CAD Manager's Newsletter (#332)

22 Oct, 2014 By: Robert Green

Get Your Point Across to Management — Quickly

Use an elevator pitch to get your management team's attention and help your users.

CAD managers function in a complex technical environment with countless variables to consider. As a result, trying to communicate our problems to others can be vexing — especially when speaking with senior and IT managers who don't necessarily have a firm grasp on CAD technology. But, no matter the complexity, if you can't communicate your issues succinctly, you'll be tuned out and — even worse — you'll continue to suffer the same problems.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll pass along some communication strategies that have served me well. I'll also give examples of how to start conversations on a variety of frequently encountered CAD management issues. Here goes.

Elevator Speech Logic

Have you heard of an "elevator speech"? The central tenet of this concept is to condense a complex problem into a core message and express it in standard language so anybody can understand it. It's called an elevator speech because you should be able to convey the concept during a typical elevator ride — in other words, it's brief.

As you read through my conversation starters, note how I've strived to use elevator speech logic to make complex technical issues comprehensible to managers who are usually more comfortable with financial concepts.

The Standards Problem

No matter which software applications you manage or what types of projects you handle, you must have standards to maintain consistency and sanity. Yet, we all experience users and project managers who deviate from standards — or simply ignore them. So, how can you get management on your side? Start a proactive conversation with senior management. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox

Tighten Up Your Elevator Pitch

Being able to condense a complex set of issues into a clear, concise explanation is a skill that all CAD managers should develop. Because we spend so much time talking to people who don't really understand the technical aspects of what we do, the burden is on us to communicate in a way that those people can understand. And, condensing everything into a compact "elevator speech" allows you to start conversations that can lead to more thorough understanding.

Is this communication style a gift? No — it is a skill that any CAD manager can develop. In his book, "The New Elevator Pitch," author Chris Westfall provides cogent strategies and exercises for crafting condensed streams of communication for any type of business professional. Read more »

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

:: Resources

Free Report Compares Adoption of BIM in U.S. and U.K.
A recent study reveals that 88% of building owners in the United Kingdom are measuring the impact of building information modeling (BIM), compared with just 18% of their counterparts in the United States. "The Business Value of BIM for Owners" study was published by McGraw Hill Construction in partnership with Autodesk and Skanska, and is available for free download.

AMD Creates Online Resources for Its Graphics Hardware
Computing technology provider AMD has a created a new website to outline the features of AMD FirePro professional graphics for mobile workstations. The site offers information about certified applications, key technologies including AMD Enduro, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore Power, along with specifications for each graphics offering. In addition, a new FirePro resource center offers datasheets, whitepapers, user guides, and downloadable brochures.

:: Events

Overview of Scan to BIM 2015.1
October 29, 2014
10 a.m. ET
IMAGINiT Technologies will present this webinar with a focus on the updated Scan to BIM 2015.1 software. Read more »

BIMcloud Live Online Seminar
October 30, 2014
9 a.m. PT
This live webinar will present the workflow integration of GRAPHISOFT's BIMcloud solution with mobile devices. Read more »

One-Click 3D Model Creation with the Multidrive
October 30, 2014
11 a.m. PT
Presenters will show webinar viewers how to automate the scanning of 3D objects using the NextEngine Multidrive device. Read more »

SPAR International 3D Measurement and Imaging Conference
March 30–April 2, 2015
Houston, Texas
This conference brings together professionals from diverse markets to learn about the latest advances and technologies in 3D data capture, processing, and delivery. Read more »

RAPID Conference and Exposition
May 18–21, 2015
Long Beach, California
SME will sponsor this 25th annual additive manufacturing conference where all major manufacturers and leading technologies will be represented. Read more »

Zuken Innovation World 2015
June 1–3, 2015
San Diego, California
This annual conference brings together customers, partners, industry professionals, and Zuken technology experts. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

:: What's New at

Tech Trends: Not Just Fun and Games
AEC professionals are adopting technologies from the video game domain. Read more »

Tech Trends: Bespoke Medical Devices Suit Patients Perfectly
CAD software, 3D scanning technologies, and 3D printing are transforming the world of medical devices and implants. Read more »

Gain Screen Real Estate in AutoCAD
Is your Command line taking up too much screen real estate? In this video tip from Cadalyst and Lynn Allen, you'll learn how floating the Command line can give you more room for your drawing, and how tweaking the various settings can help you set up the perfect environment. Watch the video »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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