Civil 3D Standards of Better or Worse

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I do get interesting questions from the people who manage the Civil 3D production environments for organizations. These folk tend to be “smarter than the average bear” to quote that famous Yogi. He knows best about those things, Boo Boo. Most questioners are pretty well-informed and opinionated about all things Civil 3D. This make sense. The nature and natural selection of their jobs depend on it. They are good at that.

“What’s the reason for all your talk about Adaptive Standards? Mostly, this idea seems to just create more problems for me.”

My first response is:

“Ask your Project Managers how much time and energy the spend hashing out the standards mess in their projects. Oh. That’s right. How much time do you personally spend hashing the all the conversion stuff out? If you don’t, that tells you something important.
That might be good news, but often isn’t.”

Adaptive Standards of better or worse are not illusory or unnecessary.

Be careful. The of in that sentence is not a typo. I might want to correct the phrase too. From here on I’ll quote Yogi since I am always a Hanna and Barbera fan.

“Boo Boo, you’ve tried to stop my brilliant ideas with common sense a thousand times. Has it ever worked?”

In principal, the Framework for Civil 3D is built around the concept of meeting the diverse needs of the many not just the boss of you or the few. This separates the Autodesk My Customization Dogma from the managed system of a framework.

Given such a framework of better or worse, a managed system of standards is possible. A managed system of standards is more flexible and adaptive. It must be robust and easy to maintain or our questioner is right – it creates more problems than it is worth. Flexible, Adaptive and Robust become mission critical in a framework. These framework essentials are usually practically ignored in a classic Civil 3D customization.

“Boo Boo. They have donuts. DONUTS!”

CAD Managers are human. We are human. We see mostly what we focus on. Factually, we must ignore most of what’s really there when we aim to get to our target. This attention system is hard-wired in to our brains. A lot like Yogi’s obsession about pick-nick baskets or the demonstrable success of Crispy Cream, Duncan Donuts, (can I say it?) Starbucks, and a host of others.

I guess some of you have caught onto the fact that this focused attention issue applies to Facebook and many other technology company products too.

“I’m so smart it hurts.”

In my People Skills classes at Cad Manager Bootcamps and Autodesk University, I always tried to remember to bring up the work of Daniel Simmons, a cognitive psychologist, whose work initially rocked the world starting about 15+ years ago.

Ground breaking? Most, if not all, of the major car manufacturers and insurance companies are now selling product based on principals discovered in this work. There are already laws on the books in CA and most US States because of it. There will be more to come.
Simmons investigated something he called “sustained inattentional blindness”.

Many people have seen the famous Man in the Gorilla Suit You Tube videos. The 8-year old version on YouTube has received 20 million hits. If you ask people to count basketball passes between white team members in the video, more than half of the people will never see the obvious man in the gorilla suit walk through the scene.

“A goodly bunch having lunch.”

All magicians, riverboat gamblers, and politicians understand and employ this slight-of-hand principal on a daily basis. For reasons known and understandable it appears of have gotten the undivided attention of most media newsrooms.

Most state-of-the-art sales processes and internet stores tend to employ the counting trick in one form or another. Amazon takes the application of this to a whole new level. Simmons didn’t stumble on something new but something fundamentally human. I hope you notice.

“Let’s go-go-go! Boo Boo!”

The Framework for Civil 3D is about making better sense, and cents, out of the nonsense of Civil 3D customization. I clearly understand the compulsion, passion, and real-world need for better Civil 3D customization.

A different focus on framework creation and maintenance produces some new and inventive tools and workflows. More new tools and resources are made visible and therefore possible. I crammed what I could into this year’s new Release 8.

If Adaptive CAD Standards and Adaptive Template Blocks make you scratch your head and ponder, it’s good news. Then there is the real Good News that you can count on…

Merry Christmas
God Bless You and Yours


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