CADDManager on May 21st, 2011
This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series Seven Functions of a CAD Manager

Are you an organized person?

CAD Managers are called on to organize things.  Processes, procedures, structures, organizations, staff, budgets…  the list just keeps on going.  There are software tools, books, systems, charts and so much more that help people get organized.  Some are better than others at organizing.  I think it is a sign of the way your brain is wired.

Some area of my life are organized and others are not.  If you looked at my closet or my garage, you would not think that I am “over the top” organized.  My desk may not look organized, but I can get my work done efficiently. I used to have a saying…  “My desk is not messy, everything is “misplaced” exactly where I can find it.”

But when it comes to my CAD life – it is organized.  My standards are organized.  My systems are organized and my data is organized.

Here is what I think you need to organize at a minimum:

Your Standard

It needs to flow in a manner that reflects how people will use it.  It needs to start with the basics of project/firm organizations and file naming.  It should have the early chapters/pages devoted the first things people need to know to start a project.  It should start with server folder names ans locations and then it can move on to the file setup and support file structure.  After that it can move to mid project issues like layout, set structure, dimensioning, detailing and more.  After that move to plotting, deliverables, archiving and other things that tend to happen at the end of a project.

Your Server

Every project should be located in a central location and file names in such a way that everyone can find them.  Folder names could be by client or project name or number.  Just do it the same way for all of them.  And keep everything for the project under the same master folder.  Break sub-folders out by function or discipline or department and define the naming.  Do it the same for every project you have.  Just be consistent.  People can find things if you are consistent.  They can move from one project to another if it is all in the same location in the sub-folders.  Read more on this in a past post.

Your Support Files

Put them on one place and lock them down.  Do not allow people to copy them into their own favorite location.  Keep them available to all users at all times.  Provide some logical setup for them all.  Standardize file names.  Check this post for some ideas.

Your Archives

Know where they are and how to get to them quickly.  This means that you standardize the naming and the storage location and sorting of the media.  You could develop a database that could be searched, or list them on your intranet.  Pay attention to this area.  Just because the project is over does not mean that you can get sloppy.

 

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