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Communicating with Upper Management

CAD Managers often have to communicate in writing. I encourage every CM to develop their ability to communicate via memo, e-mail, newsletter, etc.

Let’s say you were writing to management on a tech issues that outlines a problem and needs approval for you to correct it. Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t make the document is too long and too in depth?. They are not going to have time to read it and may not understand it.
  2. If the document is long, you should provide an executive summary. It would be one or two paragraphs that encapsulate the focus of the document. If they are interested they can keep reading. If they agree, you may get approval from just the summary.
  3. Keep the focus on the document in a non judgmental mode. Don’t ridiculing the existing situation or the people who developed it. You never know who might read your words, so choose them carefully.
  4. Avoid the use of profanity, derogative remarks and such as it is unprofessional.
  5. Avoid calling something “bad” unless you know that everyone agrees that it is bad. You may step on some toes if the people who love it are still around. Define the difficulties but don’t draw conclusions, even if they are obvious. It may stink, but let them decide it stinks.
  6. You need to quantify any problems in dollars and time. Money talks louder than CAD Managers.
  7. Don’t take on an “US and THEM” kind of attitude. You are all in this together. You just want to suggest a way of doing it better.
  8. Think it through and reread your work. If you are writing something when you are mad or fed up, wait at least one day to send it. Read it again to see if you want to reword anything.
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