CAD Manager's Newsletter (#385)

13 Jun, 2017 By: Robert Green

Educate Your Boss about CAD Management

Your senior management team can't give you the support you need unless they understand what you do. Here's how to make it clear — in their language.

I recently asked my Facebook group, CAD Managers Unite! what the most difficult part of being a CAD manager is. I then waited a few days while group members posted their problems and vented their emotions. As has been the case for many, many years, the number one source of frustration cited was senior management's lack of understanding. There were also several sub-issues mentioned which stem from the primary problem; more on those shortly.

Un-geek how you speak

What I've observed during my career is that senior management won't understand CAD management unless I teach them about it. In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll share some insights and strategies I've used during my career to cajole, educate, and energize senior management staffs into understanding more about CAD management. Here goes.

Why They Don't Get It

Q. Why doesn't senior management understand what you do?
A. Because you're doing such a good job that they don't have to!

There's an old saying that goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." We could reword this for our senior managers by saying, "If they don't need to understand it, they won't spend the time to understand it." Simply put, our bosses don't understand what we do because they trust us to do the job and — unless we fail — everything works well, so they concentrate on other concerns.

Once we accept that senior management's understanding of our job will be nearly nil unless we act, we can start the gradual process of convincing them that they should care about what we do, and educating them about how it all works.

Why We Must Educate

Several of the sub-complaints I received about lack of senior management understanding revolve around the standards process — specifically, lack of enforcement. Statements such as, "Management lets our engineers violate the standards" or "Management doesn't get that standards are no good without enforcement" are the most common.

Q. Are the two statements above standards problems?
A. No, they are senior management problems!

In the examples I cited, the standards already exist, but are being undermined by senior management's casual attitude toward them. In my experience, it all comes down to the fact that senior management simply doesn't understand the value of standards, which begs this question:

Q. Who is going to educate senior management on the value of enforcing standards?
A. The CAD manager and nobody else!

The task now becomes helping your bosses see that standards are in their best interest and that they really should help you enforce them — which brings us neatly to our next topic. Read more »

Tools and Resources

Onshape Launches Learning Center
A new Onshape Learning Center, which is free for all annual Onshape subscribers, offers self-paced training courses consisting of videos, practice exercises, and self-check quizzes. The training is organized into Learning Pathways and includes lessons on both CAD and data management.

SOLIDWORKS Provides Free Symbol Library for Electric Schematic Drawings
SOLIDWORKS is offering a complete library of IEC- and ANSI-standard DWG symbols to site visitors who register. These industry-standard symbols for users of any DWG-compatible software allow for quick schematic creation by electrical design professionals.

What's New at

Help JPR See the Big Picture on Multi-Monitor Use
Jon Peddie Research, the firm behind the biannual Worldwide CAD Market Report, is conducting a new study about the use of multiple monitors. As technology has advanced, so has the ease and prevalence of multi-monitor use. Why do you use multiple monitors — or not? Please take a moment to complete the monitor usage survey. JPR would value your input! Take the survey.

AutoCAD Video Tips: Create Speedy AutoCAD Paper Space Viewports — the Right Way
You've finished your model, and now you're ready to print. You just need to set up your paper space layouts with your title block, and viewports to scale. Join Lynn Allen as she shows you the speedy (and correct) route to create viewports, along with a tip or two for those of you who are old pros! Watch the video »

GTC 2017, Part 2: Revolutionary Uses of GPUs Hold Promise for CAD Users
At the GPU Technology Conference (GTC), NVIDIA demonstrates possibilities for AI-boosted ray tracing, 3D printing, and generative design — all powered by GPUs. Read more »

The Why and How of IoT-Enabled Design
Connecting products to the Internet isn't the stuff of Tomorrowland anymore, and presenters at PTC's LiveWorx 17 conference showed just how real-world it has become. Read more »

BIM Use Booming in Transportation Infrastructure Market, Says Dodge Data & Analytics
Autodesk-sponsored report finds BIM users in four countries are applying the technology on more projects, seeing a positive return on their investment, and closing the gap with BIM use in the construction market. Read more »

Integration and Security Concerns Dog Cloud-Based PLM, CIMdata Finds
Adoption of product lifecycle management (PLM) software is lagging behind other cloud-based solutions in the enterprise space, but that may change as established providers bring their offerings to market. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

Add comment

More News and Resources from Cadalyst Partners

For Mold Designers! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the mold design professional. Sponsored by Siemens NX.  Visit the Equipped Mold Designer here!

For Architects! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the building design professional. Sponsored by HP.  Visit the Equipped Architect here!