CAD Manager's Newsletter (#323)10 Jun, 2014 By: Robert Green
Establish ground rules and responsibilities before a project begins to minimize managerial challenges along the way.
In the past three editions of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I've focused on how technical trends such as portable computing devices and cloud software services have changed how CAD managers and users do our jobs. In fact, the degree of change I've observed in the last few years is staggering.
What amazes me, though, is how many CAD managers have become so wrapped up in new technology challenges that they've forgotten about an old-fashioned secret weapon that can tip the managerial balance back in our favor: the project kickoff meeting. In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll focus on how you can use this classic technique in new ways to help manage tough new challenges in your environment. Here goes.
Too Busy to Be Organized?
It seems as if everyone is so busy running around trying to execute projects that few of us take the time to get those projects started correctly — a mistake that can cost us as projects get rolling. There's an old axiom that asks, "Why do we have time to do things twice, but not right the first time?" Perhaps you've even asked yourself this question!
The project kickoff meeting helps you do things right the first time, and I submit that the need for project kickoff coordination today is far greater than it ever has been.
It used to be that our CAD tools were a given and the main challenge of any project was getting everyone to agree on project standards. Now we have to think about much more, such as:
- remote offices,
- traveling and mobile workers,
- cloud-based IT issues,
- file format issues for viewers, and more.
Project Kickoff Questionnaire
As a companion piece to the article, "Project Kickoff Meeting: Your Secret Weapon for Success" (above), use this sample questionnaire to get project input from your extended CAD team. As mentioned in the article, it is the goal of the project kickoff meeting to answer all pertinent questions about the CAD practices for a project so that work can proceed smoothly. My goal with this questionnaire is to find out things from my CAD team that I haven't thought of.
Here then is a sample list of questions you can use to start the conversation:
- Are there any problems with our CAD tools we need to solve before this project begins?
- Are there any issues with how we do projects (such as workflow) that we should address before starting a new project?
- Are there any IT issues (permissions, cloud applications, etc.) that are causing problems for you?
- Have you heard anything about the new project that concerns you?
- Is there any training or coordination we need to undertake before the new project starts?
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ESRI International User Conference 2014
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