40 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2018 8:58 AM by Sebastyon Champion

    Training new recruit for best practices

    Fraser Miller

      Until recently I've been the only CAD user in our business, but we've recently taken on a young recruit. He knows Solidworks well, has a good engineering mind and has creative ideas, but seems to lack the discipline and/or patience to follow 'best practice' procedures - often resulting in poor design intent or things filed in incorrect folders etc.

      Does anyone have any advice on how to explain to a new CAD user why these 'best practice' procedures are important? It doesn't seem to sink in.

        • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
          Solid Air

          If your boss is on board with your company's best practices have him explain that for consistency, this is the way things are done.  If not then he should move on.

          • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
            Jaja Jojo

            Best practices is some what an arbitrary. my suggestion is set a meeting between two of you where you talk both of your style ask him why is he doing his style what is the advantages and also what is the advantages of your style after that come up with a good best practice between you and your rookie SW user.

            • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
              Dave Bear

              Adding to what Solid Air has mentioned above, you need to have a firm but positive discussion with the recruit outlining that your 'best practices' are tried and tested and work 'best' for your organisation. They are not just some whimsical process that someone drew up just because they could. That is why it is crucial for him to ensure that he follows these practices at all times within his role, failure to do so could lead to reprimand. Explain that as a recruit, his work and methods will be scrutinized and used as a part of the review to see if he is the best fit.

               

              Dave.

              • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                Bjorn Hulman

                Hi Fraser,

                A quick reference guide might help. 'Best practice' can be open to some interpretation. And some stem from specific experiences within a company. I would never expect a new comer to do things as per a companies 'best practices' without a clear guide as to what they were in this environment. A flow chart is good at communicating these. A detailed one might take some time to put together if you haven't got one already. And in creating one you have a document which allows for scrutiny and 'continuous improvement'.

                • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                  Rubén Rodolfo Balderrama

                  Here you got something

                  My collection of tips, tricks and best practices.

                  Give him a handbook from ASME/SAE and he must reading and reading....be patiencie

                  Rome was not made in 1 year and the empire lasted 500 years.

                  • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                    Tony Tieuli

                    Fraser Miller wrote:

                     

                    Until recently I've been the only CAD user in our business, but we've recently taken on a young recruit. He knows Solidworks well, has a good engineering mind and has creative ideas, but seems to lack the discipline and/or patience to follow 'best practice' procedures - often resulting in poor design intent or things filed in incorrect folders etc.

                    Does anyone have any advice on how to explain to a new CAD user why these 'best practice' procedures are important? It doesn't seem to sink in.

                    I can certainly see both sides of this argument.

                    I too am the only CAD user in our company. I have established a method of storing files that works for me. I would expect anyone who comes in to use my method so that we don't have any problems finding each others work. On the other hand, one of the best things about bringing in new talent is new ideas. I wouldn't want to stifle the new guys creativity by insisting that everything be done the way I do it.

                    I think that some established procedures are important and you should insist that they be followed. Just be sure that the procedures you insist on really are important and that you're not insisting just because "That's the way it's always been done."

                    • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                      Rob Edwards

                      It's been great to read all these comments...

                      Hopefully I'll be in this situation quite soon.

                      I've been anticipating it and am in the process of formalising so I can communicate clearly where we are.

                      I imagine we'll have plenty of conversations, which will hopefully be enlightening so it's an opportunity to get better.

                      Most things in life are negotiable but identifying what is optional and what is a NONO is a must.

                      I would greatly welcome good ideas.  I'm currently a lone worker with an informal approach but already notice the benefits of my increased rigour.  We got to work the same way, for sure.  I'm looking forward to it... I say that now anyway

                      • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                        Alex Lachance

                        I take care of training new employees around here.

                         

                        From my own experience, most people are reluctant to switching their working methods so unless you monitor them extremely closely for their first few weeks, there are things that you just have to learn on your own.

                         

                        For example, there are a lot of things I try to show to new employees. If I am not monitoring them closely for their first fiew weeks, they end up doing some of it in a bad way. One that comes to mind if someone trying to build a part in context but the working environment of the part hasn't been fixed or mated, so the part just keeps regenerating everytime back to it's place. They generally end up learning from it and eventually working as everyone else works.

                         

                        I have 4 documents that I give to new employees that I built a while ago, they are guidelines to how we work.

                         

                        The first document describes our codification. How our hardware is named, how raw parts are named, or products are named, etc...

                         

                        The second is one that explains how to create products/projects/parts, how drawing sheets need to be named and all that stuff.

                         

                        The third one is a document to explain how to use the add-on we use that does similar stuff to PDM.

                         

                        The fourth one is how to install macros, plotters and a few other things.

                          • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                            M. D.

                            How drawing sheets need to be named?  Isn't that a little nitpicky?

                             

                            I'm all for training but we shouldn't have to be required to be robots.  Besides, robots are better at being robots than we are so may as well be human and focus on the important things.

                              • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                David Matula

                                darn, I guess drawing sheets can be called what you want....but the file name better match what the boss man said it should be and had better be in the right folder.  

                                • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                  Paul Risley

                                  Marcus Dimarco wrote:

                                   

                                  How drawing sheets need to be named? Isn't that a little nitpicky?

                                   

                                  I'm all for training but we shouldn't have to be required to be robots. Besides, robots are better at being robots than we are so may as well be human and focus on the important things.

                                  Nitpicky would be relative if you have to sift through 40+ pages of grind detail drawings for a mold you would definitely want them named to the proper designation as assigned per company documentation.

                                   

                                  Standards exist for a reason, no one ever makes someone stay at a job. If you don't agree with the standards of a company move on. If you decide to stay and not adhere to the standards then the decision for moving on will be made for you.

                                   

                                  This is not a criticism of you personally by the way, I have to manage situations like this and in all honesty I don't think a degree in anything gives anyone a right to come into a company and expect the company to change for the sake of the individual unless that was spoken to during the hiring process.

                                   

                                  Just like  I would not take a job where Catia was the primary CAD, unless it was negotiated during the hiring process what the amount of time I would be allowed to come up to speed with a software I had never used before was.

                                   

                                  Like I stated earlier we have some flexibility in our Standards and processes, but some of them are written in stone for a reason, they avoid costly mistakes.

                                  • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                    Alex Lachance

                                    We create drawing sheets specifically for DXF generation and they are named DXF. Every other sheet has to keep the original name SolidWorks gives it, which means don't rename it. It's not nitpicky, it's for PDF and DXF generation purposes.

                                     

                                    If a sheet is named say SEMS01 it will generate a single PDF of that sheet ''DrawingName-SEMS01.pdf''. This is our method of generating PDF's for weldments.

                                     

                                    Sheets named ''Sheet'' will merge together into one PDF, so if my weldment has 3 pages of assembly and 12 parts, including 3 plates requiring DXFs, there's 3 pages named ''Sheet#'', 9 pages named accordingly to the part's name and 3 more pages which will be PartName-DXF.

                                     

                                    It's simply about methodology.

                                • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                  David Matula

                                  being the new guy a lot.  You have to learn how and why they do what they do before you start making changes. 1.  is to follow the filing system.  If you cant put the parts in the right places how will anyone be able to find them 6 months from now when they start building the assembly when all the parts show up on the slow boat from the far east. 

                                    2.  as you learn how and why things are done you may bring up suggestions as to help make the process faster or better.

                                  kind of like why do I have a  part called 12in H beam with 95k configurations when we could be using weldments.  "Kind of like the answer what are weldments?"

                                     I could go on with more of what I have seen.  from manual bom entry to assemblies that are just a jumble of parts.

                                   

                                  Sometimes we would take the new guy that had promise and he would be in the way of something that had to get done fast in the shop, and we would send him to get the pipe stretcher.  Maybe you need to send the new guy out to find a part in the file system that does not exist. (Hide the part on your hard drive...so  even his computer can not find it in the assembly)... if he gets that far.

                                      Give him a task to map an assembly file structure were each file is found or to create a part # system that shows how to create each part # that comes up.

                                     Having a smart system like that sure helped me with my first job.  A part # system and file structure that was easy to follow,  so all the parts went to the right places and any computer could open an assembly.   That kind of stuff I took to many of a job, and from that one group implemented a whole new language that I had to learn when I went to work with them.

                                        Last but not least.  If it is not written down it does not exist nor did it ever happen.  From how to work the file structure to that you showed him how it worked.....

                                    • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                      Peter De Vlieger

                                      David Matula wrote:

                                       

                                      ,,,

                                      Last but not least. If it is not written down it does not exist nor did it ever happen. From how to work the file structure to that you showed him how it worked.....

                                      Hear hear.

                                       

                                      Besides that is the fact that only when writing it down you'll catch the details you wouldn't otherwise think of having to write down as well.

                                      No matter if it's company standards or company's best practices procedures, if it's not written down to the last detail then one can't grumble that something isn't according to what one expected.

                                       

                                      One caveat, at some point someone,, and only one someone, should have the final say as well as the clout to police it. Because you can have it written down all you want as well as show where the rules and procedures are, if someone up the chain undermines it because they think it's better another way, without actually thinking it through, then all is for nought.

                                    • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                      Matt Lombard

                                      The way I would communicate to the new guy is make a document and have management sign it. If your company has process manuals for equipment or manufacturing, make it rather official. Also, make the document itself go through your regular drawing or process approval process. Official processes and procedures can be changed, but can also be the basis for training, evaluations, and disciplinary action.

                                       

                                      Make sure he knows you're open to good ideas, but line up some criteria that an idea would have to meet to get integrated into the manual - faster, less prone to error, easier to understand, approved by manufacturing or purchasing if necessary, recommended by other experts. Maybe even bring in a consultant as a arbiter to help you establish the best practice.

                                      • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                        Francisco Martínez

                                        I would bite the problem now while it is small, I was railroaded here and now I get to work with a uncooperative coworker.

                                        • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                          Paul Risley

                                          We have documents that cover our "standard".

                                           

                                          1 for file management.

                                           

                                          1 for each style of project we might do.

                                           

                                          1 for each type of drawing we do.

                                           

                                          1 for part creation/traceability of design intent.

                                           

                                          The first 3 sets are in stone, these are company policy type documents. The fourth set is fluid because the tools do change and new "tricks" are learned over time and incorporated into design as needed or wanted.

                                           

                                          We have very particular criteria for file management and for how our drawings look and what is on them for a reason. All of this is explained in the first days of training here. Typically we try to keep a new hire on 1 style of project for a couple of weeks to get the hang of that one before jumping into another style. The fourth set of documents is one we expect them to have out and looking at when they are designing to try and incorporate some common sense into their design approach. If they come up with some better ways they are free to redline the document and bring it to my attention, where we can discuss what they have been trying. This is the part where I get to look at their models and based upon their explanation of what they did see if there is merit in changing our design policy.

                                           

                                          As far as I am concerned the design of the model is fine as long as it is robust and looks like it will hold up to several years of possible changes. I am more concerned about the first 3 items being adhered to. I hate looking at a drawing and on the sub header for file location it says"desktop" or worse yet "tempfile/location".

                                           

                                          To sum up I primarily hone in on file location first, assembly structure and design build second, drawings third. And lastly design intent of part. Once we get to the part level I can work with someones skill set or ideas to nudge them over to be in somewhat of a line with what we do. The first three though seem to be more of a stumbling block for most people for some reason.

                                          • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                            M. D.

                                            I would use this as an opportunity to learn where the rough edges in your procedures really are.  Work on improving the procedures and methods not on trying to "drive home a point" with him.

                                             

                                            You are so used to your methods, good or not, that you can't see where places for improvement lie.

                                            • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                              Paul Salvador

                                              (hand raised...)... Where are the 'best practices' procedures? 

                                              • Re: Training new recruit for best practices
                                                Sebastyon Champion

                                                When i joined the company I currently work for the practices and procedures were incredibly horrible.  The last engineer had named files POOP, Pee, and other vulgarities.  They had no structural filing system.  And the guy that was supposed to be teaching me where to put things was the worst at not filing and just putting files on the top deck of the server.  I sat down with my boss and explained how we should file.  He was impressed and my "practices"  became the company standard.  I've been in companies with little or no standards and they always have confusion.  You have to be able to setup systems that if you are sick, or leave, or just busy others can come behind you and look up documents and work on them. 

                                                 

                                                Mind you, I also own my own company, My standards are set from my experience.  As the owner and boss, i expect my employees to follow the practices and standards i have set.  I also expect them to challenge them if or when they come up with a better procedure.  When teaching a new recruit i often will give a lax set of standards to see how their practices are.  I don't believe in the rigid "my way or go away"  as some have mentioned.  Changes in technology happens faster than any one person can keep up with.  Like Dave Bear mentioned, you have to evolve.  And i lose my cool when someone says "well thats the way its always been"  especially when there is an evident better solution.  "Knowledge grows stupid if kept behind a door"  meaning 40 years ago "smart" isn't on top of list anymore if they are not open to new ideas!