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© 2011 Autodesk CAD Standards vs. Office Politics: Winning the Battle Eric Chappell Author, Consultant, CAD Manager
© 2011 Autodesk Class Summary In this class, we will explore how to defuse typical sources of resistance that prevent good standards from happening.
© 2011 Autodesk Learning Objectives At the end of this class, you will be able to: Identify political motivations that can affect your standards Identify obstacles in the way of standardizing your company Employ techniques to overcome those obstacles Design your standards to be “politic-proof” to avoid future obstacles Ensure that you are not guilty of political behavior
© 2011 Autodesk Who Is This Guy? Been working in the CAD world for 20 years 4 years in the field 6 years in production 4 years in consulting 6 years in CAD management and consulting Author AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012 Essentials AutoCAD Civil 3D Certification Exam Various Autodesk Documents Whitepapers Tutorials Internal Training Materials Consultant/Trainer Various Autodesk and non-Autodesk projects
© 2011 Autodesk Understanding Office Politics
© 2011 Autodesk Understanding Office Politics Office Politics - When ideas are being judged or dismissed based on something other than their merits. - Brown’s Dictionary of Relationship Terms
© 2011 Autodesk Understanding Office Politics Most people know that standards are a good idea For reasons we’ll try to understand – when you try to implement standards, they don’t always respond that way To help us to understand, and to have a little fun, we’ll break these responses down into several types
© 2011 Autodesk Personality Types of the Resistance
© 2011 Autodesk Gender Disclaimer He = He or She
© 2011 Autodesk Personality Types of the Resistance The Veteran CAD Guru Reactions Defending Territory - “We’ve been doing it our way for 10 years and we are very efficient. No other system of standards could possibly be an improvement.” Defending Expert Status - “I’ve been doing it this way for 10 years and I am very efficient. No other system of standards could possibly be an improvement.”
© 2011 Autodesk Personality Types of the Resistance The Deer in the Headlights Reactions The TMI Effect- “Our schedules are too tight. We can’t afford to waste time checking the manual to use the right title block, text styles, symbols, colors, linetypes, and everything else you’ve changed!” Culture Shock - “These new standards are really going to change the appearance of our drawings. The client is going to freak!”
© 2011 Autodesk Personality Types of the Resistance The Prima Donna/Diva Reactions The “Nobody Asked Me” Effect - “Nobody asked me what I thought of storing all project data under one master folder. I don’t see any benefit in this.” The “I Don’t Get Paid for That” Effect- “How am I supposed to focus on designing when I have to worry about layers, and styles and all this stuff?” By the way – both males and females are eligible for this category
© 2011 Autodesk Personality Types of the Resistance The Indifferent Teenager Reactions The “You’re Not the Boss of Me” Effect - “Until tells me to do this, I’m not going to worry about it.” The New Year’s Day Gym Membership Effect - “This is the first I’ve heard anything about the CAD Manual since it was posted 6 months ago. I didn’t think we were that serious about it.”
© 2011 Autodesk Political Responses
© 2011 Autodesk Political Responses Possible Responses: Meet with supervisor beforehand – “This is a bad idea” A Problem because: Supervisor will listen – this is his go-to person Supervisor will be ready for you Why is this political? – Not based on merit, based on: Preserving expert status Job security Protecting his regime
© 2011 Autodesk Political Responses Possible Responses: “How will we get anything done!?” “Everything’s going to be late!?” “This is going to cost us a fortune?!” A problem because: When folks start talking about money and missing deadlines, people get nervous Why is this political? – Not based on merit, based on: Fear Perception of extra work Perception of complicating his world
© 2011 Autodesk Political Responses Possible Responses: No response – no compliance Ignore standards until they’re called out At that point they proclaim what a great burden the standards are to them A problem because: These folks have a way of getting what they want Why is this political? – Not based on merit, based on: Feeling of entitlement Perception that their world will change
© 2011 Autodesk Political Responses Possible Responses: Don’t even know standards exist May try to adhere after a reprimand but the “New Year’s day gym membership” effect kicks in. After repeated reprimands the “You’re not the boss of me” effect kicks in. A problem because: These folks are often repeat offenders and have to constantly be watched Why is this political? – Not based on merit, based on: Indifference to doing a good job Perception that their job will be harder
© 2011 Autodesk Making your Standards Politic-Proof
© 2011 Autodesk Making Your Standards Politic-Proof Pave the Way Build Consensus Make the Standard Way the Easy Way Deal with Resistance Stay Involved Don’t Play the Game
© 2011 Autodesk Paving the Way How do you pave the way for your standardization effort? From the top, down. Start with the president – get 100% support. Move down to upper mgmt – get 100% support Move down to middle mgmt – get 100% support Do user level last
© 2011 Autodesk Paving the Way Meeting Rules The higher up the ladder you are… the shorter the meeting is the less technical the meeting is A meeting should contain equals, not a mixture of subordinates and supervisors Step up if you have to Combine and conquer
© 2011 Autodesk Building Consensus Doing it on your own is tough, if not impossible Most CAD Managers do not have true authority over users You will need supporters Form a committee Yes, this will make the process longer and more difficult But without it, standardization has little chance of gaining much traction You will have an integrated team of standards defenders implanted throughout your company
© 2011 Autodesk Make the Standard Way the Easy Way Integrating your standards is a powerful way to promote sustained compliance Provide tools that make complying easier than not complying Users will become dependent on the tools In their eyes, the standards are simply part of the software If following the standards slows them down, users will have a valid argument not to do so
© 2011 Autodesk Dealing With Resistance For as long as your standards exist, there will be resistance If everything mentioned so far is done well, most resistance will be easily dealt with. “Paving the way” establishes supervisor support for difficult employees. Integrated tools easily quiet someone claiming the standards are too difficult or time- consuming to follow The consensus you’ve built will provide folks to stand behind you when there is a “problem”
© 2011 Autodesk Dealing With Resistance “The client won’t accept it this way” is a difficult argument to deal with. As unpopular as it might be to question this argument, you must do so. Often it is really “we’ve done it for the client this way for a long time and we’re afraid to change.” Offer to work with the client to identify “deal breakers” If there are deal breakers, make them part of the standards – then they become standard.
© 2011 Autodesk Stay Involved Don’t treat the standardization effort like a finished project When construction ends, maintenance begins Stay involved Talk to users Look at their drawings Ask them questions Do some production Try their tools You will need to get your hands dirty You will need to get out of your seat
© 2011 Autodesk Don’t Play the Game You’re susceptible to the same stresses and political reactions as your users If you lose your way, your users will lose theirs Take the high road Be able to accept and implement good ideas – even if they’re not yours Keep everything out in the open No covert discussions regarding non- compliant users Keep your users well-informed/involved
© 2011 Autodesk Conclusion Get support - from the top down. Make the standard way the easy way Build consensus by involving the users in the process Stay involved - keep talking with your users to keep political activity in check Don’t get sucked in - don’t join the political game, rise above it.
© 2011 Autodesk Thank You Eric Chappell – Author, Consultant, CAD Manager
© 2011 Autodesk Autodesk, AutoCAD* [*if/when mentioned in the pertinent material, followed by an alphabetical list of all other trademarks mentioned in the material] are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2011 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.
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