CADDManager on May 2nd, 2006

When developing CAD Standards and policies you need to keep in mind two users that impact these areas.. Your Best User and Your Worst User.

Mr. Best will want to use the latest and greatest tools that you have. He will reach into the deepest depths of the software and find some little trick or setting that makes the unusual possible. They will apply the tools in ways that the developers may never have envisioned. They are creative and investigative in their efforts to squeeze every last drop of functionality out of the current release. When the new release is rolled out, they want to instantly start using the new features and fixes.

Mr. Worst will want to use the software as if it were four releases behind the current offering. They are just now embracing some of the tools that were added in AutoCAD 2000, if not 14. They are productive but set in their ways. They are not really interested in learning new functions, because they are efficient with the old ones.

Now – Mr. B and Mr. W both work in your environment and they both share files and work on the same projects. The balance that you need to achieve is somewhere between the two.

My philosophy is that you set your CAD Standards based on the workflow of Mr. Worst and base your training on Mr. Best.

By training at high levels and pushing everyone toward the Mr. B level you will be advancing the tools as they become available.

By basing your Standard on Mr. Worst you will be setting the least common denominator that everyone has to achieve. I am not saying that you have some lame, outdated standard. You need to set the bar high enough to not let Mr. W become complacent.

Keep pushing the Standard ahead and keep training for the best use.

You will also have to have conversations with both about working with the other.

Mr. B will be frustrated by having to slow down and dumb down his files and methods. He will have to know that he cannot introduce some fancy method that others do not understand and know how to use. You may want to place the training efforts on his shoulders. Don’t let him introduce methods into production that are not approved.

Mr. W will want to throw the brakes on any advancement that you are trying to achieve. He does not want to expend the effort it takes to learn and master a new tool. He is slowing everyone down and he needs to move along. Don’t let him drag you down too much.

By understanding the perspectives that both bring you will be able to achieve a balanced CAD environment where progress is measured, controlled and advancing.

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One Response to “Setting policy – the best user verses the worst user”

  1. Lucky Balaraman
    May 2nd, 2006 at 9:43 PM

    Our experience is that most of the Mr Ws are happy to learn new skills because it makes them more marketable… the problem for the CAD Manager is then how to prevent them from being poached…

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