You know how professional chefs bring their own knives to whatever kitchen they work in? Is there a short, concise, hopefully swanky-sounding term for this practice? It’s rather like how being your own lawyer is going Pro Se, which I’m told is Latin for leaded foot.
I ask because my current workplace has a bit of a tool v. talent problem, and I’m in a position where I may be able to
shoot myself in the foot represent myself and make a case for a new workflow philosophy. The conflict is thus: one group wants the entire CAD operation under one roof, and the other group is more laid back and prefers to focus on results. I’m told this is called The Portfolio Approach, but that doesn’t sound right somehow.
At the risk of throwing shade/poisoning the well/creating a strawman/whatever, the former group doesn’t understand how file formats work and are convinced a model made in one app cannot possibly be brought over to another, hence the monoculture mandate. The latter group (full disclosure: the one I’m in) believes if people are more productive with their software package of choice, so long as the results keep coming in, they can carry on not fixing what ain’t broke, the primary proviso from on high being, “On your head be it.”
I’ll leave it at that before this gets any more Randian. Suffice to say, this conflict is about to come to a head and I want to be prepared for my day in court.
This is really nothing new… this is sort of the way that the industry has always functioned… some businesses swear that having all employees/contractors on the same software helps make them more efficient while other insist that they get the best result by providing their employees with whatever software they prefer.
I have seem both work and both suffer…
Yes. After about 35 “the CAD guy” years I would say that in general people are still not very computer savvy and they do not want to mess around with file formats and incompatibilities.
So in a software multiverse it is YOU who will be called time and time again to sort it out, and YOU who is supposed to know the ins and outs of it all backwards and forwards. Also, in an environment where you jump through several applications and file formats to achieve a goal, a small change in the design often requires you to do it all over again. Also, collaboration will be difficult if there is no standardization even at the team level.
In a monoculture, on the other hand, people are always bumping into the limitations of the chosen application, especially those who have experience of the alternatives. Also, any dumb workflow idea gets proliferated through the whole organization as the procedures are, naturally, standardized. But people can generally keep jumping from project to project without major disruptions.
A good violinist can make any string sound great but buying a stradivarius wouldn’t make me an a great artist all of a sudden.
Almost anything can be practiced and learned, but practice learned me that one thing that makes it special can’t.
Good luck in court!
I think Annsi has stated it well. If you want an unvarnished opinion, it would work best if everyone had the same platform. Individuals could use other tools but need to be able to make their output available to the office on the single platform for coordination, archiving, and future re-use.
I’ve worked in both situations, though only in smaller firms. But if it were MY business I wouldn’t want my projects scattered over different formats in the end.
The irony is we have this divide in the first place because those in Camp One-Size-Fits-All have such a singular unifying vision, their software solution was only installed on one workstation and everyone else had to take turns. Obviously, we had plenty else to do besides play musical ergonomic chairs, but eventually the bottleneck had to be addressed. So, we were told that until we could work out a multi-user system, we should use other CAD programs and then maybe eventually bring them into the monolith. This has gone on for six years.
It’s true we did at some point get another workstation made that could handle the system requirements of That-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named, only it’s now sitting in an office in a completely different department in the hands of someone who happily admits to rarely using the program, but wants everyone else to keep sharing the other PC because supposedly we’ll get a third workstation built for our troubles. This has gone on for about three years.
That does seem unfortunate. There’s got to be some happier medium. If the office can’t afford to provide access to the primary system, I’d say the priorities are mixed up.
But, hey, after 6 years you’re still in business, right?
Perfectly understandable, and I’d assume you wouldn’t go into such an operation half-hearted. That is, you wouldn’t try to go through some third-party vendor who scrapes off the top or subject your employees to play musical chairs and just hope the logistics work themselves out, right? You’d also make sure all your files were updated so nobody ended up going down a rabbit hole solving a problem that was already resolved months earlier… I could go on, but you get the idea.
But, hey, after 6 years you’re still in business, right?
Certainly, albeit about 4-5 figures poorer with nothing to show for it except a lot of anguish and some very tiresome games of musical chairs. Meanwhile, I’m using SketchUp with literal boatloads of working parts to show for it, yet somehow according to certain so-called cohorts I’m not using a “REAL” CAD program.
Just started a new job a week ago, and they told me I could use whatever I wanted, but that’s also because I’m in charge of design, output, etc. Only one other person uses CAD, and as long as I can get him base plans, no issues.
My previous firm was AutoCAD, and I slowly incorporated SketchUp into the construction document process. I just had to train everyone, which I enjoy and SketchUp makes it easy. It is a dual process now, but without me, will probably revert to CAD.
Before that, we were only allowed to use AutoCAD 2000, since the architect/owner needed to access all the files (did a large portion of the drafting, 35%) and didn’t want to learn the newer versions interface changes.