CADDManager on July 11th, 2011
This entry is part 9 of 17 in the series Principles of CAD Management

Centralizing critical functions was Fayol’s idea of how to make an organization more productive and efficient.  Fayol did not think that the subordinate employee was just a worker bee and had nothing to bring to the organization, but he did feel that centralized command and control were more effective.

This is contrary to the ways of today when empower employees and decentralize many functions and decisions.  Some firms press the org chart flat and push as many decisions down the ladder as they can.  They talk of how the front line employee can make command decisions.  Many firms talk a good game, but few can pull it off.  Most end up with a mixture of decision paths that allow employees to make the call and also require them to move the decision up the tree to others.

Fayol really did support an organization that could make the right decision at the right level. I have worked in large firms and small firms.  Smaller firms appear more nimble in the decisions that can be made.  Larger firms tend to have structures that require “checking in” with many people and committees prior to a bottom line decision.

CAD decisions need to be left to the right person making the call.  It is up to the CAD or BIM Manager to provide enough information for decisions to happen.  Providing the needed understanding of how files and models are intertwined and what effect a decision has on others helps users make the right choice.  Expecting a right choice in the absence of proper information is foolhardy.

I like to use the following general guideline for who can make the call on specific CAD related issues:

If it impacts just one file – the user makes the call.  What layer is used.  What color is this.

If it impacts multiple files – two or more users can discuss and make the call.

If it impacts an entire project or a client deadline – the Project Manager makes the call using input from multiple users and the CAD Manager.

These are general thoughts and provide no hard and fast rules.

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