CADDManager on May 25th, 2011
This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series Seven Functions of a CAD Manager

Are you coordinated?  Some folks can juggle baseballs, while riding a unicycle, on a tightrope wire.  That would be a stretch for most of us, but some are more coordinated than others.

Coordinating is something that CAD Managers have to do every day.  They orchestrate the flow of CAD work, schedule roll-outs and downtime, work with multiple departments, shuffle deadlines and work under pressure.  Here are a few areas where coordination is needed.  Some are very hands on and some are philosophical.

Project Work Flow: CAD Managers need to be embedded into the project work flow so they know what is coming.  This is typically seen as critical when it comes to plotting output.  Coordinating submittals between projects is important.  Work with the PM’s to make sure that they are not landing on the same date and time.  You will not be able to change submittal dates, but you can work with the PM to schedule the output.  You may even have to outsource plotting if there is a major bottleneck.

Software Roll-outs: You will need to coordinate the timing of new software roll-outs.  Make sure that they avoid major project submittals and milestones.  Make sure that training is ready before the roll-out (if needed). Make sure that everyone in the firm knows it is happening.  No surprises.

Hardware Refresh: When that new hardware finally arrives, make sure that the desktop swaps are not impeding work production.  Some have done them on the weekend, some overnight, some during lunch.  You need to work with each individual person on the timing of a swap.  Don’t just roll up with a new workstation and expect the person to jump out of their seat (unless the old dog machine they have is on it’s last legs)

There are so many more areas.  Please comment and add to the list.


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2 Responses to “CAD Manager as Coordinator”

  1. Christian Barrett
    May 25th, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    They may have to coordinate the sharing of drawings and other design data between other firms and other departments at their own firm.

    Coordinate any cad training their staff needs.

    I feel that there are more CAD coordinators than there managers becusse most can not hire or fire or even reprimand their users, so they are not really managers.

  2. Charlie McGowan
    July 5th, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Christian makes a very good point regarding the hiring/firing and reprimanding of users. The CAD Coordinator or Project Coordinator is placed in a very difficult position having the responsibility to ensure everything works, the users have all the information and standards required while being subject to being challenged and sometimes undermined by those who would resent him or her being in the assumed position of authority. While engineers will always now run projects, the position of coordinator is a thankless and stressful job. Bring back the position of Chief Draughtsman/Designer or Group Leaders and provide them with a level of authority which would enable them to deal with those who choose to undermine their efforts or challenge them on a continuous basis.I have heard nightmare stories from colleagues who have been subjected to various type of abuse from users and nothing is ever domne about it.The worst offenders complain to the boss and the coordinator is hauled over the coals with no mention of who their accusers are. Justice for all I say and let’s deal with the troublemakers while reducing the stress on the coordinators.

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