CAD Manager's Newsletter (#284)

13 Jun, 2012 By: Robert Green

:: When Your Problem User Is Management

Change your CAD management priorities to accommodate financial goals — and use hard facts to make your case.

In the last installment of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I shared a CAD Manager's Toolbox tip about dealing with problem users that also happen to be your boss. I've had a lot of reader responses on this issue – most agreeing with my assessment, and quite a few asking more questions about their specific problems.

In this installment, I thought it would be worthwhile to expand the discussion and share some ideas for dealing with management personnel who make your job tougher than it should be. So if you've ever had your standards undermined or your authority undercut by your management team, these strategies are for you. Here goes.

It's All About Perspective

Before we talk about anything else, we need to acknowledge that senior management staffs simply don't have the same priorities that we technologists do. We tend to think about CAD tools, IT tools, and how to get users up to speed on these tools so that work can get done. This is in stark contrast to senior management staffs, which tend to focus on financials and sales.

In fact, I'll go ahead and state that management staffs are focused almost exclusively on the following goals:

  • Completing projects as soon as possible;
  • Minimizing project costs;
  • Making customers or clients happy; and
  • Ensuring that all projects are profitable.

Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Convincing the "It'll Never Work" User

Learn how to cope with those users who are always pessimistic about new ideas

Continuing in my series on problem users, we now arrive at the "it'll never work" user. You know the type, right? No matter what you advocate in terms of CAD management, Negative Ned or Nellie will regale you with reasons why your idea is wrong. This argumentative user is always convinced that your latest training or standards initiative will fail, and is outspoken about his or her fatalistic attitude.

Classic knee-jerk objections include:

  • Our department doesn't do it that way
  • My old company didn't do it that way
  • The program I used to use didn't do it that way.

Read more »

Do you have a question or tip for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at; if I use it in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

:: Resources

Autodesk Introduces SketchBook Ink App for iPad
For a limited time, Autodesk is offering the new SketchBook Ink for iPad drawing app for an introductory price of $1.99. The app launches with seven preset ink styles and two types of erasers. Users can import images from the photo library on iPad for references or backgrounds.

New CIMdata Whitepaper Explores SolidWorks' Manufacturing Support
PLM (product lifecycle management) consulting and research firm CIMdata has released a new whitepaper about providing early support for manufacturing through enhanced product design capabilities. "Executing Effectively from Design to Manufacturing," available for free download, describes how SolidWorks has expanded its CAD software to better support design-for-manufacturing concepts.

:: Events

BIM Components Live Online
June 19, 2012
9 a.m. PT
GRAPHISOFT will host an online seminar about the solutions ArchiCAD 16 provides to ease the creation, sharing, and finding of custom BIM components. Read more »

Getting Up to Speed on the AutoCAD 2013 Design Suite
June 20, 2012
11 a.m. PT
In this webinar, presented by Novedge, Autodesk's Lynn Allen will demonstrate the latest features of AutoCAD 2013 Design Suite and will show attendees how to improve their productivity. Read more »

RTC 2012 North America
June 28–30, 2012
Stone Mountain, Georgia
The second annual Revit Technology Conference (RTC) North America will feature hands-on lab sessions, networking events, and an exhibition displaying products, content, and services from a range of vendors. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

:: What's New at

All-in-One CAD Tip #6:
AutoCAD's Alias Editor, Sketchbook Designer, and Office Etiquette

Three great CAD tips in one! AutoCAD's Alias Editor puts your favorite commands at your fingertips; tap into your creative site with Autodesk Sketchbook Designer; and make your CAD office refrigerator a place that welcomes everyone's lunch. Sponsored by the HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation. Watch the video »

Processors for CAD Hardware: Find the Balance Between Multiple Cores and Increased Single-Thread Performance
Several years ago processor vendors began backing away from a sole focus on cranking up clock frequencies and otherwise striving to squeeze every last possible bit of performance from single-thread processing. Read the CADspeed blog post »

From the Trenches: Connect Project Teams with AutoCAD and ProjectWise
Does your dispersed team rely on AutoCAD and Bentley ProjectWise? This tutorial explains how to integrate the two. Read more »

CAD at Your Fingertips
Handheld devices and a rapidly expanding selection of apps are usurping laptops for access to data from virtually any location. Take CAD into the field for better coordination, collaboration, and presentations. Read more »

No More Cloudy Days
Slice through the hype and determine how cloud technology can work for you. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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