Reviewing processes or procedures helps you to streamline the work flow of your CAD environment. But when you review – what do you do?
I am convinced that the CAD Managers job includes reviewing, defining and refining each and every step of the CAD process. From creation to completion. From files to projects to overall office flow.
So as you can expect – I have a plan for reviewing areas that fall into your overview.
Start by thinking through the major steps in your process. Write down each step in your work flow from the first point you touch CAD (or before). Do it in a timeline manner, starting with the first step and ending with plotting (or beyond).
Review the list for the areas that you KNOW are causing problems and flag them. Keep the list in the same order, just flag the ones that you want to work on first. This will allow you to work on the top priority issues while also seeing the overall flow of the process.
Take each task or step and ask some questions. Is it working effectively? Can it be improved? Is it in need or corrective action? Don’t forget to look at each step in the context of the whole. Isolating a step from the overall process could make you sacrifice overall efficiencies for the sake os one step getting better. This could actually make the whole process from end to end take longer, even though each step is better.
After you have determined that an item needs to be corrected. Define how you are going to do that and who will need to help. If it is a process that involves many people – get much input. Determine the best approach to getting better results and move in that direction. If the problem is just a quick fis, then do it and move on. If the problem impacts multiple departments or offices, make sure you gather their input before moving forward. The greater the impact or change, the longer it will take and the more people you will need to have involved.
If the issue is just an improvement to an existing work flow, then make small adjustments and guage the results. Most people will agree that making progress is a good thing, but make changes slow enough and step by step so you can track the impact. If you change too much too quickly, you may have problems determining which step caused the problem.
By moving slowly and according to plan, you can access your progress, make modification and garner support.