CADDManager on October 25th, 2006

This is an old adage, but it is still a good one.You should be out of your office on a regular basis. Walking the floor and talking to people. Get a feeling for what is going on.Get out of your chair and walk around. Most CAD users will not leave their chair. They will figure out a work around to their problem that may not follow standard procedures.

When you are walking say “Hi”. Get their attention. You will get more questions from just being “in the neighborhood”, than waiting for someone to call.

Do not distract them from their work. If they are deeply involved in a design then just drop a quick “Howdy” and move on.

Hold open air meetings. You may want to hold a meeting in an open area so others can overhear your conversations. Don’t always only talk CAD shop in your office. Be sensitive to those who could not care less. But if someone seems interested in the topic, bring them into the conversation. Don’t talk too long. Do not get into long conversations that may be distracting to others in the area. Go ask peoples opinions. Walk over to a CAD users desk and ask them about some issue that you are working through. They will enjoy giving you input and you will need to hear it.Make part of your day interacting with people that are not part of your normal routine. Go to another floor, another building, another office. Or get on the phone and do it virtually.

Gather negative thoughts. When a problem comes up in CAD, go ask someone that is not involved if they are having the same problem. This will bring them into the conversation and may even provide them with an opportunity to give an answer.

Do straw polls. Go around and ask a few quick questions and get feedback. “I am looking into plotting problems. How many plots do usually create in one day? How many of them fail? How do you correct the problem?” Write down the answers. Review your results.

The goal is to get input and comments on issues that effect your management process. Hopefully from people that are not part of your regular pool of coworkers. It will expandresourcesourses and make people feel that they are part of a larger team. It also gets you interacting with your CAD Clients!

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One Response to “CAD Management by Walking Around”

  1. Excellent ideas. I run a CAD drafting service and have been putting many of them into practice for quite a while.

    One related thought: ask your team members what difficulties they are experiencing in the application they are using. I find this effectively prevents larger problems from developing.

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