Being the CAD manager at an architectural or engineering firm can be a lonely job. The architects and engineers have each other to talk to, but the design technology manager is often one of a kind. That’s why over 300 managers were eager to attend AU’s first-ever Design Technology Management Conference (DMTC) on Monday afternoon. The special half-day conference, just for tech managers, focused on helping those who manage design technology learn from each other.
CAD guru and frequent AU speaker Robert Green opened the conference, then a panel discussion explored BIM: One Size Does Not Fit All where panelists from many different areas presented their view of the elephant that is BIM. Additional speakers covered the social aspects of software implementation, what happens after you BIM, partnerships with resellers, integrated project delivery, working in the cloud, and how to save money with effective CAD management.
Guru Briefs or Boxers?
The real action, though, was between the participants. DMTC grouped attendees into teams by industry and company size. The teams were challenged to make Twitter postings of insights they gained or thought of during the event. The team with the most value-based insights (“Meet me at the blogger bash” did not count) won $25 gift cards.
The teams also worked though the day to create “Guru Briefs,” which were not a special type of CAD manager underwear. The Guru Briefs distilled best practices for each of the teams, focusing on four basic questions:
- What key principles would you pass along to someone taking over your job?
- What actions would you recommend to better manage software implementations?
- What actions would you recommend to improve CAD performance and reduce costs?
- What actions would you recommend to better transition to BIM?
The teams submitted the Guru Briefs as a document in the closing session. A panel of judges (the day’s speakers) evaluated the briefs and handed out prizes—the top team won free passes to AU 2011! Runners up got gift cards.
It’s All About Us
Joseph Joseph, veteran AU speaker and blogger at BIM Managers put it this way, “One of the best things about DTMC is being able to put CAD managers face-to-face in one place. At regular AU, it’s hard to pick them out of the 6,000 other attendees. It’s great to be sitting in the room knowing that all of these people are involved in CAD management.”
The highlight of the day for everyone was the chance to exchange ideas with their peers, conference organizer Rich Uphus reported. “The dialog that took place was sometimes heated, sometimes disagreeing, but extremely valuable and interesting.”
Perhaps David Haynes summed it up best in his tweet, which said “Design Technology Conference. All about people working together.”
Update: Donnie Gladfelter interviews Rich Uphus and Joseph Joseph about the conference. Up on YouTube now.