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« Mudbox: It’s Time to Throw Your Most Dangerous Mud … | Main | CAD: January 22, 2012 Autodesk Week in Review ... »

CAD: Three Quotes CAD Managers can Learn From …


CAD managerThe week is starting and we don’t know about you, but we could sure use some inspiration. So we have collected three quotes from three giants of management theory and consultation for all you CAD managers out there. Hey, as long as you are going to be managing all week, you might as well get started on Monday!

CAD Standards

"Don't wait for perfection, praise progress. "
- Michael Wagner

Anyone who has ever tried to work on new CAD standards for their organization knows that it’s not a small job. There are data details, uniform blocks, layering hierarchies and a whole lot more to a job like that. So how can you make a hard job impossible? Well you wait until everything is perfect before you pull the trigger on your new standards. But are the standards ever really perfect?

Mr. Wagner’s quote reminds us that sometimes we are too focused on perfection and not focused enough on progress. In business, time is money and time spent making things “perfect” can have a reduced return on investment. Sometimes it is better to deploy a standard that is “in progress” than to wait forever for a standard that may never be ready.


"Time has no meaning in itself unless we choose to give it significance. "
Leo Buscaglia

How many times have you been working to have an architect, engineer, or designer bring redlines in to the drafter. “I need these changes made, but there is no money left in the job.” It’s a tale that we’ve all heard too many times.

What we, as CAD professionals know, is that CAD work takes as long as it takes. A job that takes 4 hours to complete does not suddenly take 3 hours because of a budget shortfall. We we should learn from Mr. Buscaglia is that we have an elastic dynamic between the significance we place on time and quality. Too much attention to one detracts from the other.

Managing Drafters into Managers

Designers design"Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders."
Tom Peters

Are you managing CAD drafters or are you managing CAD managers in the making? If the answer to that questions is “drafters” then maybe you should consider you’re the real merit of your management style.

Mr. Peters’ comment speaks directly to something we have control over, on a daily basis, as CAD managers. So, are we taking the opportunities to convey our experience? Are we explaining why we make the decisions we make? Or are we just spouting mandates without reason or intent? Are we helping the CAD professionals we work with to improve and broaden their skill sets so they can eventually move into CAD management positions?

Here at Kung Fu Drafter we have long believed that truly successful people help to elevate those around them. They don’t make it to a certain level and pull the ladder up behind them, preventing others from following us.

The Take Away

As CAD professionals we have the opportunity to influence our working conditions and affect the conditions of others. Without finding the inspiration to improve things we end up just being cogs in a big, boring machine. But with that inspiration, we can improve our skills, our procedures, the way others perceive us and help those around us.

We hope that our little collection of quotes inspires you to make this the week you find inspiration. And as long as you’re at it, why not spread a little inspiration around the office for others. It couldn’t hurt, right …

- KFD -

Image credits: BasketMakers, U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center, and Scania Group.

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Reader Comments (2)

Excellent post for all in management to read, not just CAD Managers. A great leader elevates those he/she leads. Great companies understand that growing great workers makes a better business. Best Monday post ever!!

January 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Benton


Thanks. We're trying to raise our game to the next level.


January 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterKung Fu Drafter

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