CADDManager on September 8th, 2010

Best practices in CAD or BIM come from many differing places and people.  They may be pulled in from another firm when someone joins your team.  They may be developed by some creative chap in your office.  They may come from internet searches or even just dumb luck.

They can appear randomly or in a more structured process.  Any way that you gather them is fine, but is there a way that might improve the odds of finding and embracing best practices?

What are the best practices for developing best practices?

Here are a few tips from my experience that might help you…

1.  Document your existing processes. Unless you know what you are doing at the present time and have it written down, it is hard to find what can be improved.  The first step in making things better is just knowing what is going on at the present time.  It may be the existing CAD Standard that you have or you may have to start from scratch and write it all down.  If the CAD Standard is outdated, then you may need to add more documents that explain what is actually happening now.

2.  Look for holes. If after you have documented your process you find that some areas are a little vague and no one is sure how something is done, it may be a hole.  Maybe not everyone knows about this area of a process.  This might be an easy win if you just get the process down in print.  Holes will be filled by users with differing methods.  The work has to get done and they will  find a way to do it.  So understand that holes in the documentation may be filled by others.  You need to fill the holes with one method of choice.

3.  Unify the process. As you write down the processes, look for differing opinions on how it is done.  One team may do things one way and another group may do it differently.  Just by getting them to agree to which is better and then getting them to do it all the same way is an improvement.

4.  Look for patterns of productivity. Keep your eyes open for those teams or users that get things done efficiently.  Those that consistently produce faster or better than others.  Watch what they do and ask them what their tricks are.  This is the beginning of a developing best practice.

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