CAD Manager's Newsletter (#165)

23 Jan, 2007 By: Robert Green

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Making Your Checklist Stick

Getting your CAD users to help you achieve your goals can advance both your own position and theirs.

In the last issue of CAD Manager's Newsletter, I encouraged you to build a New Year's Checklist of action items to keep you on task during 2007. While some items on your check list are strictly your tasks (revising your budget, reducing your personal overhead), many more should be things that affect all the CAD users in your group or company (ending inefficient practices, making positive changes, etc.)

In this edition I'll give you some hints for staying on task with your checklist in the areas where users can help you do so. My logic is that when you involve more people and publish your checklist for others to see, you are compelled to stick to the list and, therefore, achieve more results faster. Here goes.

Communicate Better with Users
As a manager you can be effective only when you articulate your mission to your users. After all, if your users don't agree with your checklist items for the New Year, they're not likely to follow you, right? So the first order of business becomes getting the word out concerning the items you've placed on your checklist and then building a critical mass of support. Then, and only then, will you be able to make the changes you've tasked yourself with.

I've found that the communication methods that work best involve direct interaction (as opposed to email) and a little bit of team building. Here are a few examples I've used that work well.Read more>>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

I'm implementing 3D software in our company and am trying to get people trained, but it seems like some people just don't want to change their ways and learn. How do I deal with those who resist the change?

Robert Green replies:  First I think you have to understand and accept the fact that some people are just more afraid of change than others. Once you've accepted this reality, you can craft your training plan around it. Here's a very brief outline of how I tackle 3D training processes that's worked well over the years:

Train your willing power users first. Power users want to learn new things. They'll put in the effort to learn on their own and they'll help you test how well your training process works. Make these power users your partners in debugging the 3D training process and take their feedback seriously.Read more>>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

Autodesk Labs is the online home for new prototypes, experiments, applications and technologies. Created by the development teams at Autodesk, these technologies include everything from Web services to plug-ins to new applications. The site administrators solicit user feedback to help them decide on future projects. Users can download software for beta testing, return feedback surveys, take part in usability sessions, participate in a variety of blogs and join the Impression Community, which is free to those who register. An RSS feed is also available. 

:: Events

Cadalyst'scomplete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.

Autodesk Civil 3D Styles and Autodesk Vault Workshops
Through February 8, 2007
Various locations
These seminar-style training sessions, hosted by Avatech, offer participants an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of innovations designed to improve business processes and collaboration throughout a project lifecycle. Read more

Webinar: Collaborating in Multi-CAD Environments
January 30, 2007
In this live webcast, representatives from Right Hemisphere and Aberdeen Group will discuss how leading manufacturers are addressing the manufacturing challenges of collaborative design and sourcing in a multi-CAD environment. Read more

SolidWorks World 2007 International User Conference and Exposition
February 4 - 7, 2007
New Orleans, Louisiana
SolidWorks World will focus heavily on product design for machinery, consumer products and medical devices. In addition to breakout sessions, the event will offer three new focus areas: Sustainable Technologies, Oil and Gas, and Designing Better Products. Read more

MAP 3D 2007 Essentials Training Class
February 5, 2007 - March 5, 2007
California locations
This course is geared toward GIS Analysts, CAD Technicians, Civil and Environmental Engineers, Landscape Architects and Facilities Managers who are already working with MAP 3D and want to increase their return on investment, or for AutoCAD users looking for more GIS mapping functionality found within MAP 3D 2007. Read more

Design Master User Conference 2007
April 29, 2007 - May 1, 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
The annual Design Master User Conference offers attendees a chance to learn new ways to use Design Master and improve productivity. Read more

:: What's New at

Getting the Last Drop — Squeeze the Most from Your CAD Software Budget
Cadalyst's January 2007 cover story reviews inexpensive CAD applications from Alibre, Archway Systems and General CADD Products, which offer significant design capabilities for little or no cost.  Read more

CAD Manager Column: What to Expect — and Do — in 2007
Robert Green offers his forecast for the coming year.  Read more

Get the Code!
Cadalyst's January code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. Jeffery Sanders earned $100 for Nested Block Tree Display and Explode Minsert, two tremendous tips for managing blocks in AutoCAD.

Cadalyst's January Web Exclusives Now Live Online!
The latest editions of all your favorite Cadalyst tutorials for AutoCAD and other popular CAD software, CAD Cartoon, Dialog Box (letters from readers) — plus all the content from the January edition of Cadalyst magazine — are now live on

Cadalyst Daily Update
For all the latest news and new products and updates about the newest features on, subscribe to the Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every Monday we bring you a full-length feature article you won't find anywhere else — hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, interviews, event reports, AutoCAD tips and more! Here's what you missed recently:

  • Rapid Prototyping Gets Real: RP becomes RM — rapid manufacturing, that is — as companies use functional prototypes to get products to market faster.