CAD Manager's Newsletter (#187)

8 Jan, 2008 By: Robert Green

CAD Management Strategies, Part 1

All CAD managers face common challenges, and these tips can help overcome them.

I get all sorts of questions from readers asking for advice that can help solve specific problems. In researching these issues I often find new information that has made me much more productive. So to kick off the new year, I'll pass along some of my best recommendations for CAD managers. And since CAD managers deal with so many different things, these tips address all sorts of topics.

In this issue I'll start with some of my general management tips to help you get things sorted out and start working on tasks in order of priority. Here goes.

Assess Everything
Question everything. Look under rocks for better ways to do things. Challenge bad practices by suggesting better ways to do things.

So often we keep doing things the wrong way simply because we've never taken the time to investigate what we're doing. The good news is that you don't have to stop the whole company's CAD operations to perform assessments. All you have to do is keep your eyes and ears open and constantly question current practices. When you adopt this assessment-based mindset, good ideas emerge.

Hints: Ask, "Why do we do things this way?" a lot, and "Why not do this better?" even more. Never, ever say, "Well, we've just always done it that way."

Money Talks (or, Think Like Your Boss)
Want to make changes in your CAD environment? Want to change software? Want to get new hardware? Want to get training? Everybody can answer yes to one of these questions. Maybe the better question is why you aren't already achieving these goals.
Read more>>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

I want to get organized and become more efficient as a CAD manager this year. Any ideas?

Robert Green replies: Good question and good goals -- ones I struggle with myself. I can give you a couple of pointers that have helped me over the years.

Realize That Nothing Organizes Itself
Hoping that things will somehow magically get better simply isn't a viable management strategy. Just as the universe tends towards entropy, so do computer and CAD environments. Therefore the first step to getting organized is simply getting started. Read more>>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

Free Download: Test Your System Hardware
The latest Cadalyst Systems Benchmark is now live on Designed to test and compare systems running AutoCAD, C2008 is packed with new features including expanded 3D graphics tests and 2D/3D test options, a new Compare option at the end of the test, an improved Readme file with detailed instructions for using the test and evaluating results, and much more.

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

Test Drive: Using the IES Plug-in within Revit Architecture
January 11, 2008
Philadelphia, PA
This test drive, sponsored by Synergis, intends to show how the IES plug-in included within Revit Architecture enables easy, top-level analysis of energy efficiency and building performance at early stages of the design process. Read more

3D Scanning 2008
May 20-22, 2008
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Presented by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), 3D Scanning: Reverse Engineering, Analysis, and Inspection Conference will be co-located with RAPID 2008 Conference & Exposition. With a focus on using noncontact scanning technology to capture and process high-resolution, 3D spatial geometries, this conference will give participants practical knowledge to support effective technology selection and use. Read more

BE Conference 2008
May 28-30, 2008
Baltimore, Maryland
This year the BE Conference will take place as one global event, with the welcome reception scheduled for the previous day. You can register to receive information on training options, registration, travel and accommodations, BE Awards of Excellence, and other related BE Conference items. Read more

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on