CAD Manager's Newsletter (#185)

13 Nov, 2007 By: Robert Green

Analyzing the CAD Manager's Survey, Part 2

CAD managers continue to be most frustrated by lack of time and issues related to CAD standards enforcement.

A few weeks ago I concluded the CAD Manager’s Survey for 2007. The general findings on salary, job responsibilities, and statistics on user support are published in the November edition of Cadalyst magazine.

Here in CAD Manager's Newsletter I am presenting even more information revealed by the survey that I think you'll find instructive. In the last issue I presented a prequel to the CAD Manager's Survey report and shared some of the results regarding software usage, 3D design, and technical metrics. If you haven't had a chance to read it, please do so now so that you'll get the complete picture.

In this edition I'll finish my coverage of the survey by focusing on job security issues and key frustrations for CAD managers. I've found that by looking at what bothers CAD managers, I can frequently gain insight and provide suggestions for dealing with the problems. Here goes.

Most Frustrating
I wanted to take the pulse of the CAD management market by finding out what tasks were the most problematic for the greatest number of CAD managers. To accomplish this task, I presented a list of common frustrating situations I've observed over the years and then asked the survey participants to rank them in order of greatest frustration.

The list of frustrations in prioritized order is presented here:
  • Not having enough time (25%)
  • CAD standards enforcement (22%)
  • Not having enough authority (12%)
  • CAD standards development (12%)
  • Dealing with management (10%)
  • Lack of budget (5%)
  • Training issues (5%)
  • Too much pressure to be billable (<3%)
  • No response (<2%)
  • Providing user support (<2%)
  • Other (<2%)
Read more>>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

What can I do to become more marketable and more highly compensated? What should I work on?

Robert Green replies: Great questions! I'll give you my conclusions based on survey data from the CAD Manager's Survey 2007 and some practical experience from the field. Obviously, you'll need to interpret my conclusions based on what makes sense for you.

Better public speaking/writing. CAD managers need to write good executive summaries and e-mail communications. When you have a chance to make presentations to management, you want to do a great job. So evaluate your writing, brush up on your grammar, and find a writing style you like so that writing will be fun. Also, never pass up an opportunity to speak in public and you'll learn from each experience. Read more>>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

The CAD Geek Blog

The CAD Geek Blog, by Donnie Gladfelter of Timmons Group, posts tips, tricks, and discussion on all things AutoCAD and more. Also among the offerings are links to other blogs, free tools for the CAD manager/user, and helpful advice such as "Starting a CAD Standard."

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

Autodesk University
November 27-30, 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
Autodesk University is a multilevel experience in training and networking, which over four days offers a choice of more than 500 classes including advanced classes, hands-on labs, business-management solutions and strategies, and more. Also featured is an exhibit hall showing cutting-edge tools and services; briefings on key business trends, product futures, and company direction; and social events. Read more

Ecobuild Fall and AEC-ST Fall
December 10-13, 2007
Washington, D.C.
This annual event goes beyond green to cover the breadth of green building, sustainable design, renewable energy, environmental planning processes, and information collaboration strategies for commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential construction. Cadalyst readers are eligible for free exhibit and keynote admission -- a $25 value. Use the discount code HSEOC.

ESPRIT World Conference 2008
May 13-16, 2008
Denver, Colorado
Included in the four-day conference are 28 hours of intensive technical training, hands-on instruction, and workshops designed to meet the needs of both beginning and experienced users. Courses focusing on new features and functions available in ESPRIT 2009 and ESPRIT Mold v10 will provide attendees the opportunity to offer feedback about the new products. Read more

Click here to view the complete calendar of events at

:: What's New at

Get the Code!
Cadalyst 's November code from Hot Tip Harry is available for download. Jeffery Sanders submitted another of his professional-quality programs -- Calculate Weight -- that earns this month's top tip honor and wins the $100 prize.

Cadalyst November Content Now Live Online
A fresh batch of Cadalyst Labs reviews, CAD Central news, Cadalyst exclusive columns, and much more -- all from the latest edition of Cadalyst magazine -- is ready to view on

Cadalyst's Exclusive CAD Tutorials for November Now Live Online
The latest editions of all your favorite AutoCAD tutorials, including Steve Johnson's "Bug Watch," Lynn Allen's "Circles and Lines," and Bill Fane's "Learning Curve" are now available on And check our online archives for the latest editions of exclusive tutorials for ArchiCAD, Revit, MicroStation, SolidWorks, Inventor, Solid Edge, Alibre Design and more.