Convincing my boss to switch to sketchup


What’s up all,

I work in the facilities dep. (Space planning) of a government building and I am an avid user of Sketchup, however the foundation drawing tool here is AutoCAD. I have showed and wowed with some 3d animation drawings and although they were impressed there is some rule that we cannot use free programs so they will not consider allowing the download of the free version and will not even purchase the pro version.

Any ideas on what route I should take to further convince or should I just give up and continue using Sketchup at home as my hobby tool?


Sometimes there is workplace politics involved, sometimes personality conflicts, sometimes it is just competitiveness (ie, the other guy doesn’t want you get “one-up” on them,) sometimes it is just plain jealousy, or it could simply come down to a decision was made and we won’t change now, (ie, management obstinance,) … etc., etc. Been there, have seen it all.

If you don’t care about any of that “stuff”… and just want the joy of using SketchUp each day… then sometimes you can get sneaky.

Often management is most concerned with “the bottom line.” (ie the budget and operating costs.)

If you can find papers, studies and/or quotes from publications, in which other smart people not in your organization, expound upon how a SketchUp workflow can save time and money, they could be convinced.

Sometimes you have to “misplace” these documents where they can be found and read by the decision makers, like whoops left that in the men’s lavatory toilet stall, by accident (wink, wink.)


Jerome, you attach a parenthetical limitation to your use but facility dep. has much more that to do plus the government may get large vol. discount. from autoCAD.
Just because you like SU and showed a Wow factor will not carry any weight unless there can be shown some benefit to making a change and/or adding SU.
First step is getting ok from your supervisor you can spend some time trying to justify SU;
Second is to create requirements from the dep. the various programs they use. There are very many plugins , for example from NEREL, which fits in their scope you may not be aware about. Use this info to create some type of cost analysis=>changes are not free ;
I found in the past using the sales rep/ knowledge base very helpful to justify things like this because they see the big picture many times based on what others are doing. They ( Trimble) may very well set up some type of demo if they see potential for big $$.
Just some thoughts.


Other items for consideration in this regard:

  1. What software platforms are being used by vendors conducting business with your agency? In all probability design and engineering consultants AutoCad, Bentley Systems or other cad software. If any are making use of SU, that may present an exploitable opportunity.

  2. Are other agencies within your state or municipality making use of SU in any way? If so and these agencies are funded by the same (or similar) authorities, that also is a point in your favor.

  3. Are any studies currently conducted under the aegis of your agency or related agencies being developed with SU as a design tool?

I am aware of SketchUp and Layout having been used by design and engineering firms in the preparation of studies, design documents and condocs for the Baltimore City DPW and for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC).


Thanks for the perspective guys… Looks like I have some homework to do.