As a CAD manager, it’s as important to stay on top of new technology and processes as it is to manage your workload. How to start? Make a list of what you need to know to help you and your team perform and get management’s approval.
As CAD managers, we spend our time training and assisting others so they can be productive. But, how much time do you spend training and assisting yourself so you can be as productive as possible? Do you spend so much time stuck in a vortex of problems that you’ve lost track of how to better yourself? If so, then it is time to craft a personal learning plan that’ll get you back on track.
In the next few issues of the CAD Manager’s Newsletter, we’ll explore how to build a learning plan that aligns with optimizing your CAD management job functions. The goal will be to acquire better skills that make you more effective, more marketable, and less stressed. Interested? Here goes.
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Remember the adage: You’ve got to plan the work, then work the plan?” Learning is no different. So, to start we need to build a training topic list. This list is not for your users, it is for you, and should include at least the following:
A list of topics you need to learn about.
The resources you’ll need to learn about your topics.
Financing required for your training resources.
Time allocated to do your learning.
Now, let’s work our way through the plan, consider how to get it approved, and draw a few conclusions as we do so.
The Topic List is Key
Of course, you probably have an idea of the topics you’d like to learn about, but the better thing to consider is: What topics does your company need you to learn about? Put another way, what topics would your boss pay for you to learn and then allow you to spend time implementing? The goal will be to get your boss to approve your learning plan up front.
Here's an example scenario: Bill has a background in construction and has become the CAD manager over the years. He’s good with basic CAD tools and has a solid working knowledge of the BIM tools at his company. He has a good relationship with his users but even they can see that new project workloads require a lot more coordination and Bill is struggling. His lack of experience with these coordination issues is starting to negatively impact jobs and cause errors that never used to be a problem for him and the team.
What do you think Bill’s learning topic list should include?
Topics = Needs
If Bill creates a learning topic list to address company needs, he’s going to learn new skills, become more valuable to the organization, and become more employable — which is a win-win-win scenario. Here’s how I’d advise Bill to build his list:
List the specific skills for coordination and interchange between project software tools that he needs training for (and where he might obtain that training).
Study how other companies have solved these problems to learn what works and what doesn’t (and what groups or conferences he could join/attend to gain that knowledge).
Study how to best standardize these processes and train company users so future projects flow smoothly.
This learning topics list gives Bill several advantages:
He will become much more proficient with project software tools.
His ability to forecast problems that could complicate projects will be greatly enhanced simply because he knows more about how to coordinate the tools.
He will be able to lead users through new processes proactively rather than having to react to problems.
Management will be more confident that projects will move faster and rework will be reduced as Bill’s new knowledge takes hold.
The knowledge gained will be disseminated to other users via standards so everyone gets smarter, not just Bill.
Now take Bill’s story, substitute your own problems, and build your own learning topics list.
Once you've written your own topic list, it's time to get management's support. Robert Green gives you the tools you need to get your request approved! READ MORE >>
Tools & Resources
Webinar: From the Excel Chaos to Centralized Product Data Management
February 28, 2023, 10am (ET)
Excel-based management makes finding the most current data very difficult, with users making copies, changing data, or saving new versions of documents. When Tamturbo went through a period of rapid growth, which resulted in more complex products and data to manage, the company realized the importance of systematic data management. In this webinar, Tamturbo’s Ollipekka Jaatinen & Kari Koskenjoki and Fulvisol’s Petri Surakka will discuss how Tamturbo achieved a clear, traceable view of the entire lifecycle of its compressors by federating all data into one system available across their entire value chain. Register for the webinar >>
Women in Technology Nominations
Nominate a person in the semiconductor-related industry or academia for his or her support and advancement of women in the related industries for the Marie R. Pistilli Award. Nominees may hail from technical or non-technical backgrounds and must have made notable contributions to advancing the profile of women in EDA. Past recipients have played key roles in creating, launching, or managing products that involved contributions from women or created opportunities for women in the industry. Some have been leaders within a company or organization helping to raise the awareness of women, while others have been mentors or role models for successful women in technology. Submit Nomination >>
Video: Easily Model Organic Shapes—Even Sharks!—with 3D Sculptor
Dive into the updates in 3D Sculptor's xShape from SOLIDWORKS. Industrial design pro Jason Pohl demonstrates the xShape app on a fun project, highlighting new/enhanced functionality, including: Lasso Selection Tool, Fillet and Chamfer Commands, and Working Zone. Watch the video >>
Webinar: Ansys Connect Series: Thought Leadership on Simulation Digital Thread
This bi-weekly thought leadership webinar series designed to change the way you bring products to market, according to the company. The series begins on February 21, 2023 and will continue through 2023. With presenters from companies such as SAIC, Pankl, Wurth Elektronik, Wolfspeed, MANN+HUMMEL, ZF, VCollab, and more, they'll share these best practices for connecting engineering processes, tools and data. And how Ansys Connect creates that simulation digital thread to transform the product development process, according to the company. These presentations include live Q&A and virtual networking. Read more & register >>
Books: The History of the GPU: From Inception to AI
Jon Peddie has just written a three-volume series of books published by Springer that traces the history, the ecosystem and environment, and new developments of the GPU. These books cover the history leading up to the GPU, from the origins of concepts in the 1950s to the supercomputers and smartphones it powers today. Books are available from Amazon. Read more >>
ASTM Publishes Two New Standards
ASTM International’s additive manufacturing committee has developed two new standards that cover powder quality and aviation parts, respectively. The first standard developed by the committee is a guide for metal powder feedstock, intended to help manufacturers with quality control and assessing whether powder batches are within specification limits. The second standard provides a part classification scheme that can serve as a consistent risk metric for additive manufactured parts in aviation. Learn more >>
What's New from Our Sponsors
Digital Transformation: More Than a Shiny New Object
While AEC projects boom, the need for new ways to deliver continues to grow. Why must AEC firms look to technology to build success? Claire Rutkowski, Bentley Systems' CIO Champion, explains what makes a successful digital transformation: It's not just about the software. By Claire Rutkowski, February 7, 2023. Read more >>
A Place for CAD Plugins
MERViSOFT GmbH, a company with more than 25 years of experience in the CAD sector, is launching a new independent marketplace,CADSOMA, for industry-specific CAD solutions, an app store for CAD plug-ins in April 2023. Find out more!February 8, 2023. Read more >>
What's New at Cadalyst
CAD Programming: More Fun with AutoLISP
Using the AutoLISP Extension for Visual Studio Code to automate CAD tasks.
Viewpoint: Systems Thinking and How to Engineer to Possible
How manufacturers use systems thinking and digital transformation to manage their complex designs, minimize failures, and bring new products to market faster. By Paweł Chądzyński, February 15, 2023. Read more >>
CAD Manager's Back-to-Basics Bootcamp
Sometimes CAD managers get so far into the weeds of specific projects that it's easy to forget the basic skills that are needed as CAD managers. In our Back-to-Basics Boot Camp, we’ll help you focus on the key skills and strategies that every CAD manager needs to function at maximum efficiency.
In this fourth episode of Cadalyst's CAD Chronicles, Robert Green discusses how best to make decisions around upgrading your software. When, what, how much, which seats? Find out how to make the best decisions for your work place. 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.)