The more things change, the more they stay the same! 500 columns into it, what does Robert Green say the constants of a CAD manager are?
October 12, 2022
The Constants in CAD Management
Celebrating Robert Green's 500th CAD Manager Column! The more things change, the more they stay the same — 500 columns into it, what are the constants of being a CAD manager?
Realizing that this is my 500th newsletter makes me feel accomplished yet old at the same time. During the time I’ve been writing The CAD Manager’s Newsletter, I’ve tried to pass along practical advice on how to do the job and hope you’ve benefited from it. A lot has changed in the CAD world over these years but, then again, many things haven’t changed at all.
So, in this edition I’ll be sharing some observations about the things that seem to be constant in the life of a CAD manager and how you can use this knowledge to maintain your sanity while getting ahead. Here goes.
Image source: z_amir/stock.adobe.com.
People haven’t changed. Some CAD users are great to work with, most are professional, yet some can be real problems and, in my experience, there’s nothing we can do to change this reality.
As CAD manager, I always strive to team up with those who are great to help me in my job, serve the vast middle of professional users, and do whatever I can to motivate or deal with the problem cases as best I can.
Production is King
Whether the tools being used are CAD, mechanical modelling, BIM, civil design, or anything else in between, what I’ve always truly managed is production. Since CAD tools facilitate production, the CAD manager is necessary.
Or, sequentially speaking, it goes like this:
Work tasks are assigned
CAD is used to produce work
CAD managers make sure CAD tools work
CAD managers interface with users to optimize CAD usage
Work tasks get completed on time
So, if you think you manage CAD, you’re partially right, but what you really manage is getting work done optimally — no matter what CAD tool is in use at the time.
IT Can Be a Barrier
CAD runs on workstations, workstations are plugged into physical or cloud networks, and networks are managed by IT. Therefore, if your relationship with IT is great, then your life as CAD manager will be good. Conversely, if you don’t get along with IT, your life will be miserable. Same as it ever was.
So, try to get involved with IT and see how you can foster the relationship. You have nothing to lose by doing so.
Resistance to Standards
I’ve always noticed that everyone agrees that standards are a great thing so long as the standards are their own standards. But when users must change their way of doing things to work to a company standard, that’s when resistance is encountered. Alas, this seems to just be part of the human condition, so the best we can do is to manage the process.
No matter what tool is in use — CAD, BIM, MCAD, Civil — and no matter what standard we’re trying to follow, there are those who simply won’t comply. Accepting this simple fact allows you to move past the frustration and deal with standards directly rather than personally.
How do you encourage standards use? What else are constants in the job? And, what makes a great CAD manager? Read more >>
Tools & Resources
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18 October 2022, 12pm EDT. In this webinar, McGraw Hill's panel of experts discuss the top 3 trends reshaping the future of infrastructure engineering. Topics will cover: how the adoption of connected and experiential technologies can enrich working strategies, optimize decision-making, and allow teams to communicate and collaborate more effectively. How climate change and sustainable design are influencing planning and development. And, how human-centered projects can help address social inequities. Register for webinar >>
Case Study: Siemens Helps Bring New Camper to Market
Siemens Digital Industries Software announced that Hymer, designer of recreational vehicles, has adopted the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of software and services to develop VisionVenture, a recreational vehicle using the comprehensive digital twin.
Hymer engineers designed the VisionVenture concept camper van by weaving a digital thread along the entire product creation process. According to the company, the Siemens Xcelerator software portfolio enabled Hymer to reduce physical prototypes by 80% with further 65% reduction in variant derivation time through creation of complete vehicle digital twin. Read more>>
AMD released new AMD Software: PRO Edition 22.Q3 which brings performance advancements to all OpenGL applications and other design, modeling, and CAD software applications. With the new version, AMD quotes improvements up to 41% greater on the AMD Radeon PRO W6800 GPU versus an NVIDIA RTX A5000 GPU using the Quadro Optimal Driver for Enterprise (ODE) 516.94. Read more >>
Product Announcement: AEC Workflows
Microdesk announced the integration of its BIMrx product line into
Symetri’s Naviate. The expanded and rebranded suite of products, designed to “improve workflows for AEC professionals, will streamline Revit project setup, model management, and documentation enabling users to move projects faster with Core, MEP, Fabrication, and Cloud Manager applications.” Naviate is compatible with Autodesk software, including Revit, BIM 360, Autodesk Construction Cloud, and Civil 3D. Read more >>
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What's New at Cadalyst
GIS Aids Planning Process for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
With the dramatic growth of electric vehicles, the need is rising for more EV charging stations. In this month’s GIS Solutions column, find out how public agencies and consultants are using GIS to seek solutions to locate charging stations. By Andrew G. Roe Read more >>
Viewpoint: Advantages of Printing In-House vs. Outsourcing
Printing in-house brings designers options and opportunities that can be stymied by outsourcing. Find out why! By Jacob Hardin Read more >>
Having a plan is your first step towards success. Watch this easy-to-follow introduction on how to streamline your process, ensure you have the right software and hardware, keep your team up-to-date with training, and save money. By Robert Green
Whether your problems stem from users who ignore standards, a company culture that doesn't prioritize quality, or self-sabotaging management techniques, this guide will set you on the path to greater efficiency, fewer mistakes, and better results. (Compiled from Robert Green's CAD Manager's Column.)