CAD Manager's Q&A: Enforcing Standards22 May, 2007 By: Cadalyst Staff
Enforcing standards in my office is driving me nuts! Any ideas for making the process easier?
Robert Green replies. The topic of standards is always a problem, and I think enforcement is the worst part. Although I don't have a magic answer to make people behave as they should, I do have some general guidelines you can use, which I'll share here.
Stress production. The reason to follow standards is to ease production and make everything run more smoothly. Stress this concept while making sure your users know that you're all about productivity.
De-emphasize authority. Don't make following standards a "because I said so" type of experience. Instead, stress the production/productivity concepts I set forth and show users that you're only trying to help them get more done.
Stress speed. Everybody likes getting their work done quickly and with few errors. Make sure users know that better adherence to standards helps them finish their work faster!
Stress cost savings to management. Let your boss know that standards mean faster task completion, fewer errors and less rework. When you can make standards about saving money, you KNOW your management will listen.
I've been getting so many questions about standards that I plan to embark on a series of newsletters addressing this topic. Until then I hope you can use the tips above to get a handle on standards enforcement and regain some measure of sanity in the process.