CAD Manager's Newsletter (#399)14 Feb, 2018 By: Robert Green
Start thinking about common CAD management problems from the project manager's point of view, and you'll be on your way to building a win–win relationship — and more authority to execute your own priorities.
In the previous edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I talked about the difficult — and unfortunately common — situation of being a CAD manager with no authority. Among the coping strategies I suggested was working with project managers to find common ground on issues such as technical support, training, and CAD standards.
This time around, I'll unpack the idea of working with project managers (PMs) to a much greater degree, give you more techniques for gaining authority as a CAD manager, and lay out a some essential action items. My goal is to help you become more productive, via collaboration with PMs. Here goes.
PMs: Who Are They?
PMs exist solely to stay on top of project details and ensure that projects are completed accurately, profitably, and on schedule. Whether it's an engineer overseeing the construction of a building, a shop floor captain overseeing the creation of a custom retrofit for a vehicle, or an on-site surveyor completing a job for a homeowner, all PMs have the same mantra: Do it right, do it fast, make the customer happy.
Using this broad interpretation of a PM should help you realize that almost any company you work in has PMs, even if that isn't their formal title. So who are the PMs in your company, and how can you interact with them more frequently and effectively?
Action items: Make a list of who the PMs are in your organization, and prioritize those who seem to have power/influence over CAD issues. Resolve to work more closely with these individuals.
Understand Their Unique Power
Since PMs must make so many daily decisions to keep projects on track, it is imperative that they have decision-making authority. If they couldn't make key decisions on a timely basis, projects would fall behind, and mistakes would be made. Senior management staffs understand these realities, and therefore give PMs a wide range of authorities to "get the job done."
So if you've ever wondered where the real authority is on any project, it resides with the PM. And since only those who already have power can grant it to you, it only makes sense that a close relationship with the PM is in your best interest.
Action items: Think about which PMs are most interested in the disciplines relevant to you. Who is the building information modeling (BIM) advocate? Who is the most interested in production drawings? Who understands CAD in construction? Next, create a plan that states which CAD management issues you'll strive to collaborate on with each PM you've listed.
Build Authority by Solving Their Problems
Of course, PMs encounter all sorts of problems, but few things upset them as much as having to rework a job due to CAD/BIM hang-ups. Every time CAD/BIM mistakes are made, the PM must allocate more labor hours to the project. And since every hour spent fixing a problem translates to money that could have been saved, PMs see CAD/BIM problems as reducing project profitability.
If you can shine a spotlight on where the CAD/BIM problems exist and demonstrate how much time is being spent on fixing these problems, you'll have a strong reason to talk to the PM. Read more »
Live with Robert Green: Demystifying GPUs for CAD Workstations
In this live, 30-minute web presentation by Cadalyst, CAD management expert Robert Green will shed light on the often confusing and misunderstood role of professional graphics processing units (sometimes called GPUs or graphics cards) in CAD workstations. We'll examine which types of GPUs are appropriate for various software applications, workflows, monitor resolutions, and mobile workstations. Along the way we'll define key terms related to frequency, memory, frame rates, and software protocols so you can read GPU specifications with confidence. We'll also answer the questions, "What are integrated graphics?" and "When are they appropriate for CAD?" and explore the differences between GPUs for CAD applications versus those for gaming/virtual reality. If you've ever been mystified by GPU terminology or wondered what to specify for your users, this webinar is for you.
A live, 30-minute Q&A will follow the presentation. Bring your questions about CAD workstations or any other CAD management concern for a personalized response from Robert Green! Register now for this live, 30-minute web presentation, which will be held March 21, 2018 1:30 PM EDT.
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