- The Character and Skills of a CAD Manager – Part 1 
- The Character and Skills of a CAD Manager – Part 2 
- The Character and Skills of a CAD Manager – Part 3 
- The Character and Skills of a CAD Manager – Part 4 
- The Character and Skills of a CAD Manager – Part 5
Moving to the Skills area now. It differs from the Character portion of this series. Character is who you are, Skills are what you do. I am not going to list a long march of skills that define every last thing that a CAD Manager does, but rather a shorter list of the skills that I think make the most differences between a competent CAD Manager and a great one.
Some of these slop over from the Character list, like Communication, Sharing Knowledge, Reporting, Documenting and many more. These Character traits that motive you internally also drive the outward efforts that each encourages. A desire to share knowledge and communicate will spill out as effective interactions with others. Character traits have to generate outward expressions – or you start wondering if they are internally driven at all.
So if the internal Characteristics of a CAD Manager drive the outward Skills, what would those skills look like?
Tech Skills – one giant bucket – this one covers every area and is the entry fee for moving from CAD User to CAD Manager. I lump everything together under Tech Skills because these have to be in place and rock solid. So what are some tech skills that are not directly linked to the character traits we discussed before?
Programming – An ability to increase productivity by using the embedded tools inside the software to increase speed, accuracy and consistency. The API’s that many start with include AutoLISP, VBA, Object ARX and more. Other more advanced tools also present themselves.
Customization – Using the Autodesk interface tools like templates, keyboard shortcuts, ToolBars, right-click customization, block creation, menu CUI, and so much more.
Staff Management – The prowess to work well with others. Gathering, organizing and moving teams forward. Knowing how to motivate individuals in a team effort.
Financial Skills – Knowing how to create and manage a budget. Knowing when to adjust and refocus funds toward strategic goals. Knowing the processes your firm uses to approve spending beyond just asking your boss.
Prioritizing – One of the most valuable, and least used skills that I think a CAD Manager needs. Always rethinking what to do next. Always taking the time to look up and around to see what is going on at your firm and with your tools and then change focus and direction as needed.
Troubleshooting – knowing how to dissect a problem, no matter how big, into bite size correctable tasks. Being able to follow clues and leads, weigh evidence and make a judgement call on how to get things fixed.