CADDManager on November 11th, 2008

Last time we talked about an incomplete standard being useless. Now we move on to another issue that may make your CAD Standard Useless.

A Useless CAD Standard is…

Not Enforced

When you fail to enforce your standard, it soon becomes useless.  If there are no consequences for not following the standard, then why should people follow it.  People will try to duck the standard, avoid the standard and set it aside.  Managers will try to get their team to not use it if they feel  it is slowing their project down.  Users will ignore it if they think it is irrelevant.

Avoiding this trouble:

Set up a process for reviewing the projects for standards compliance.   Have them reviewed and fixed.  Get your upper management to understand the need for compliance.  Don’t let projects slide when they are not following the standard.  Take it as far to the top as you need to. Don’t let up.

3 Responses to “A Useless CAD Standard – Part 2”

  1. I like the part of having a process for enforcement. A team of engineers and I are working on a plan to standardize the way standard parts (AN, NAS, and MS parts) are modeled in CAD, named, and located. After reading this, I expanded the section on the implementation. Hopefully all the typing, emailing, and meetings we’ve done will not in vain. As I read here, we should make the standard 99.9% complete but we’ll need management backing to have it enforced. We’ll see. I hope you keep writing and don’t focus on the negative comments.

  2. I was selected to fill the newly created position of CAD Manager 6 years ago. I had a lot to learn. Throughout this journey I was told I had to get users to “buy-in” to our CAD standards.
    From my perspective, I knew this would be a challenge but not impossible. I thought, I’ll just explain the advantages of CAD standards and show my users how CAD standards will save them time and effort and make them more productive. Right?
    After the first 2 or 3 years, the standards I’d developed and implemented were still not being used by the majority of 300 + users. Some users commented that our standards were too complex and hard to follow. So, I turned my focus towards doing everything I could to make our standards “User Friendly”. My revised standards included new everything from the bottom up plus custom tools designed specifically to meet our user’s needs. This monumental effort cultivated some additional followers, but still, the majority remained non-compliant.
    Year after year I tried different approaches and method to persuade users to adopt our standards. (I’m a persistent fellow and I don’t give up easily.) I tried to establish local office CAD managers to enforce our standards. This effort failed due to administrative costs. I tried to enforce our standards through our Quality Control Department, but the department head was unwilling to get involved.
    With frustration levels at the breaking point, I forced the issue to the top. Unfortunately, our Corporate Management is unwilling to support or fund a sustainable CAD standards governance system. Sad but true. I’ll be resigning my position as CAD Manager in the weeks ahead and return to my previous role as a CAD Designer.

  3. Timothy, I am curious how this has changed your view. Please respond if you can.


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