CADDManager on January 10th, 2008

I have previously done some extensive writing on BAD CAD – files that fail to work the way you expect. Now I move on the BAD CAD Managers. There are a few out there that are easy to spot. They stick out like a sore thumb and everyone tries to avoid them. But before we hack on the other, let’s think of how we may fall into this category from time to time. Each of us has exhibited BAD CAD Management from time to time…

We all may need a little exercise now that the new year is here and the holiday weight is hanging on. Getting rid of those extra pounds is tough. So is getting rid of some bad habits. One of those is jumping to conclusions.

We jump to a conclusion any time we offer an answer before we have all of the information needed to give a good answer. We jump to conclusions anytime we make a generalized statement based on minimal data.

Here is an example:

Susan leaves a note on your desk as she leaves for lunch telling you that she needs a file restored from backups. Susan “always” messes up files and she has often had troubles that others do not. Just last week she corrupted an entire project by messing up the background files beyond repair. So you decide that you are going to fix these files and then “fix” her. You think – this is a no brainer!. You fixed these troubles several times for others. A few quick adjustments to her system and things will be running smoothly. You go to her machine, make the adjustments, spend about 30 minutes cleaning up the file that she thought needed to be restored and then wait for her to return from lunch so you can “train” her in the proper use of the tools. You pridefully return to your desk to wolf down the left over lasagna from last nights dinner out with the family.

Susan returns and asks about the file… “Did you replace that file I asked about?” You launch into the 27 reasons why files get corrupted and the 35 ways to prevent it. Susan does not get a word in while you “adjust her thinking”. When you finally stop for a breath she mentions that the real reason the file needed to be restored is that the client wants to revert back to a previous design. Restoring the file was the best way to get that design restored.

You have egg on your face and you have most likely insulted Susan – why? Because you jumped to a conclusion that was not true. If you had more data and information, you could have restored that file fairly quick and not “wasted” time working on the wrong thing. We all know that we should avoid jumping to conclusions, but we fall into this trap often.

Take the time to ask some questions before you embark on fixing the problems. A few short questions before you dive in can help you avoid a lengthy effort in the wrong direction. Most of the time the first question should contain the word “WHY”.

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