CADDManager on March 24th, 2009

Some may wonder when is the best time to create a CAD Standard. Do they wait until too many problems arise to live without one? Do they wait until the owner can no longer stand the confusion and complaints of the production staff?

Here are some thoughts on this issue…

Start Now

You should create a CAD Standard as soon as possible. Don’t wait for complaints or for others to realize that one is needed. The CAD Manager is the one that should be thinking out in front of others. If you are the CAD Manager then start thinking of standards.

Start small

Don’t wait to have a completed package of standards. Start right away by getting some documentation created on a small scale. Starting small allows you to gauge the embrace of your firm with this process. Chances are that there is already some form of a standard floating around your firm. It may be slips of paper or memos or emails that outline what to do when. Start collecting those up and formatting them so they all look similar.

Write down one topic at a time

You could start writing down what people are doing. Or what you are doing. Getting something in writing is the first step. When something begins to take shape and appears in writing, them people start taking notice. Some may have concerns about the process or the need or what is in the standard. This will start a conversation that will lead to developing a Standard.

Look at the topics collectively

Once you have some things on paper start looking for what is missing. Refer to my list of what needs to be included. Make sure you cover the big ten that I mention first. After those areas are done, move to others.

3 Responses to “When Should a CAD Standard be Created?”

  1. Mark,

    Do you recommend creating a cad standard from scratch and then follow through with numerous editing meetings.

    Your post regarding the requirements of a cad standard was an excellent list, I am just trying to sort out if it is more efficient to purchase a standard like the UDS and edit it to suit, or create one paragraph at a time.

    What are your thoughts.



  2. Dan,

    Stay tuned… I will be covering most of your concerns over the next few, if not many, posts.

    But – I would suggest not totally starting from scratch. Most firms have something already, even if it is outdated (or you could use the National CAD Standard as a starting place), then edit from there.

  3. Mark,

    I will continue to read through your posts. Starting from scratch is really tough. The format, structure and language of the document is important. The meetings that I have attended in the past were a battle of verbage and action verbs rather then content and direction of the document.

    Thanks again.


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