The problem with new innovations like CAD and BIM (Building Information Modeling) is that, to most executives, it all sounds like a normal extension of the job of the IT manager. After all, it's all "technology," right? So the "information technology" specialist ought to be able to handle it.
Though many IT managers are well suited to managing CAD initiatives, skills in one field do not necessarily imply skills in the other. It takes training and hard work for the IT manager to become a successful CAD manager. What does your IT manager need to do to become a skilled and efficient CAD manager?
The Right Education and Experience
Image Credits: By FTTUB via Flickr
Evaluate the skills needed for CAD implementation in your environment, then endow your IT manager with those skills.
A background heavy in science, engineering, architecture, and/or systems development is best. CAD managers need the ability to:
- Understand which hardware is best suited to the CAD environment
- Develop efficient workflow processes
- Identify, implement, and manage the right software systems for the job
- Write clear and easily understood documentation on standards of practice
- Train users on new systems
- Be available and willing to offer user support
CAD managers aren't just tech gurus; they also have to be good hands-on managers. It's crucial to offer the IT/CAD manager good management training in addition to the technical training needed to do the job. Cadalyst's Workstation Resource Center is broad collection of workstation-related resources written specifically for CAD managers and users. This resource center is ideal for creating a checklist for your IT manager to prepare for taking on CAD management.
In addition to the basic skills in MS Office, Project, and database management, CAD managers need to be able to handle:
- Cost accounting
- Document revision and control
- Project planning and leadership
- Records keeping
- Quality control
- Reporting and scheduling
Not only should a CAD manager have these necessary skills, he or she also must be able to understand how each relates to the other and be able to visualize and develop better ways of getting these things done.
Image Credits: By Innovate360 via Flickr
The skills and tools your IT manager needs to take on CAD are different than those for other IT-related management duties.
Some additional skills that are helpful for a CAD manager to have include experience with the software applications used by the CAD team. Additional skills may be advisable, depending on the CAD environment the manager will be working within, such as EPO tools, SCRUM, GANTT charts, and CPM diagrams. Often, the IT manager taking on CAD responsibilities is the best resource for which training he or she needs to get the job done.
An executive who is willing to listen to what the IT/CAD manager tells them about training, hardware, and software needs usually results in better CAD rollout experiences than an executive who ignores the pleas of the IT department. Cadalyst Whitepaper Library offers free, downloadable whitepapers, guides, and more on all manner of CAD hardware and software topics. It is an excellent resource for preparing your IT manager for taking on CAD management responsibilities.
Responsibilities of a CAD Manager
Look at the CAD manager as an in-house consultant. When the IT manager is endowed with the proper training and resources, this position can boost productivity and efficiency, eliminate waste, improve customer satisfaction, and overall do more with available resources.
- Do We Need a CAD Manager?
- How to Become a CAD Manager: Education and Career Roadmap
- Expert CAD Management: The Complete Guide