CADDManager on June 14th, 2011
This entry is part 2 of 17 in the series Principles of CAD Management

Henri Fayol’s first principle is division of work.  Today some call this division of labor.

This consists of dividing the work up to make things more efficient.  Everyone would agree that this helps.  Many hands make the job lighter.  Fayol was not talking about just throwing more people at a problem.  The principle is that each person would do a specific function that collectively would get the job done better.

Employees that are very good at one thing can make production more efficient.  That has been proven over the years.  In an industrial environment, this has been used for many years.  In a professional or services environment there is a need for specialization also, but not so narrow a view of it.

It is easy for a firm or department to settle into the frame of mind that one employee is the best at something and should be the go to person for that function.  In the early 1900′s industrialized workforce where people hired into firms or trades and stayed with the company until retirement or death, this was an easy answer. It also produce higher quality output since the best person was doing the work.

Make Everyone is an Expert

In a CAD environment, you still may have disciplines who perform the plumbing or HVAC efforts collectively but you do not have one person who does all of the VAV boxes or another who places all the J-Boxes and lets someone else route things back to the electrical panel.  With CAD you have to have everyone be able to handle the software tools in a high quality manner.  The discipline education of electrical or architectural is beyond the CAD Managers efforts in training.

So your purpose now is to try and make everyone an expert and leave the division of work up to others.  You are a supporting role for the design team.  You need to make sure that everyone knows the tools that need to be applied in differing ways as others divide up the work.  So division of work does not directly apply to those that use your CAD platform, but it may apply to the team (if you have one) that supports that environment.

Your Team needs Focus and Redundancy

Dividing the work among your CAD Team helps if one person is the point person for a given technology.  You may have a CAD Support person that does the CAD area and one that does the BIM area.  You may have one that oversee plotting and one that manages the network licensing.  Dividing things up by task increases the knowledge of the tools by consolidating and focusing the learning and advancement of an area on to one persons shoulders.

This does not mean that you totally silo each person and that is all they do.  You need every function to have at least two who can solve problems at any given time.  One may be out of the office or leave the firm. You do not want to be caught short.  So make sure that knowledge is shared among the team and that no one person “holding the keys” to any mission critical area.  Have redundancy as well as focus.

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