CADDManager on July 2nd, 2012
This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series The Trials of a New CAD Manager

Trial Seven:  Change is Bad

When taking on a new position you will have to balance the need to make changes, but not too many.  Change must be needed since they offered you the position.  Unless they hired you and specifically said not to change anything and to just maintain what was going on, then you have change in front of you.

You can to this position with ideas for change.  Fixes are needed.  Adjustments are in order.  There many be many or just a few, but there are things that need to be reviewed and refined.  That is what a CAD Manager does.  They look over the landscape to see where the rough spots are and they look for ways to smooth them out.

You may encounter resistance with the big changes and with the small ones.

Symptoms of this Trial: 

People will push back when you suggest changes in the workflow and processes that are in place.  Big change and little change will cause concern to some folks.  Those closest to the production will most likely share your desire to see change.  Those that are a step or two away from the front lines may not see the need.  They say “Things are working fine, we do not need to upset the apple cart”.  And they start pushing back.  They may recruit others to their side and seek to squelch any change that you have in mind.

When this Trial comes your way:

Find out who made the existing rules and who benefits or is “loses” from a change.  Often those that seek to keep the status quo are those that defined the work methods prior to you coming on board.  They made the rules and they think they still should apply.  Their project teams are fully versed in the processes and they don’t want any troubles coming from some change that you might suggest.

Once you know who has invested in the existing environment, you may be able to seek their advice or get their input.  Ask them to share what they like about the current flow and what they think might need fixing.  Move past the comments of “nothing is needed” and look for some small little change that you can make to get the ball rolling.  Once you get one small success or improvement, ask them about your ideas.  Get them to allow you to adjust another area.  Offer it up as a test.  If it fails, you can go back to what was done before.

Start small and make little adjustments as you move to prove your value and then move to larger and larger items.  Do not change something gigantic, just make a small change and build on the positive that comes from it.  You will soon be trusted with more and be able to move from Change is Bad – to Change is Good.

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