Get More Information from Your CAD Users

14 Nov, 2012 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: There are some things that we adults can learn from a three-year-old — and one of those is the power of asking, "Why?"

Ever been around a three-year-old child who doesn’t understand how something works? If so, you know that he or she will ask you "Why?" over and over and over again. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Child: Why is the sky blue?
Adult: Because atmosphere refracts sunlight to look blue.
Child: Why?
Adult: Because that’s how Rayleigh scattering works.
Child: Why?
Adult: Because sunlight contains lot of colors, including blue. When it shines through the air, those colors get scattered around, and the blue is what reaches your eyes.
Child: Ohhh.

Three-year-olds keep asking "Why?" until they understand, at some level, why the sky is blue, or why ice is cold, or why dogs walk on four legs. They're not satisfied by pat answers, and they certainly don’t accept a bunch of techno-babble. They simply keep asking until they get to the bottom of things.

It may seem annoying to the person on the other end of the conversation, but this approach can be useful with adults, as well. You can use the power of "Why?" to better understand your CAD management problems.

Here's an example:

CAD manager: Why won’t users follow standards?
CAD user: Because we don’t find them usable.
CAD manager:
Why is that?
CAD user: They are too hard to read and too cumbersome to use.
CAD manager: Why are they cumbersome to use?
CAD user:
Because we have to go through too many steps to set them up.
CAD manager: Aha!


Voila! You now understand that not following standards is probably something you can customize and/or program to get around user objections. But you never would have known if you didn’t keep asking, "Why?"

Am I saying CAD management is a pursuit for three-year-olds? Of course not. But if you apply the dogged persistence of a three-year-old, you might be surprised by how much you learn about your CAD operating environment.

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About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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Re: Get More Information from Your CAD Users
by: Misteracad
November 16, 2012 - 4:34pm
L-O-V-E this one Robert! I've always been one of those that asked WHY until I fully understood. Plus being the devil's advocate sometimes forces others to rethink their approach and validate the process. This short article can be used to help people in so many ways. Kudos!
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