CAD Manager Ė When things go
wrong, who do you think about first?
When something happens at work
that will impact your firm, or production or submittals or cad
standards or anything related to CAD that may reflect a negative
light, Who do you think about first?
Your answer to this question
will have a lot to do with how others perceive you, how your
company values you and how your users interact with you.
Here are the answers that could
be obtained when asking this question. Who do I think about
first? Myself, the users, My job, the firm, the client
Letís investigate each of these
one at a time to see how reach response reflects your character
I think about Myself
If I think about myself
then it reflects that possible fact that I am mostly
concerned about my ego, my image, my authority or the blame
falling on me. I observe many CAD Managers that try to
shift the blame away from themselves and onto anything or
anyone else. They may blame the software or the hardware.
It may often be a software or hardware issue that causes the
pain point, but it is your job to work through it toward an
answer. Donít seek to place blame on anything. Seek
instead to find the cause of the problem.
This may seem like
semantics, but placing blame differs from defining cause.
Placing blame usually has its roots in avoiding
consequences, distancing yourself from the problem. This is
not good. Finding the cause has its roots in beginning to
fix the problem. Once the cause has been discovered, the
fix can be defined. Once the cause had been uncovered, you
can jump in directly to alleviate the trouble. The only
fingers that get pointed are pointing the initial failure
that caused the difficulty, not at objects that help with
People are quick to pick up
on persons who constantly deflect any negative that may come
their way. Others begin to see that you do not really want
to take responsibility for the overall CAD area and soon
responsibility will not be offered.
This attitude also reflects
a resistance to evaluate yourself and improve on your
efforts. By shifting blame, you may never really take the
brunt of recurring problems and not see the need to change
your approach to troubles.
I think about my Job
This is very similar to the
answer above but differs in the way it projects to others.
Being worried about job security can cripple a progressive
environment. If you are always looking over your shoulder
for the next lay off or others stepping into your area, then
you will be skittish about moving forward.
Shrinking back into the
fortress to protect your job will cause two things to
happen. You will shift blame and you will not be dynamic in
your application of technology. We talked about shifting
blame above, so letís dig into the dynamics of progress.
Technology progress happens
when someone is brave enough to step out on the limb of new
untested technology and discover the fruitfulness of their
endeavor. You may not be the type to live on the bleeding
edge, but you need to be an early adopter. Your firm may
not want to be the first one down the gangplank, but the
better be willing to at least tied up to the dock. By being
the second or third adopter, you can maintain a comfortable
progression of software and hardware tools. Sometimes the
investment of the trail blazer pays off. Most often those
who follow quickly gain the most. You should be a blend of
the two. Venture into uncharted waters on some issues and
be adaptable and embrace the new in a timely fashion.
Those in fear of losing
their job can often lag into complacency and fall behind the
tech curve. This may seem like comfortable environs, but
soon or later all of the other firms will pass you by. Then
you could be in real danger of loosing your position because
you failed to keep up.
There are many reasons that
cause us to fall behind. Budget cuts, workload slowdowns,
stagnant users, etc. Donít let your concern over loosing
your job make you shy about moving forward.
I think about the Users
If you think about the
Users first then you are on the right track. Keeping the
focus on your ďclientsĒ is sometimes tough. Look at the
issue from their perspective. What is the impact on their
timeline and progress? Elevate the response to the needs of
the users. If there is a major roadblock preventing a
submittal, get to work quickly. Donít slow down until they
are back at full steam.
I think about my Company
An even better
perspective. Keep the overall good of the firm in mind at
all times. Think through the large items and have a long
term view of short term headaches. By taking a longer view
you can balance the needs of right now against the greater
needs of the long term. You can balance the demands of one
user or project or office against the overall demands of the
firm. Keeping a good balance is tough. You will need to
trade off some long term goals (like perfect CAD files) to
gain short term progress (get the job out the door).
I think about our Clients
The most important
perspective to have. Know that the perspective of the
client is the one that counts the most. They pay the
bills. They keep the company workload high. They pay the
users paychecks. They pay for the technology you use. They
secure your job by increased contracts.
If the clients start to
feel that your not paying attention to them, they could go
somewhere else. Unless you are part of that special group
that client clamber to work with (and not many of us are),
then you will have to focus on client satisfaction. They do
not want to hear excuses, they do not want delays in the
schedule and they do not want bad CAD files.