Prevent End-of-Project Data Surprises12 May, 2015 By: Robert Green
CAD Manager's Toolbox: This is one kind of surprise that no one enjoys — but a little proactive intervention on your part can mitigate, or even eliminate, the problem.
I receive a lot of e-mails that ask how CAD managers should deal with end-of-project data requirements such as translations, model coordination, file submittals, etc. One common thread in the questions is that many of these requirements seem to be a surprise — sprung on the CAD manager in an "Oh, by the way" manner by project managers.
Of course if a project requires data translation, coordination, or submittal you'll have to do the work — but the goal is to never be surprised again. The answer to preventing those unwanted surprises is simple: Get it in the contract!
The approach I take is to ask the project management team the following questions before the project gets under way:
- Will we have to submit digital information at the end of the project?
- What formats will we need to deliver?
- How will the information be formatted?
- Where will the information be submitted?
- How do we track everything to make sure we're meeting our responsibilities?
By asking these detailed questions at the start of the project, you're sending a clear signal that you've got a handle on the complexity of the issue and you're trying to manage the company's liability. If you ask these questions in writing, you're also building a solid file of evidence that proves you proactively addressed the issue, should anything go awry in the future.
If your project management team addresses your concerns, then you won't have any nasty surprises further down the line. If, however, they ignore your questions and allow the situation to fester until the end of the project, you can pull out the e-mail record and say, essentially, "I told you so." And as you — once again — deal with the problems, be sure to bill the time you spent figuring everything out to the project so it doesn't come back to haunt you as overhead. In my experience, if you go through this process once, your project managers will start putting these types of requirements in the project contracts and the surprises will end.
So go ahead and take charge of your end-of-project data requirements today, and you'll reduce the amount of frustration you experience tomorrow.