CAD Manager's Newsletter (#413)12 Sep, 2018 By: Robert Green
Avoid Four Common CAD Management Mistakes
You've heard plenty of advice about what to do in your role as CAD manager — now, it's time to learn what not to do.
I'm often asked, "What are the responsibilities of a CAD manager?" or "What should I do to be the most effective CAD manager possible?" Of course, these questions have many answers, and I feel that we've thoroughly covered them over the years in the CAD Manager's Newsletter. But I've come to believe that any job can be made much easier by first not making it harder. If that sounds like a riddle, consider that by avoiding the common mistakes that make CAD managers' jobs miserable, you'll save time and allow yourself to work on higher-value tasks that will truly make your job easier (and your users more productive).
In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll share some of the most common mistakes I see CAD managers make, along with suggestions for how to avoid each one. Hopefully you'll find this "What not to do" list as useful in your day-to-day work as I have over the years. Here goes.
Don't Enable Laziness
CAD managers have the knack for making software do almost anything, and users know it. But just because you can make the software do amazing things, that doesn't necessarily mean you should. Consider the following types of requests:
- "Can you create a routine to re-path all our xrefs for us?"
- "Can you fix our civil files on a project to have a different coordination point?"
- "Can you help us figure out how to capture PDF files from our building information modeling (BIM) projects?"
Of course, you could answer "Yes" to all these requests, then start working another 60-hour week to make it all happen, as you have in the past. But perhaps the better answer to these questions would be, "Seems like you're not following our established standards and procedures — I think you should fix your own issues and learn from them, rather than expecting me to bail you out yet again."
The point of this discussion is to focus attention on why problems like these persist. You may find that by always waving your magic wand to fix issues like this, you've inadvertently created a culture of standards violations — after all, why should users bother to do things the right way when somebody else can always fix things later?
Here's how to handle the above questions in a better way:
- "Let's go over our procedures for getting xrefs set up properly again."
- "Let's review our procedures for getting all projects coordinated up front."
- "Let's have a quick show-and-tell session demonstrating how we capture and collate PDF file sets."
You may still have to help fix these problems in a pinch, but at least you're putting everyone on notice that making the same mistakes over and over isn't acceptable, and training people in the right way to do things as you go along. Read more »
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In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!