User involvement

The users of the CAD/CAM/CAE system have an important role to play. If they do not know how to use the system efficiently, or for some reason do not want to work with it, then productivity will suffer.

Many people in the company are opposed to change of any kind, and so will automatically be opposed to the introduction and enhancement of CAD/CAM/CAE. This attitude must be overcome since it is through the users of the system that productivity gains will be made. Potential system users should be informed as early as possible that the introduction and enhancement of CAD/CAM/CAE is under consideration. They should be told why it is needed and what effects it should have on the company.

Having made the users aware of the intention to extend the use of CAD/CAM/CAE, the next step is to motivate them to use it as efficiently as possible. They should be assured that introduction of CAD/CAM/CAE will not result in layoffs. If the users believe that CAD/CAM/CAE threatens their livelihoods they may refuse to work with it or use it very inefficiently to ensure that it does not result in high productivity gains. Incentives for highly successful users should be considered, although care must be taken not to penalize less successful users.

Some users invariably understand the system better than others, and enjoy working with it. With a little extra training, these super-users can become extremely effective both in project work and when assisting other users to be more productive.

Learning to use a CAD/CAM/CAE system effectively is not an easy process for the majority of people, so it is necessary to help them as much as possible especially in the early stages when their self-confidence may be at a low level. Once the system is installed and running, it is important that information on everyday performance and use be collected, analyzed, and then acted upon. One way of doing this is through regular meetings of users, project managers, and the CAD/CAM/CAE Manager. Problems with the system must be identified and solved as quickly as possible.

Home | Top of page | Front of MANAGING CAD/CAM/CAE section

Page last modified on February 11, 2000
Copyright 1999, 2000 by John Stark