Use Peer Pressure to Enforce Standards

11 Jul, 2012 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: A simple peer review process can help your users develop pride in the quality of their work.

Do you ever have troubles getting your users to follow CAD standards? OK, you can stop laughing; this is, of course, a universal scourge that all CAD managers know well. The question is, what can we do about it?

I recently witnessed an interesting approach that relies on peer review of standards compliance. The process worked like this:

During certain project milestones (such as design reviews, customer submittals, etc.), drawings (this was an AutoCAD-based project) were swapped between users, who would evaluate them for standards conformity. Nobody knew which of their peers would be assessing their drawing; nor did they know whose drawing they would be grading.

Users were instructed to examine the drawings thoroughly and note any sort of layer, font, dimensional, stylistic, or other deviations from standard practice. Summary notes were to be placed on the drawing itself and returned to the CAD manager, who then sent the results back to the offending users. The CAD manager would ensure that fixes were made and deal with repeat offenders.

An interesting attitude developed when people knew their drawings would be checked by one of their peers. Users didn’t want to be found lacking by their fellows, and a sort of pride of ownership took hold.

I’ve been surprised by how effective this program has been, and how much the users themselves support it. I’m going to start using this process with more of my clients, and I hope that you find it useful as well.

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About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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Re: Use Peer Pressure to Enforce Standards
by: Misteracad
August 2, 2012 - 4:38pm
Wow Robert, I'd almost forgotten about this approach. In the early days of my career, a company I worked for had a QA/QC process that followed something similar to what you described, and it really worked! Not just to enforce Standards, but to all-but-eliminate mistakes and oversights. Even earlier in my career, a group of us CAD guys used to stand around and critique each others work whenever a drawing was completed. The idea was to see who could have the least amount of criticisms and the process became a competition between us all!
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