Take Time to Think Big13 Feb, 2013 By: Robert Green
CAD Manager's Toolbox: Developing techniques that can dramatically improve productivity often starts with a look at the big picture.
Every day CAD managers are burdened with problems that demand immediate attention: Why isn't the plotter working? Where are those old files? How do I upload the latest models to our client's cloud server?
And, to a lesser extent, CAD managers try to think about short-term goals for making things run better: How could we optimize how we generate PDF project documents? How can I better convey standards to my users? What should I teach my users about the new features of our design software?
But between performing these two types of tasks and normal design activities, most CAD managers never find the time to dream about what might be. That is, they never really "think big" about new techniques that could radically change how the company works. Do you ever consider how new tools could revamp your design processes and provide better value to your customers? If you don't, why not?
Even though my stints of thinking big rarely come to fruition exactly as I envisioned them, I have come up with a lot of workable ideas that I've eventually been able to put into action. Concepts such as tying business systems to CAD processes, using CAD symbol libraries to graphically convey inventories, using CAD files to prepare thorough cost estimates and quote documentation, and using homegrown video to train my users were all things I thought about years ago, and have come to pass — with persistence and effort on my part.
The moral of the story? If you never think big, you'll never make the big leaps in productivity that you could!
So the next time you're sitting on a train, flying somewhere, or daydreaming during the commercials while watching the Big Bang Theory, why not dare to think big? You never know what you'll come up with.
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