CAD Manager's Newsletter (#182)

25 Sep, 2007 By: Robert Green

Note to Readers:
A special thank you to everyone who participated in the CAD Manager's Survey this year. We had a fantastic response with 683 of you participating!

I know it takes your valuable time to complete the survey, and that's why I'm so thankful that so many of you participated. I'll deliver the results in the November issue of Cadalyst magazine, and I'll have expanded coverage in the November and December CAD Manager's Newsletters as well.

CAD Manager Self-Improvement, Part 2

How to get your senior management team to pay for your training.

In the previous issue of CAD Manager's Newsletter, I asked you to ponder the question of how you can become better educated. I gave you some pointers for identifying what you need to learn, where to get the resources, and how to make a basic financial case for your management team to support your training goals. I hope you've taken the time to build your learning plan and prioritize your learning objectives so that you can now write up your plan and make a persuasive pitch to your boss. If not, you should take some time to read the last issue now and get up to speed.

In this issue I'll take you through the process of transforming your learning plan into a marketable document that you can use to sell the concept of training to your senior management while getting your user base on board as well. Here goes.

What They'll Pay You to Learn
I interrupt this learning plan session to bring you a dose of reality. The fact of the matter is that there are things that we might want to learn and then there are things we need to learn to help our company. Your company is interested in only the topics that fit neatly into the latter category. So while you might want to learn how to animate human features in Maya, it is doubtful that your company will pay for it unless you are a professional animator.
Read more>>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

Even when I get new procedures in place, train everybody, and feel like I've made some progress in reducing the chaos in our office, it always seems to return. Why? What can I do to stop it for once and for all?

Robert Green replies: To stop chaos for once and for all? I've never found an answer for that one. To keep chaos in check and minimized? Now that I can help with!

Here are some tips I've used to help clients manage disorder, and they seem to work every time. There's nothing magic here, just solid common sense management that never goes out of style.

Point out chaos when you see it. When you point out chaotic processes, people are forced to confront the reality of the problem. This is the number-one tip I use to reduce chaos in the first place and to keep it minimized over time. Essentially, the issue is that people have short memories and they'll tend to go back to their prior habits, which caused the chaos in the first place. So by pointing out the problem as soon as people backslide into chaotic processes, you'll have a fighting chance to control the situation. Read more>>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

Beth's CAD Blog
Check out Beth Powell's Blog for the latest on Autodesk products used in architectural design. Beth covers the news as well as training and support issues, user tips, networking, events, and updates on all aspects of AutoCAD, Architectural Desktop, Building Systems, Revit, and more. The blog also includes links to numerous other resources for CAD users.

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

Webcast: AutoCAD for Architects
September 26, 2007
10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EDT
Avatech Solutions invites architects, CAD managers, IT managers, and building design professionals to a webcast featuring an overview of the benefits of Autodesk’s AutoCAD Architecture. AutoCAD Architecture provides AutoCAD-based design and documentation productivity for building design professionals. Read more

HyperWorks Technology Conference 2007
October 2-3, 2007
Troy, Michigan
This conference, sponsored by Altair, will cover relevant topics in structural simulation, optimization, and CAE process management. Presentations will highlight the latest industry trends in enterprise simulation and discuss how various manufacturing companies have become more innovative through engineering analysis. Read more

Enterprise PLM Transformation Tour 2007
Various Dates in October and November
Various U.S. Cities
These events will provide first-hand expert knowledge from SAP, Right Hemisphere, and members of the PLM Alliance about how new developments can optimize global product development launch and support processes. Read more

Shape to Fabrication 2
October 25, 2007
London, United Kingdom
Rhinoceros reseller Simply Rhino Limited will host an international architectural event featuring leading architectural professionals demonstrating how Rhino is becoming an increasingly important tool in the architectural profession. Shape to Fabrication 2 will also feature presentations dedicated to new and improved Rhino technology as well as keynote addresses. Read more

EuroMold 2007 Conference
December 5-8, 2007
Frankfurt, Germany
EuroMold -- the World Fair for Moldmaking and Tooling, Design, and Application Development -- merges all important industrial sectors. The basis of this unique fair concept "From Design to Prototyping to Series Production" bridges the gap between industrial designers, suppliers, and users. Read more

International Wohlers Conference
December 7, 2007
Frankfurt, Germany
This special international conference, presented in English, will investigate the growing number of opportunities in custom and short-run production and the role of China, Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world. The conference will clarify why custom manufacturing is becoming increasingly important, especially in the West. Read more

Click here to view the complete calendar of events at