Prioritize Your CAD Crises

14 Mar, 2012 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Which workplace crises are giving you the most grief? Here's an easy way to focus your problem-solving efforts.

If you're like most CAD managers, you run from one crisis to the next, just trying to keep up. Unfortunately, when you operate like this, you never take stock of the problems you have, and you're unable to prioritize the fixes you need to make.

As simple as it sounds, keeping a commented problem list will go a long way toward keeping you on task and gaining management's support to fix things. Here's what I do:

Record the problem:
Carry a notepad at all times! Jot down every problem anyone mentions. (Example: "Plotting pen weights are wrong for the XYZ project.") Also note proposed fixes, if any.

Determine frequency:
Periodically compile your notes into a spreadsheet and keep track of how many times you encountered each problem. (Example: "Improper pen weights on project plots: 7 occurrences.")

Track the cause:
When you figure out why you have the problems you do, record that in your spreadsheet as well. (Example: "Improper pen weights on project plots: 7 occurrences. Due to users not using correct startup template files.")

Sort and report: Each month, sort the list and print it out to show your management team. Not only will you know where you're spending your time, but so will they!

Draw conclusions:
As you create a problem list you'll start to understand that some problems are oversights and some are bugs, but the great majority are typically due to user error or lack of standardization.

Armed with concrete information about how much time you're spending to solve what are usually preventable problems, you can now go to management and explain why being a CAD manager is so challenging, and why you need their help to get users standardized. I think you'll find a receptive audience once management understands how much time and money are being spent dealing with these problems. Try it!

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About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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