CADDManager on September 14th, 2008

Here are the first five.

1. Users are not following the standards
We all know that there are users that ignore the standard, set it aside, pick and choose what to follow and outright violate it. But how many of them are there in your firm. I bet the number is higher than you think it is. You may never find out who is not using the standard fully. You may not be able to get them all to use it. This does not mean you give up. It means that you just keep pushing the standard and reminding people why it is important.

2. Users are having plotting problems and not telling you
There are so many hidden troubles in plotting. Trying to get the plots out the door is a tough proposition sometimes. Just getting each file ready to plot, each model prepped for output and each person on board is a daunting task. Finding and avoiding plotting troubles is hard because they don’t show up until you try to plot the files.

Your users may not even tell you they have problems.  They just go back and try it again, and again, and again.  They only come to you when there is utter failure.

So my advice is to plot early in the process and keep plotting to make sure things are working. If you are concerned about wasting paper -then plot to PDF.  But -don’t fully trust PDF until you actually plot the files.

3. Users are not talking to you

This can be a big problem. When there is too much silence, then there is a great possibility that they are talking, but they just aren’t talking to you. This means that they are getting their advice from others. They are making up their own standards. They are hiding the problems and obliterating the standard. Be careful if things get too quiet. Start poking around.

4. Management is not happy

Finding out if management above you is happy can be tricky. Will they tell you when they think you have not “fixed” the problems that they think exist? Will they help you find out what is best for the firm? If you do not engage management on a regular basis then you face the possibility that some of them will actually work against you. They can start granting waivers to their project teams that go against the standards. They can start using software that does not lend itself to your project flow. They can encourage team members to download trial software and violate licensing agreements. Keep the conversations with management flowing. Talk to them about the need for unified software tools and the value of the standards.

5. Your network is killing you – slowly

Network speed is killing your design process. My guess is that slow network speeds account for anywhere from 10% to 25% of your system failures and design delays. If you have teams of workers that go above 10 people on a single project, you will encounter traffic slowdowns that can impact files saves. If you are using large BIM projects, the possibility for collisions in network transport can cripple your central model file. Spend money on your network infrastructure. Get the most speed you can afford. Spend money on your network prior to upgrading your software. Spend money on the network to ensure that software demands are not constrained by latency and collisions.

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