CADDManager on May 31st, 2011
This entry is part 7 of 11 in the series Seven Functions of a CAD Manager

CAD Managers control many things but the most impact may come from controlling the performance of people.

Good Performance in people may fall into the following areas of focus:

Keep people focused on what matters most. This may seem obvious, but transferring this concepts to actions may be hard to do. First you need to know what matters most and then you need to figure out how to keep those areas the main focus. If your firm is most focused on quality, then make that the CAD focus also.  Creating quality output and files.  If your firm is more driven by creative design, then get the clutter out of the way by simplifying the standard so that people can focus on creativity.  If your firm is analytical, then look to bolster the employees by getting higher end software in place to assist in the analysis of your models.

Measure not only performance, but also accomplishment. People need to be doing things the right way, but they also need to get things done.  Sometimes we may focus on getting the process exact and forget that the output is king.  reward those that get things done as well as getting them done right.
Allow measurement of accomplishments, not just of the work that is performed.

Track performance in terms that your firm appreciates. Measuring performance and tuning the process means that you need to analyze data that you collect.  Start collecting measurements in the areas you defined as mattering most.  That way everyone can agree on what the modify.  Track plotter speed if you are focused on getting the plots out faster.  Track file creation speed and the use of template files if the front end of a project seems to get bogged down.  By tracking the right areas, you can show improvement using the same measurements.

Remember that people are not machines. Performance increases and decreases based on their personal perspective each day.  If they are enjoying their work and projects, then they will be more productive. If they are having family concerns outside of work, then they may not stay focused.  Make sure you read the people each day to see what might be affecting them and then motivate them to greater progress.

Focus on behaviors that are impacting performance. You cannot use your limited understanding of all of the combinations that might impact a persons performance without psychoanalyzing them and becoming their counselors.  You do not really know what is motivating their behavior, you just know that the behavior is not meeting the productivity standard needed.  So address the fact of what they are doing and avoid stating why you think they are doing it.

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