CAD Manager's Newsletter (#480)

17 Nov, 2021 By: Robert Green

Strategies for Success — Project Kickoffs

Start every new project with this important meeting to make sure all parties understand the project's goals, who's in charge, and other important details. 


It’s no secret that CAD management has gotten more difficult in recent years, right? A confluence of technical trends, portable devices, local/cloud environments, and an explosion of software apps and tools have really shaken up how CAD gets done. The reality is that there’s simply a lot more to worry about to keep CAD projects coordinated and on track these days.

Many CAD managers have gotten so wrapped up in the complexity of it all that they’ve forgotten the secret weapon that can tip the managerial balance back in their 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 even tough new challenges in your environment. Here goes.

It seems like everybody is so busy running around trying to execute projects that fewer among us take the time to get projects started correctly — a mistake that will lead to expensive problems down the road. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do we have time to do things twice but not right the first time?”

Well, the project kickoff meeting is how you “do things right the first time” and I submit that the need for project kickoff coordination is far greater than it ever has been. When CAD tools were stable and the work environment didn’t change much, project kickoff was just a matter of sharing project standards. No longer. Now we have to think about much, much more, including:

  • Remote office IT coordination,
  • Travelling workers with mobile devices,
  • Cloud-based IT issues,
  • File format issues, and more.

Simply put: there are a lot more variables involved with executing a CAD project than there were just a few years ago, so starting out organized is more crucial than ever. Or, put another way, the price we’ll pay for being disorganized on a given project is now much higher than it was just a few years ago.


Project Kickoff Defined

Whether the project kickoff meeting is conducted by an architectural or engineering project manager (with you attending as the CAD representative) or whether you run your own kickoff meeting, the goal is still the same — to understand how the project will work from a CAD point of view. Whenever I attend or lead a kickoff meeting, I always ask the following questions and strive to have them answered by the end of the meeting:

  • What will the CAD deliverables be?
  • What are the approved project tools?
  • What is the timeline?
  • Who’s on the team?
  • Who’s in charge?
  • How does CAD management fit into the above?

My reasoning for insisting on a kickoff meeting is not just to get the above parameters defined, but also to get everybody thinking about the project before work starts. My logic always has been that it's better to start a project in an organized manner and move forward than it is to start with anarchy and try to organize it later.


Find out what should be covered at your kickoff meeting, who should attend, and, even better, what leverage you will have once this meeting occurs!   Read More >>


Tools & Resources

Collaboration across Multiple Systems

HP announced a new Z by HP, Teradici, and NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise subscription that powers remote collaboration across multiple systems and applications, at the edge or in the cloud. HP is also releasing its data science software stack for Linux workflows in collaboration with Microsoft on the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2)3, providing Ubuntu with the enterprise security and manageability of Windows. It's designed to keep workplaces connected and protected, workforces engaged, and workflows simplified. The combination of ZCentral Software and Teradici CAS, provides a comprehensive remote compute solution in a single offer. Users will have the flexibility to access the software suite they need to tackle graphics or compute-intensive projects from anywhere.

The combined one-year subscription will include Teradici CAS and HP ZCentral software for $240 US per concurrent user and includes Teradici CAS, HP ZCentral Remote Boost Sender and Receiver, HP ZCentral Connect and support. HP ZCentral Connect software is included in the subscription for a limited time. The subscription is planned to be available for purchase by the end of 2021, additional details to follow closer to availability. HP is also working with NVIDIA to combine the power of Z workstations with Teradici CAS and NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise to offer a platform that enables remote co-creation, real-time simultaneous collaboration, and true-to-reality simulation for design teams. 

 Watch for new information >>

Virtual Collaboration Space

Gravity Sketch, a spatial 3D design platform launched its virtual collaboration space, LandingPad Collab, which will be available for free for designers around the world. LandingPad Collab, enables designers and their teams to collaborate at scale in 3D right from the start of the creative process, from anywhere in the world. Designers can invite decision makers into a virtual collaboration room to present directly in 3D and receive feedback in real-time, rapidly speeding up workflows and the time products get to market. The technology is already used by Adidas, Ford, and Volkswagen.  Read more >>


What's New From Our Sponsors

Sponsored: The Equipped Mold Designer:
What Mold Design Technology Do I Need?

A focus on which mold design software within the Siemens’ design family is best suited for the way you want to work. By Cynthia Kustush  Read more >>



Did you know companies using IMAGINiT Clarity on their Revit projects save an average 200+ hours per project in addition to substantial qualitative benefits? Get to know Clarity in the IMAGINiT Resource Center!

1. Perkins and Will improves innovation and project performance. Read the full story.

2. Stantec realizes efficiency gains. Read the full story.

3. RLF improves visibility and project quality. Read the full story.



Get the ultimate software experience using the AMD Radeon™ PRO W6000 graphics series, offering high-performing hardware raytracing, lightning-fast framebuffers, optimizations for up to 6x Ultra-HD displays, and superior multitasking capabilities. All wrapped around AMD RDNA™ 2, the established graphics foundation for leading, visually rich games consoles. 




Bricsys, part of Hexagon, is a global technology company from Belgium that creates the BricsCAD® brand of CAD products. Start your free 30-day trial to discover why BricsCAD is the superior .dwg alternative for your 2D and 3D workflows.



See how OpenSite works on real-world projects.

Watch this video as our product expert takes a project from start to finish in 15 minutes with OpenSite. 


What's New at Cadalyst

CAD Programming: Using Macros and VBA

Macros and VBA give users an easy way to dip their toes into programming.
By Andrew G. Roe 

Herrera on Hardware:
NVIDIA Ampere and AMD RDNA2: Cutting-edge GPUs for CAD

How do these GPUs stack up for traditional 3D CAD use, plus let’s see how they perform under rendering pressure. By Alex Herrera Read more >>

Civil Engineering:
Software Drives Water System Improvements

Civil engineers deploy new visual and spatial tools for water distribution.
By Andrew G Roe 

CAD Cartoon

— By Roger Penwill,                                                                  Keep on laughing!


Free Resources

White Paper

Implementing Generative Design for AEC

Cadalyst and Z by HP joined forces to write this white paper on generative design for AEC. Find out how you can get your design firm bought into this technology, what hardware you require, and how to secure funding for any upgrades you may need. 



Cadalyst's Fab Freebies for
CAD Users 2021

"Why buy it if you can get it for free!"

The editors of Cadalyst, with help from our contributing editors and readers who are in the CAD trenches day in and day out, have updated everyone's favorite guide to helpful tools and resources that don't cost a cent. The latest edition of the “Fabulous Freebies for CAD Users” guide has something for everyone, including unit converters, file and text utilities, PDF converters, BIM tools, CAD management tools, and more!  


About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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!