How to Throw a Fit and Prosper from It14 Aug, 2013 By: Robert Green
Do CAD management frustrations make you feel like kicking and screaming? Redirect that rage into a well-planned presentation that will benefit you and your company.
If you're anything like me, there are days when you're ready to scream in frustration over your CAD management job. The reasons are many: technical problems, standards conflicts, careless users, etc. Chances are, however, you've bitten your tongue and endured the pain in silence.
What if I gave you permission to express that frustration, and told you it could actually benefit your career? Indeed, you should pitch a fit — a controlled fit, that is — to get your management's attention. This is potentially dangerous territory, however, so be sure to follow these steps carefully.
- Calm yourself. I'm not advocating a temper tantrum — that'll just get you fired. You must never stoop to ranting, raging, or throwing things. The goal is not to behave like a cranky toddler, but to protest in a controlled manner that'll get everyone to see the problems you face.
- Do your homework. Write up a detailed list of the CAD-related bottlenecks, process problems, communication failures, and other sticking points that are detrimental to your company. Leave out any frustrations that are solely personal annoyances. Focus on problems that cause delays, force rework, and waste money!
- Engage your power users. Chances are, your power users see the same mistakes you do, and regularly help you clean up the problems. Get them on board with your plan so they'll support you.
- Meet with management. It's finally time to lay out your case to your management team. Explain how CAD management problems cost the company time, money, and accuracy, causing embarrassing delays. Feel free to explain how much these issues frustrate you, but remember to be factual, not emotional. You want management to come away from the meeting saying, "Gee, why don't we help our CAD manager make some improvements around here?" You definitely don't want them to think, "Our CAD manager seems unstable!"
- Seize the moment. Once management sees that the problems you experience are costing them money, they'll want to empower you to fix the problems. As soon as you get the authority to start fixing things, start doing so immediately — do not delay!
- Remain focused on productivity. When users complain about having to follow standards, for example, remind them how standards reduce errors and save time. Always make the conversation about saving time, saving money, and getting projects done faster, not about how much their negligence annoys you.
When you "throw a fit" in this way, you can show your management team how focused you are on productivity and fixing problems — two great traits in any employee. You will become the go-to authority for productivity improvement and, thus, become a key member of your company's management team. Try it!
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