By nature, design engineers really aren't a selfish breed. It's perhaps a quality induced by working in a team environment, or borne out of the professional need to be curious about factors outside of themselves such as technology. It's not all about me; the engineer.
It would however be safe to note that designer engineers exhibit traits that could be labeled as self-focused, or in the extreme, single-minded. This goes with the territory of being involved in a skilled, specialist discipline such as creative engineering, where applied motivation is mandatory.
But cracks in this positive character profile are likely to appear when an engineer is derailed by factors outside of the specialized, focused area. Indeed, the best way to make an engineer grumpy is to throw in a few obstacles that will disrupt that focus or introduce delays. And of course, what's beyond the problem of an irritated engineer is the flow on disorder in the overall creative design process.
Design by distraction
In electronics design it doesn't take too much analysis to zero in on a few of those defocusing disruptions. And the common theme is where as an engineer, you're drawn outside the immediate design sphere by the need to access services and information, data from other engineers, or to comply with external management systems.
Consider for start, the straightforward task of selecting a suitable component for your current project; let's say the low-latency DSP needed for the design's image processing pipeline. The primary concern is with the electrical and physical properties of the part (clock rates, number of multipliers, cache size, and so on) so it's a matter of trawling through volumes of data books and supplier lists to pin down the right one.
The proliferation of online data has helped this task, but a large number of factors beyond the device parameters must also be considered, including volume price, availability and down the track, delivery packaging (reel, tape, etc). At whatever depth you consider when selecting that DSP for your design, the salient point remains that you're pulled away from the focus on innovative design to flip through data books or scan multiple web pages and documents.
With the DSP device selected, procurement and purchasing have a workable BOM and design can proceed to prototype. Being stonewalled by procurement is still a possibility though as the design moves on perhaps you didn't notice the DSP's unsuitable price breakpoints or recently added end-of-life notice.