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CAD Accelerants

I once had the opportunity to listen to a fire investigator talk about uncovering the means, methods and motives behind arsonist activity. It was a wonderful talk about how she researched and looked for subtle clues on the starting location and spread of a fire and how accelarants may have been used. Accelerants are substances or combinations of materials that accelerate the development of a fire. It was very informative and made me think later about CAD and BIM (as most things do).firefighters

Are there any accelerants for CAD or BIM? What are some things that make work, tasks and progress move faster?

Everyone wants things to move faster. Get the job done. Don’t delay. Make it happen now. The pressure to move faster is always there.  Project deadlines, client requests, construction timelines, and so much more can demand that you move faster and faster.

So what is a CAD or BIM Manager to do? People might expect you to make things work without glitches. Make systems faster. Motivate design teams to move quicker. Find a shortcut to make production move.

What can make things move faster?

Hardware

If you are working on outdated hardware, the quickest way to make things move faster is to spend some money on upgrades. Management may not want to hear that, but you need to remind them of the demand that current software makes on hardware.  The price of a new machine will quickly be recouped in a faster productive environment where the PC is not straining to keep up with the design development. Even if Management does not want to (or cannot) make upgrades, you should mention it all the time. Keep it in the front of their minds.

Software

Right behind updating hardware to gain more speed is upgrading software. But only if it is a few releases back. The reason is because the impact of learning curve might undermine initial acceleration. But if you are a few releases back, the gains of new tools can negate this impact and you can accelerate soon after the upgrade. Software developers will tout the advantages of speed embedded in the new release and often it does move faster, but the reality might be that old user habits negate some of the speed increases generated by software. This does not apply to pure software only efforts, like file saves, generating 3D, rendering, exporting and such.

People

This might be the main way to speed things up… working with people. Things like training and providing tips and tricks. Creating an environment where sharing what is learned makes everyone faster. Listening to complaints about speed and addressing them. Having ad hoc discussions on how to make things faster. Finding the person that seems to move quicker around files or models and finding out what they do differently. Documenting what you find. Share it with all.

Energy and Enthusiasm

Just making the environment that you work in more positive and uplifting will help things move faster. Lighten the mood. Play music. Share stories about the weekends. Get to know your people. Greet each morning with vigor… Even when the going gets tough. Build a team mentality. Help each other out. Set small targets for progress and then celebrate when you achieve them.

Focus and Mission

Having a unified goal allows people to excel. Keeping them focused on the target and moving in unison progress the project quicker. It keeps people from getting bogged down in the weeds. It frees them up from the tyranny of overload. Focus is the near term targets and Mission is the grander theme of your efforts. By keeping the overall mission in play, you remind folks why we are here. It is not just a job. It is helping others and the firm to succeed. It is serving your client with integrity. It is moving toward achieving something on a grander scale.

By nudging your team in a direction that appears more downhill than uphill, you can increase their speed, expand productivity and reach farther and fast than before.

 

 

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