CADDManager on April 30th, 2009

Let’s face it – CAD Managers have to get involved.  There are a lot of times that you will not be invited in to meetings, planning efforts, new hire orientation, project setups, reviews, or more.  So you have to just stick your nose in.

How do you do that?  without offending?  Without getting pushed aside?  Without jeopardizing you chances of getting invited back?

It is an art form.  Something you have to get good at.  You may not be good at it at first, but you will get there through practice…

Here are some few tips for practicing on a small scale…

Start small

Don’t just jump into a major meeting or project without some practice.  Start with “butting in” on some users.  Just wander up to a user and start a conversation.  Ask them what they are working on.  Or what they are doing this fine day.

Ask Random Questions

One of the best ways to interrupt someones process is to ask a question.  Go ask some people how the software is working.  You just want to start them talking.  Ask if they have noticed any speed slowdowns in the last week – everybody wants to talk about how slow their PC is working.  The whole concept is to start the conversation flow.  Ask them if they have a minute to talk at the beginning.  You do not want to waste their time.  It could make them less receptive to future conversations if they feel interrupted.

Ask for Help

Ask them to help you with something, anything.  Again to get the conversation going, you need an opening.  So ask them to help you understand the process they are using for “whatever”, plotting, file creation, submittals, it does not matter. Once the conversation is flowing move to the topic that you are interested in.

Ask Related Questions

You could ask about the thing that you are interested in finding out about, but not if it is a negative.  If you are trying to stick your nose into an area that is not following standard – you may not get far by asking them why they are not doing what they are supposed to do.  Start by asking to understand the process they are using (without a critique at first).  Then move the conversation toward the offending process.  Do this by asking questions.  Ask in the following manner…  “That is an interesting way to go about it.  Did you check the standard on that?”  or “That seems to be working, but did you know that their is another wy of doing it?  Can I show you?”

Getting to the Point

Once the conversation is flowing and you have successfully turned the topic to your area of concern, then you have succeeded in Sticking in Your Nose.  Now move to the point.  Show them the answer, the standard, the solution or whatever.  Just start the straight talk about the topic you wanted to bring up.

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