CAD Manager's Q&A: Moving to IT?11 Apr, 2007 By: Robert Green
My company is considering moving my CAD management position to the IT department. I think I should report to the engineering department. What should I do?
Robert Green replies: This question is coming up more and, indeed, more CAD managers are being moved to the IT department. What has changed is the desire to move CAD management into a more centrally overhead-driven department (like IT) to reduce costs for projects.
The first thing I should mention is that if they have already decided to move you to the IT department, there's not much you can do about it. At this point you simply need to keep doing your job and make the most of the move. In fact, by moving to a department, such as IT, that has a traditional support role, you may actually be freer to support, teach and enhance your CAD systems than you would be if reporting to a project focused department like engineering or architecture.
On the other hand, most CAD managers support engineers, architects and designers and are therefore more discipline-focused than are many IT staffers. And historically, CAD managers have reported through engineering or architecture departments precisely because they are more discipline driven. CAD managers who report through engineering or architecture tend to be more business focused and more in line for promotions as a result of being in the middle of all the action.
Truth be told, I don't think it much matters what department you report to, so long as you're free to do your job, learn and advance your career. If I had to make the choice, I would want to locate to whatever department allowed me the most opportunity and visibility to make an impact on productivity, because that's where the career advancement potential really is. Make an informed decision based on these metrics and you'll wind up in the right spot.