solicit very direct and focused feedback from my managers that I might not have otherwise received.”
Rick Josloff, Jonathan’s ILP sponsor, Director, Engineering Research and Development, Honeywell Safety Products:
“Jonathan’s ILP was related to a new platform product with high customer visibility. His good work will enable us to leverage the technology and concepts for other customers, as well.
Jonathan was able to identify several areas that we can use for process improvements in general. He did an excellent job keeping our team informed of progress, especially with the intense customer focus and interest in the design.
We value his ability to look at the broader picture and identify improvement areas for general new product introduction processes. We are implementing his findings from his ILP.”