CAD Manager's Newsletter (#403)

11 Apr, 2018 By: Robert Green

Spring into Standards, Part 2: Building Consensus

Making a plan for CAD standards isn't enough — you'll also need to bring everyone on board if the standards are to be successful.

Spring Into StandardsIn the first installment of my Spring into Standards series, we talked about starting the process of revamping your CAD standards in the modern age. Hopefully you were able to answer the diagnostic questions provided, and start formulating a plan for your new standards environment. (If not, then you may want to do so now to have proper context for this installment.)

In this installment, we'll focus on the next aspect of CAD standards — and arguably the most important — which is building consensus among users, IT personnel, and management teams alike. After all, users must live with the standards, the IT department has to help administer the standards, and management must empower you to enforce the standards in the first place. Here goes.

Who's Affected — and Why?

Let's briefly review the diagnostic questions we outlined in the last installment, and the various standards-related issues that they highlight:

  1. Which software products are affected?
  2. What file formats will you need to deliver?
  3. How will you standardize the software itself?
  4. What best practices should be included?
  5. Where will all your information be stored?
  6. Who will have access to everything, and from which devices?
  7. How will you communicate/train it all?

Next, let's categorize the people involved with formulating standards for each issue into four logical groups:

  • Users
  • Project managers
  • IT personnel
  • Senior management

Once you understand which groups are impacted by each issue, you can lay out a plan for persuading the people in each group by using their native language and addressing their hot-button issues.

Divide and Customize

Each group will have its own concerns, and will therefore perceive the standards problem differently. In fact, the CAD manager may be the only person in the entire organization who sees CAD standards as a single problem, albeit a complex, multifaceted one! By acknowledging that each group expects different things from standards, you can go into each discussion in the right frame of mind. Read more »

Tools and Resources

RAPID Offers Free Sheet Metal Design Guide
RAPID, a Protolabs company, is offering a guide to design for manufacturability best practices on hems, countersinks, holes and slots, bends, and more. According to the company, the guide will continuously be updated from engineering feedback.

EMA Design Automation Provides Library of Electronic Components
EMA Design Automation, a provider of electronic design automation (EDA) solutions, has made access to its library of more than 14 million components free. Users can download components from the Ultra Librarian collection of verified symbols, footprints, and 3D STEP models.

What's New at

AutoCAD Video Tips: AutoCAD Dialog Box Tips You Need to Know
AutoCAD 2017 added a few nice enhancements to dialog boxes with lists (like the Page Setup Manager) — but do you know about them? Join AutoCAD tipster Lynn Allen as she clues you in on these handy features so you can take advantage of them too! Watch the video »

At GTC 2018, NVIDIA Trumpets Arrival of Real-Time Ray Tracing
What NVIDIA calls "the biggest advance in computer graphics in 15 years" may lead to collaborating, creating, and reviewing designs in immersive virtual reality. Read more »

Lenovo Launches Its Smallest and Lightest Workstation Yet, Plus a Highly Expandable Midrange Desktop
Rounding out the company's latest professional hardware lineup, the two models are helping The Hydrous project foster understanding of the world's oceans and the fragile coral that live within. Read more »

How Will AutoCAD 2019 and Autodesk's New Licensing Approach Affect CAD Managers?
Although the "One AutoCAD" release may not feature big changes to the application itself, it does include major changes to what's included with AutoCAD, and how the software is licensed. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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