How to Create AutoCAD Standards
If you are searching for tips on developing an AutoCAD standards policy, you have come to the right place.
We have compiled our suggestions for CAD drawing standards as follows:
- When deciding on a CAD manager
to create and implement the CAD standards, suggest that all CAD staff
vote on who they think should become the CAD leader.
After all, who would
know better about the best potential candidate than the company CAD
designers and drafters?
If there is a tie, flip a coin.
Keep it simple.
While everyone may have
their "preferred" way of doing things, the end result must be to run each
department smoothly across the board with efficiency as the primary goal.
- If no one can be found
internally for the CAD manager position, or no one wants to take on the
responsibility of developing and updating the AutoCAD standards, management
should hire an outside individual or seek qualified outside third party
resources to develop and implement the CAD drawing standards.
Then, of course, enforce them and move
- Make sure upper management is
aware of the ramifications of not drawing the line when it comes to decision
Too much time can be wasted due to progress blockers, such as a CAD
department head with a personal agenda or the self-appointed company CAD
In all fairness, nobody really likes to change the way they are working,
when the way they have been working works well for them. After all why
fix it if it’s not broken?
sometimes “taking one for the team” and considering the bigger picture is in
company’s best interest. It also makes the individual CAD users’ work easier
when there is no guess work.
- Prior to developing the
CAD drawing standards, each department should submit its current
drafting and design standards to
the CAD manager for review.
existing standards should only be used to assist the CAD manager with the
development of the new global standard.
No expectations should be placed on the CAD
manager from any of the departments.
- There should be only 1 final
decision maker for the company’s AutoCAD standards, the CAD manager. The CAD
manager’s decisions must be fully enforced by upper management in writing.
The CAD manager’s job is tough enough as it is. Fending off venting CAD
staff because their favorite color for dimensioning has been changed from
red to blue, should not be a prerequisite (hence the leeriness of many
potential CAD managers to actually become CAD managers).
- Many firms utilize a CAD
manager for other project related tasks, such as CAD design or drafting.
That is probably not the best way to utilize a CAD manager since the manager
could be performing various duties related to the well being of the firm’s
CAD structure, saving the company money in the long run.
Nevertheless, if the CAD manager is also a CAD producer, the manager should
be given the opportunity to work FULL-TIME and uninterrupted on developing
the AutoCAD standards; 100% to creating AutoCAD standards during a
predetermined amount of time, as discussed with upper management.
Two to three weeks should suffice for most firms, but other factors may
warrant more time; such as the number of disciplines /departments / branches
in the company, meetings if required, etc.
There should be sufficient time allowed to review the current standards (if
any), research existing standards that work elsewhere, modify to suit if
necessary, and organize an implementation schedule.
- If meetings with
department heads and representatives are a MUST, then more time should be
reasonably allocated to developing the AutoCAD standards.
The meetings themselves should be limited to two meetings over a two to
three week period, no more.
Enabling the CAD manager to carry on, as soon as possible, with the actual
development of the CAD standards is best. Prolonging the inevitable is
pointless and a waste of resources (not to mention costing the company more
Additionally, if there are many departments within the company or different
types of CAD software
are being utilized (i.e. AutoCAD, Microstation, Chief
Architect, etc.), more time should be permitted.
- Many times, upper management
is not aware of the hard work a CAD manager contributes to a company.
Keeping upper management informed of the CAD
managers duties in a brief memo every couple of weeks is a good idea
(layman's terms would be best).
- When it comes to a good CAD
manager, a firm will “get what they pay for”.
Realizing that an excellent CAD manager will
save your company money in productivity, is smart business.
Ensuring the manager is appropriately
compensated will send a clear message to him/her that you value their
- Some suggestions for
researching different AutoCAD standards:
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