MCAD Tech News (#260)

25 Feb, 2009

Why Technology Projects Failp>

Knowing that obstacles will arise in the implementation of your project and being prepared to address them can mean the difference between a successful outcome and a failure.

By Mark Hechel

In today's business environment we are bombarded with messages about improvement programs, initiatives, and technology designed to help us become more productive and efficient. As a CAD user and, thus, a member of the so-called high-technology world, you know these messages are even more common. Users across the industry receive marketing pieces every day from CAD vendors touting the benefits of their particular brand. Choosing the right one and attempting to implement it is a major undertaking.

A common aspect of technology projects is they are a combination of software and processes refinement, with a technology implementation at their core. The programs, therefore, rely upon a successful technology implementation to achieve overall success of the project. After all, you can't use the new 3D CAD software until it has been successfully implemented. Unfortunately, many technology implementation projects fail. Industry studies suggest more than 70% of IT projects are abandoned prior to completion. Clearly, this does not bode well for that 3D CAD upgrade project you may have been contemplating.

During 20 years of professional experience, I have observed that successful projects generally share several important characteristics, while the failures also shared common missteps. The goal of this article is to illustrate the missteps and success factors so that others, particularly new project and CAD Managers, might themselves have a roadmap for successful implementation. Read more »

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Mark Hechel is professional services manager, Manufacturing Solutions Division, MasterGraphics Inc.


Event Report: SolidWorks World 2009

By Nancy Spurling Johnson

Two weeks ago, more than 4,000 attendees converged at Disney's Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida, for SolidWorks World 2009. Much activity was centered in the Partner Pavilion, where approximately 100 vendors showcased their wares. Collected via in-person visits with those vendors and press releases, here's a rundown of many of the software and hardware products exhibited on the show floor.

Mechanical Design
Design automation was a hot topic on the SolidWorks World 2009 conference agenda, and in the exhibit hall DriveWorks was highlighting its own solution. DriveWorksXpress allows users to create multiple variations of parts, assemblies, and drawings and is included in every seat of SolidWorks.

Tacton Systems demonstrated how users can automate design customization tasks using its upcoming TactonWorks 4.2 and SolidWorks, reducing customer-specific engineering work by automating repetitive design customization tasks. TactonWorks is fully embedded within the SolidWorks interface, allowing engineers to define design rules and use Tacton's product configuration solver engine to eliminate the need to translate design rules to sequential calculations.  Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

6th Annual RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition
April 15-16, 2009
Boston, Massachusetts
The emphasis of RoboBusiness is on what technologies and applications are emerging with the greatest opportunity to be commercially successful. Highlighting the event are numerous opportunities to meet, network with industry thought-leaders and make contacts that will facilitate new business ventures. Read more »

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