The Mighty User Suggestion Box

9 Mar, 2011 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: How can you improve things for your users? Start by asking them!

Want to make things better for your CAD users, but don't really know what to tackle first? Ever have trouble identifying the productivity-zapping little problems that vex your users? Welcome to CAD management!

To find good answers to your questions, you need to ask your users for advice — but they may not always share their thoughts, for fear of offending someone or having their suggestions rejected. How do you solve this problem? With a simple suggestion box. Here's how you do it:

Purchase. Buy a lockable ballot or suggestion box and place it in your break room, along with a supply of index cards for users to write ideas on. (Note: An inexpensive box as shown at right can be obtained at this link.)

Protect. Keep it confidential; allow users to submit suggestions anonymously if they'd prefer. Sometimes people will tell you things that way when they wouldn't otherwise.

Publicize. Let all your users know about the suggestion box, and encourage everyone to participate.

Reward. Each month, give out a prize — such as a $50 gift card — for the best suggestion. If the suggestion was submitted anonymously, the prize could be a pizza lunch for the CAD users. You get the idea.

Publish. Every three months or so, list the cool suggestions you've followed up on so that everyone sees that you're paying attention — and that their suggestions make a difference.

Don't just wonder what you should be doing to make things better for your users — ask them! And have a little fun with the process by using the suggestion box approach.

Do you have a helpful tip or item for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!


About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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Re: The Mighty User Suggestion Box
by: WayneS
March 9, 2011 - 4:04pm
I use a Word document saved in our network share. All my CAD users can then add to it, or collaborate on existing items. When I’ve completed something, I can add that information, too. It’s a transparent system that lets everyone participate. When, things get slow my users will actually come to me and ask if they can work on specific items of interest to them on the list. Win-Win.
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