Preventing Repeat Problems (CAD Manager's Q&A)

23 Oct, 2007 By: Robert Green

Some days it seems like everything is out of control and that I'm fighting the same fires I fought the day before. How do I break the cycle of repeating problems and make some progress?

Robert Green replies: I know the problem well. The good news is that there is a methodology that we can all use to help make things better. The process requires you to identify the real cause of your repeated problem, find a way to attack the cause of the problem, and then solve the problem based on what you've learned. Let's look at an actual example I worked on recently:

I was going nuts because every project a client worked on seemed to have improperly managed Xref files. It seemed that, no matter what they did, they would always have some weird Xref problem that popped up near the end of the project, causing rework, stress, and time delays.

Closer examination revealed that a lack of project standards meant that insertion points for Xrefs weren't uniform, which caused real problems when files were moved between different project groups. Furthermore, a lack of consistency in Visretain and viewport layer settings was causing visibility problems that ultimately translated into plotting problems.

The remedy was to amend standards for the above variables and settings and to document those standards changes for the project teams. We even went a step further and held a project training meeting to show users the types of errors that were popping up and how proper use of the new standards would make dealing with Xrefs easier for everybody. At the end of this exercise we saw a pronounced drop in errors.

The moral of the story? Make your standards program into a training program, and you'll chip away at recurring problems. It doesn't work overnight, but it does work!

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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