CAD Manager's Newsletter (#168)

13 Mar, 2007 By: Robert Green

Untitled Document

Software Implementation & Training Tips

Preparation prior to a software upgrade ensures a successful installation.

I had intended to go over some of the new AutoCAD 2008-based product features in this edition to time it with the software's impending release. However, as I looked through my email I noticed that a lot of the questions I'm getting aren't so much about a specific software package as they are about how to go about training for new software releases in general.

Therefore, I'm putting the AutoCAD 2008 product discussion on hold for an issue to present some tips I think are valuable for all CAD managers implementing new software no matter what the software title is. Here goes.

Identify, Demonstrate and Document

These steps must be taken before you install new software so you have a clear idea of what features you want to take advantage of (that's the identify part). Then you can show the features to the key players you'll need support from (that's the demo part), and finally, you can document the interest of the key parties to build support for adopting new software features (that's the document part).

CAD managers usually do a good job on the identifying part of the process and a decent job at demonstrating, while often ignoring the documentation part entirely. Yet each phase of the process is crucial because it identifies which new features are important while it builds political support among the upper management team, which you'll need anyway before you can proceed. If you undertake this step correctly, you're much more likely to have management's support during implementation and to get funding approval for training. Read more>>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

We're rolling out 3D software in my company now and users are coming around to the new way of design. What kinds of items should I be concerned about now and how can I avoid making post-implementation errors in this new 3D world?

Robert Green replies: I started the answer to this question in the February 14 edition and continued in the February 28 edition of CAD Manager's Newsletter. I'll further expand on my answer now with some ideas for managing the inevitable staff changes that happen during and after 3D implementation.

When you finally reach the culmination of your 3D software implementation you'll notice that some things have changed with respect to your CAD staff. You may have been too busy during implementation to see the changes, but they happened, trust me.  Below are some of my coping strategies that have always worked well.Read more>>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

Work Getting in the Way of Life? Life Getting in the Way of Work?
The Work+Life "Fit" Blog by author Cali Williams Yost shows how to work with your employer to find mutually beneficial solutions. The blog includes commentary on trends, research and recent articles; individual and corporate work life innovations; links to resources; and comments from industry professionals and others interested in the latest developments in the work life field.

Send us the address of your favorite Web site or other resource and a few words about why you like it. If we publish it, we'll send you a Cadalyst t-shirt!

:: Events

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

3D Systems 3DSUG Conference
March 18-22, 2007
Daytona Beach, Florida
3DSUG was established to encourage and coordinate technical information exchange between owners and operators of 3D Systems equipment and provide feedback to 3D Systems on hardware and software modifications. The 3DSUG conference is the only independent forum catering to users of stereolithiography, selective laser sintering and 3D Systems 3D printing equipment. Read more

Developing a Design/Simulation Framework
May 15, 2007
Atlanta, Georgia
Join industry analysts from Collaborative Product Development Associates (CPDA) and leading-edge users and practitioners for a one-day event that explores in depth the latest thinking on the critical issues facing simulation. Note: This is a change of date for this event. Read more

Frontiers in Design and Simulation Workshop
May 16, 2007
Atlanta, Georgia
This workshop is organized by the Georgia Tech Product & Systems Lifecycle Management Center in cooperation with CPDA (Collaborative Product Development Associates). There is a need for computer-based support that allows the knowledge and expertise of many domain experts to be shared, managed and applied toward the thorough exploration of different system architectures while considering complex trade-offs between multiple objectives under uncertainty. Read more

:: What's New at

New Quick Poll: Got CAD Training?
The latest Cadalyst Quick Poll is live online. This month, we want to know when (if ever) you last completed a CAD training course that wasn't offered in-house by your employer. Take the poll (go to any page of and scroll down to find the Quick Poll in the margin), then check out how you compare with your CAD peers in "Cadfidential" in the April edition of Cadalyst magazine.

Get the Code!
Cadalyst 's March code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. Stahimir Antoljak earned $100 for Polyline Edit Tools in VBA, a Visual Basic routine that contains public functions for inserting and removing vertex points in polylines in AutoCAD.

Cadalyst's March 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 March 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 a sample of what you missed recently: