This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Critical Conversations

CAD Issues that are brought to you must be addressed.  CAD problems can corrupt CAD files, cripple progress and ruin projects.  This is not a good thing.  Issues have to be dealt with when they arise.  Better yet – tackle them when they are just concerns before they become failures.

But failures happen.  They are often avoidable when issues are caught early and addressed, but can still happen even when you know they are coming.  I have seen train wreck projects that continue to cascade down the line toward failure.  I have seen countless man-hours chewed up fixing things that were left in a mess.  I have seen users do very interesting things that mangle files.

When an issue goes unaddressed it breed failure.  Things break and may become irreparable.  Then you have to recreate things to get them working.  CAD failures impact you as the CAD Manager.  They reflect badly on your ability to keep things running smoothly.  They may not be something that you could have prevented, but others think you can.

When CAD Failures Happen

Take ownership of the repair.  Do whatever you can to get things back on track.  Personally take charge of the situation and make adjustments and suggestions as needed.

Speak the truth.  Don’t candy coat things.  Tell people what the problem is and what you think the fix is.  Don’t place blame, but do not let blame land on your shoulders if it is not warranted.  Others will try to place it firmly in your hands, so document your findings and tell people what really might have cause the problem.  Keep it positive and not a negative attack on anyone, but get your perspective out there.

Address the issues directly with management.  Take the conversation as high up the food chain as you can take it.  As you move higher, keep the conversation brief unless they ask more questions.  Most upper managers do not want a forensic investigation outlined to them in detail.  They want a concise explanation of the problem and a definitive plan to correct it.

Follow through on the repairs.  If you are doing them, let people know when they are done.  If others are doing them, check in often for updates and examine the results to verify that the fix really worked.


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