Author Topic: How to standardize users  (Read 4972 times)

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Zykl0

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How to standardize users
« on: March 01, 2016, 08:37:35 AM »
Greetings gentlemen,

I encounter a good challenge...
My CEO gave me the task to standardize all our drawings across the Canada offices.
Everyone that tried before me failed because most of our designers are getting older and are used to work their own way.
Which mean, lots of things on layer "0" or bad layers name, dimension on wrong styles, different styles of text with different height.

At first I tried to write a standard code but no one will use it.
I am at this point where I have to force the users, If they want to import something from another work to our drawing template that is not already cleaned with our standard styles/layers would be declined from AutoCAD.
I spent the last month creating custom CUI with all the tools a designer should use and I removed the tools that our work doesn't use. We have Drawing Template with everything inside but most user does not use it.

I'm here to ask for your knowledge if some of you have any solution for me.
The AutoCAD standard tool (the one with .dws) doesn't work the way I would like.

I'd like a software that warn the user every time he put an item on a wrong layer.
But I want some flexibility. because we are working with HydraCAD software, which mean that some lines and items needs to be on the specific layers created by the software (Nothing can change that). but everytime that a user put a dimension on the layer other than a layer starting with "VFP-" should be warned (All our layers begin with "VFP-"  eg. VFP-Building, VFP-Dimension, VFP-Door) When we clean a drawing from another work we have to put their layer standard on our layer standard.

I'm totally lost, at this point any help is welcome.

Thank you,

mjfarrell

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 08:51:54 AM »
set up tool palettes and then they do NOT get to choose layers....

this basically forces the standard onto them without them needing to think about how to apply the standard....
Be your Best


Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

Zykl0

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 08:57:53 AM »
set up tool palettes and then they do NOT get to choose layers....

this basically forces the standard onto them without them needing to think about how to apply the standard....

Actually I forced some macro button to set the current layer (similar to tool palettes). But the user will modify the layer once the item is created...

mjfarrell

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2016, 09:04:08 AM »
set up tool palettes and then they do NOT get to choose layers....

this basically forces the standard onto them without them needing to think about how to apply the standard....

Actually I forced some macro button to set the current layer (similar to tool palettes). But the user will modify the layer once the item is created...
exactly why you should introduce(impose) tool palettes into your work flow...

also you will need to get management to put some teeth into standards enforcement...otherwise the transition will fail, and the next and the next...

what would work well in a case like this is to bring in someone like myself, to be a total jerk about standards enforcement....with a mandate
that no matter what complaints, the standard will be enforced...for a short time, and then I would go away....and you would remain..
that way they could hate and despise me, and you would not have them angry with you.
Be your Best


Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

Zykl0

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 09:11:54 AM »
I can do that but, Sadly I work with 20 of them on an everyday basis, this could create a bad mood in the office. I cannot be in our 14 offices across the country to enforce the rules ;-)

mjfarrell

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 09:19:26 AM »
I can do that but, Sadly I work with 20 of them on an everyday basis, this could create a bad mood in the office. I cannot be in our 14 offices across the country to enforce the rules ;-)

Together you and management need to explain to them what the LACK of cooperation and adherence to standards does to the business:
a few items

Lost  productivity

Lost profits

Lost Time

Appearing to be less than professional to those you submit work to..

Inability to easily work on different projects, because everyone is just doing their own thing

If management is not fully committed and supportive of those try to implement and enforce standards then this ship is sunk before it ever sails.
Be your Best


Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

ronjonp

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 09:39:06 AM »
Use command reactors to set your layers. Or have cleanup routines that put objects on the correct layers. Or both :)

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ChrisCarlson

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 09:58:56 AM »
Eww tool palettes, are so AutoCAD 2008. If you insist on going that route invest in the ribbon panel.

Numerous routines exist for "standards" here a couple that come to mind. These two routines will keep entities (mleaders, text, vports, blocks) on specific layers automagically.

http://www.lee-mac.com/layerdirector.html

http://cadtips.cadalyst.com/content/force-blocks-specific-layers

Krushert

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 10:03:09 AM »
You know how to lisp?   

What I have done in the past for one offfice of 12 old and knot-headed geezers of various ages, I installed a start-up lisp in everyone's acaddoc.lsp.  IN that start-up list I had it load a external lisp that set variables and load other lisp that would control office standards.  I only had access to that lisp.  :devilsidesmile:   

On of the lisp that I had it load was a layer reactor lisp (that you can find here) and that lisp put entities on the correct layers silently without the user's input.  They could still call their commands however they want to call them.   No need to change their habits.   :uglystupid2:

Dam! phone interrupted my post or I would have beaten ronjonps post. 
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dgorsman

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2016, 10:15:12 AM »
Two key things: the first is enforcement.  You need somebody to be the bad guy.  Second is to make doing things the right way easier than doing them the wrong way.  If they have to work hard to do things wrong its much easier to sell management on the principle.
If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.

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ronjonp

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2016, 10:20:26 AM »
..  Second is to make doing things the right way easier than doing them the wrong way. ..
Precisely.  :)

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mjfarrell

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2016, 10:22:37 AM »
Two key things: the first is enforcement.  You need somebody to be the bad guy.  Second is to make doing things the right way easier than doing them the wrong way.  If they have to work hard to do things wrong its much easier to sell management on the principle.

ANd in my opinion Tool Palettes and or custom Ribbon Panels are the easiest way to get there.


Palettes may appear 'old school' to some, yet they are the easiest to set up and control, and get people to use. From experience, easy to use, will get used.
Trying to add reactors, or cleanup routines to fix what is already wrong, is treating the symptoms, not the cause.
Palettes remove the cause...and some cad lessons also go along way towards standards enforcement.
Also from experience, sometimes users do what they do simply because they don't know any better...so we must educate them to get better compliance.
Trying to this in the background with LISP or other coding methods, will not have the same level of success, will create more work trying to code around their deficiencies.
As they say, talent has limits, yet stupid has no boundaries.
Be your Best


Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

ronjonp

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2016, 11:06:10 AM »
Agreed about teaching users the correct way. in my case I have one user that does not learn so code fixes his deficiencies:) 

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JohnK

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2016, 11:17:12 AM »
I vote Tool palettes as well; easy to setup, maintain and use.
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TheCADnoob

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2016, 12:17:53 PM »
Greetings gentlemen,

I encounter a good challenge...
My CEO gave me the task to standardize all our drawings across the Canada offices.
Everyone that tried before me failed because most of our designers are getting older and are used to work their own way.
Which mean, lots of things on layer "0" or bad layers name, dimension on wrong styles, different styles of text with different height.

At first I tried to write a standard code but no one will use it.
I am at this point where I have to force the users, If they want to import something from another work to our drawing template that is not already cleaned with our standard styles/layers would be declined from AutoCAD.
I spent the last month creating custom CUI with all the tools a designer should use and I removed the tools that our work doesn't use. We have Drawing Template with everything inside but most user does not use it.

I'm here to ask for your knowledge if some of you have any solution for me.
The AutoCAD standard tool (the one with .dws) doesn't work the way I would like.

I'd like a software that warn the user every time he put an item on a wrong layer.
But I want some flexibility. because we are working with HydraCAD software, which mean that some lines and items needs to be on the specific layers created by the software (Nothing can change that). but everytime that a user put a dimension on the layer other than a layer starting with "VFP-" should be warned (All our layers begin with "VFP-"  eg. VFP-Building, VFP-Dimension, VFP-Door) When we clean a drawing from another work we have to put their layer standard on our layer standard.

I'm totally lost, at this point any help is welcome.

Thank you,

Its a tough situation. In my youth when i worked fast food, anytime there was a "standards" change the procedure was just to fire everyone across the board and offer to higher them back contingent on the acceptance of the new standard.

In my professional life we adopted some ISO standards and despite my warning opted to maintain our trained workforce. The end results was an atrophy of about 30% in the short term of the workforce through a long hard battle which cost the company time and quality as well as burnt out team players and in the long run cost about 50% overall workforce and closed a few locations. This was complicated as there was not enough buy in from upper management so operations and quality were acting as two different bosses and screwed the pooch. 

If you could time the implementation with a house cleaning it might get them to jump like you need. Set the new standards in place and cut a few stalwarts. its a pain to lose good people but if the standards are not frivolous its worth it. If there is a wide variety in workflows you have quite a task on your hands.

You will need buy in from management with an appetite to see the change through. You will need local champions (people at each branch who want to see it through) and you need to make it easy and take your time doing it. As previously mentioned there needs to be teeth in the policy. This could be as simple as doing audits and making part of bonuses tied to during the early phases and then tie it to performance reviews as things move along. The most effective part which was also mentioned here is to make it easier to follow the rules than not to.

One of the other big factors to consider is weather or not a particular policy is actually needed. Its nice to have things uniform but some times its inconsequential.
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TheCADnoob

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2016, 12:22:01 PM »
How many employees will be affected? Ballpark no need for explicits?
To boldly go where spell check has never gone before. | AutoCAD - 2016 | cadnoob.com

Arizona

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2016, 02:06:10 PM »
I was tasked with doing this across 5 engineering offices located in 4 different states. I started slowly gaining ground with baby steps and by listening to the reasons why people believed they could not follow the standards. This was key in allowing me to understand why they felt they needed to do things "the way we have always done things". Once you understand the true underlying reason, it becomes easier to address the emotional aspect of this. If you can pick a couple of stronger/leader type people in the different locations and start getting these folks on board by educating and empowering/supporting them then these folks can assist you with getting others on board. Strong arming people does not usually work. This typically causes more resistance.

  • Educate your users as to the benefits of having standards and what that consistency can provide.
  • Build as many of your Standards into your every day tools even if this means redefining commands, controlling items through tool palettes, etc.
  • Create the path of least resistance by
    ..  Second is to make doing things the right way easier than doing them the wrong way. ..
     

Squirltech

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Re: How to standardize users
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2016, 02:20:35 PM »
We did this at my current company. We used NCS as a "go-by" and put our own spin on it while staying within the NCS guidelines. We then created templates and made our templates part of the Install process.

Our templates are growing and but with NCS as a starting place, it really did streamline the process of introducing standards.

Then we showed people how much easier things are when using the templates and gave them support documentation that they could refer to. Granted, we still have those that don't adhere to the standards or templates and you always will have a few.

Good luck!

Edit: FYI, We are 10 offices in multiple states.
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