cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
2024 Technology Preview Program

2024 Technology Preview Program:
Master powerful new features and shape the latest BIM-enabled innovations

Project data & BIM
About BIM-based management of attributes, schedules, templates, favorites, hotlinks, projects in general, quality assurance, etc.

Cad Managerment, Templates and Quality Control

Anonymous
Not applicable
I just thought i would throw this idea out and see what people think.

I think a constant problem for CAD managers it trying to get staff to read the procedures and follow them. I have seen many managers explain how they do it, most commonly through a cad manual, linking staff reviews to their cad performance, using empty layers to identify groups of layers, ect, but i wonder if there is something more that can be provided specifically for this in ArchiCAD.

This has already been implemented minimally by Graphisoft in a few small areas like PEN sets where we can name each pen. I use this name to identify what pen should be used for what, eg. concrete, blockwork, gyprock ect. But i think it needs to go a lot further and a system needs to be created thinking of the whole quality control management issue.

Generally I think it would be good if there was a layer of information that Cad Managers could add to their templates that would help this problem. The benefit of this is that the information would be dynamic and it would be delivered while people are working.

There are probably many ways this information could be delivered through ArchiCAD which i would like to hear peoples thoughts.

My initial thoughts are (which i think are probably a bit primitive and there are probably better ideas out there) is that a office specific help is prompted when your mouse is held over a item. For example I have a certain way in which layouts are created, so ideally when a user holds their mouse over one of the template layout folders I would like not only ArchiCADs help prompt 'What is this?' to appear but also a office specific prompt to appear like '[Practice Name] Help on this'

The end goal would be good to move the whole cad manual out of a graphic and textual manual either hardcopy or electronically where it lives today and into the actual program.
11 REPLIES 11
Michael
Contributor

Not sure about the specific remedies that are to be applied to the base software, however I hear what you are saying about the lack of attending to protocols, generally thought out, typically with studied insight by the CAD manager.

It's called it the renegade factor. Because the renegade's methodology is not employed, he or she just doesn't care what the common "favorite" or "procedure" or "layer" does to lend to efficiency and productivity.

The project manager becomes the scapegoat, the firm owner can not understand why the manager can not keep projects on track and within budget, and the CADD manager spends his or her career life trying to correct the renegade's miscues, and everyone wonders why there aren't any year end bonuses.

So if you can remedy the renegade factor go for it. Having not worked for a large firm, perhaps this problem does not exist there, experience surely suggest it happens in the small firms.

BIM should put the renegade out of business don't you think ?
Michael |:-)
AC 4.5 - 19 Build 3003 Full USA
Mac OSX 10.10
TomWaltz
Participant
Michael wrote:
The project manager becomes the scapegoat, the firm owner can not understand why the manager can not keep projects on track and within budget, and the CADD manager spends his or her career life trying to correct the renegade's miscues, and everyone wonders why there aren't any year end bonuses.
Given most company's hierarchy, the project manager IS responsible for the performance of the people on their team, including the speed and accuracy of their work. This person is not a scapegoat. They really are responsible for fixing the issue. It's called "management" for a reason.

The problem is that most architects lack the management skills to handle the situation.

The CAD Manager is too often positioned as more of an IT/support person who does not have the authority or the accountability to fix personnel performance problems. It's not this person's job to fix HR issues. It is their job to make sure the standards are documented and embedded in the template as much as possible. Only in rare instances are they actually capable of enforcing compliance with those standards.
Tom Waltz
Michael
Contributor
Tom Waltz wrote
Given most company's hierarchy, the project manager IS responsible for the performance of the people on their team, including the speed and accuracy of their work. This person is not a scapegoat. They really are responsible for fixing the issue. It's called "management" for a reason.

The problem is that most architects lack the management skills to handle the situation.
I respectfully disagree with the lack of management skills portion, for goodness sake the PM coordinates & manages thousands of decisions to see a project through
.........you may have missed the point of the post :

"Main Entry: ren·e·gade" defined as

1 : a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another
2 : an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior

Sounds as if you may work for a larger company with lots of rungs on the ladder .......

In smaller firms the dynamics are not necessarily the same as in a studio or a on a team in a larger firm.

The renegade factor is one contributing reason architects chose more profitable solo practices, as their careers develop, (or grow so they delegate the dastardly position so some unsuspecting soul), than small firm practices contending with the, shall we say, renegade, eh! ?

If one could be sheriff, preacher, and PM concurrently there would be no issue....go figure.....|:-)
Michael |:-)
AC 4.5 - 19 Build 3003 Full USA
Mac OSX 10.10
TomWaltz
Participant
Michael wrote:
Sounds as if you may work for a larger company with lots of rungs on the ladder .......
I do now, but it's only been the last few months. I've literally worked at firms from 7 people to 7000 people. Most of my time was at a 50-person firm, which had ZERO renegade users. We may have hired a few, but we also straightened them out.

Your disagreement points out the exact problem: management is more than just making decisions about the project. It has to include managing the people as well. Making decisions is not the same as getting maximum performance out of a team. It's not hard to make a decision, so it's easy to focus on that. Managing people is a lot harder, so it's easy to cast it aside. (no, whipping people does not count as management!).

I've seen many architects/PMs good at project management (making decisions about projects, schedules, etc), but very few good at performance/personnel management (dealing with low performers, poor drafting quality, building trust among their teams, etc). I have seen them, but they are the exception, not the norm. I've actually seen more good managers in the larger firms than in the smaller ones.

I don't see dealing with "renegade" CAD users as a technical issue. It's actually a pretty easy management issue. If an employee is not performing in a way that benefits the company, you take disciplinary action, work with the person to improve, letting the employee take responsibility for continuing their employment or not. Again, for someone who knows how to manage, it's not hard. If architect (or anyone in charge on the team) knows how to manage the situation, the "renegade" factor drops to near zero.

The role of the person dealing with problem employees may very from company to company. It might be the owner, the project manager, the studio head, or the HR department, depending on the size of the firm. It's critical that somebody actually does it though, and that is where too many firms fail. As long as management is not managing people as much as they manage projects, no technology will ever remove the "renegade factor."

I know, personnel management is WAY off topic here in Archicad land. My favorite forum for discussing that is http://www.manager-tools.com.
Tom Waltz
Anonymous
Not applicable
As someone who is trying to develop the CADD formats for a small firm I find that a different issue has evolved. The grass is always greener. Just when I feel like I have developed a reasonable program I see another firm's and think that is better. Is there a forum for peer to peer discussion on 'best practices' that will provide me with a discussion on methods - and rationales- for developing everything from pen sets to layer conventions and conversions? I want to start down a path that I don't double back on.
Michael
Contributor
Perhaps this is what you are seeking a pre-packaged system....

http://www.getstandardized.com/ and/or
http://www.archicadtemplate.com

worth a look
Michael |:-)
AC 4.5 - 19 Build 3003 Full USA
Mac OSX 10.10
Da3dalus
Enthusiast
Back to the QC issue, I think there's one issue that is hard for a CAD manager to handle: when the renegade is also your boss. This is a crossover to the conversations about BIM implementation, where we all know that executive buy-in is a must.

You may win the implementation battle, but that doesn't mean that the seniors in the firm will play by the rules. If you're in a small firm where the principals or PMs do much of their own work, they often feel that they are above training, and, being smarter than the rest of us, they will learn standards by osmosis. Besides, they're too busy. It becomes the CAD manager's fault that they don't know how to do something. So, you end up going back to AutoCAD, because that's what they know.

Of course, you can't tell them to just get the heck out of your kitchen, because they will insist it's their kitchen, even though they don't know where the spoons are. I do it anyway, but I'm just that kind of person. I like to fight. But that's typically unwise.

Typically, in a small firm, the CAD manager does not have any HR power. If I fire the interior designer (or get her to quit with discipline) over being a renegade, then I just blew away our entire interior design department, and the whole market strategy of the firm has to change. Little changes end up becoming catastrophic, so you need to learn to compromise and get along.

Sometimes I wish I could be the BIM Dictator or a large firm, but I imagine there's pains with that, too.
Chuck Kottka
Orcutt Winslow
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

ArchiCAD 25 (since 4.5)
Macbook Pro 15" Touchbar OSX 10.15 Core i7 2.9GHz/16GB RAM/Radeon Pro560 4GB
Anonymous
Not applicable
Michael,

I don't think that I thanked you for the link to the templates so, Thanks.

Mark,

I'm nor sure your original question has really ben answered or addressed. Other than using company standards it seems what your asking has to be implemented at the code level of the program.
Anonymous
Not applicable
I agree that traditionally CAD software has relied on users to monitor consistency and continues to provide few structured, inbuilt management processes for us to be able to identify issues.

It's even harder to locate and address 'renegade' components in our teams. As always, idiot proof system produce new and improved idiots.

It is my firm belief that enforcement of CAD protocols are only part of the issue. It is inevitable that things will go wrong within the files because we deal with humans. The question is how well we can identify this and how quickly can we implement the appropriate change at project level and within the staff involved. All our standard processes ( standard modelling method ), content objectives (Standard drawing set), and CAD templates/Protocols should be in alignment so we make the best use of Archicad or any other software we use. Too many times I've seen processes put in place that actively work against the structure of a given software. It's usually very inefficient and extremely hard to implement and enforce. You basically get everyone trying to beat the system because it's too technical and hasn't been written down.

Our firm has taken a integrated approach to this by actually making it hard to go wrong and using Archicads inherent 3D object environment to aid compliance. Items such as using composite walls to preset pen weights and file types, integration of key labels and 2D symbols with actual 3D objects ( these lay in scale sensitive 2D documentation items automatically when the placed on the floor plan and automatically label in elevation. They also have the line styles and standard fills included so you just use the elements and you know you're within the system.), favourites etc can all help. What we found is the hardest process to enforce is one that relies on 2D elements for the majority of graphical output. Effectively if it can be managed in the IS schedules it can be controlled at project level, project wide, and to a certain extent office wide.

With the methods we employ I can set project systems at the start and then monitor them for consistency through the design program, change them project wide in a very short time ( sometimes instantly ) and then check them electonically for compliance. None of this is being done outside the standard Archicad install although we do have a specialist library to help us with the objects.

In short, there are ways of effectively managing archicad but you have to play to it's strengths and use it's inherent tools effectively.

Cheers