I’ve had a rash of product and consulting service inquiries from new and potential Framework for Civil 3D customers with some astounding Civil 3D implementation upgrade issues. These days I guess the politically correct tech term is challenges not issues or problems. The change and implementation difficulties these folks face remain all too real. Lest you think you, I, or anyone else is above the procrastination problem and results – think again. We all play the procrastination game somewhere.
I did a major push to get Release 8 of the Framework for Civil 3D for multiple releases of Civil 3D out on the street. I put off a workstation rebuild. Now I get to reap the whirlwind. We all know the whine of that drill. If technology is my friend, why did the latest and greatest OS build just steal my weekend? Oh, bother.
Our Time is the Easiest Thing to Steal or Lose
Some of the interested are firms that actively and successfully employ Civil 3D today. They desire to up their game, up their current Civil 3D standards, workflows, etc. Some recognize they must make multiple Civil 3D version upgrades to their working production environment. New Release 8 goodies like Civil 3D Adaptive Template Building Blocks and functional production Reference Templates offer both new opportunities and significant man-hour savings in many Civil 3D projects.
Some firms are in the terrifying situation of having delayed any implementation of a current Civil 3D for way too long. They find themselves with clients who now demand they deliver projects and value-added services their old software and production methods can no longer deliver. What worked last year won’t cut it this year.
An architect client says,
“Fred, we migrated from AutoCAD over to Revit. My project managers, staff, and the contractors all need to have better end-to-end design collaboration with you all in the site designs for our subdivision and commercial projects this year? Where are you all at with your Civil 3D implementation?”
The boss asks,
“Dave? How fast can we get up to speed in Civil 3D?”
The Pony Car Paradox
I liken this to the common human condition I like to call the Pony Car Paradox.
The 1965/1966 Mustang was an innovative car. It did all the things a lot of people wanted at an affordable price. It’s a classic. I wish I owned my grandmother’s Chantilly Beige 1965+ convertible today. She loved and named her car – The Pearl.
Today, Ford couldn’t manufacture and sell the famous Pony Car today even if Ford wanted to. The purpose, function, and even the art behind the Pony Car didn’t change. Everything else around the car did. Whether you can still buy and drive one around is not the point. It is not on the critical path driving your success unless you are in the classic car business.
The Framework for Civil 3D continuously improves and evolves based on the way Civil 3D works today. We have the public published history and experience to prove that commitment.
My grandmother traded in her beloved Pearl. The convertible top leaked in thunderstorms. Our old software tools and, particularly, our personal habits of use start to show wear and tear. The real issue is the environment around the tool has changed too much.
Goldilocks Decision Making
Too much, too little or just right decision making is not the most important point of the actual Goldilocks and the Three Bears fairy tale. Disney and many others since have popularized and removed from the tale the original sexual, moral, and nuanced practical instruction for maidens. In the cartoons everything becomes cute and cuddly and avoids the fearsome consequences of poking your nose into the dens of bears.
The original point of the tale is that selfishly looking for what you think is just right for you is often quickest way to get yourself into serious trouble. To quote from Monty Python’s In Search of the Holy Grail, “Run away!”
Run away is exactly what Goldilocks does in the original tale. We really do not have to ask what is she running away from.
If you are interested, you can visit the Civil 3D Styles and Less Effort post to discover more about the Three Bears and how they might apply to Style management in Civil 3D. I won’t belabor it here.
In regards to Civil 3D customization and implementation that Goldilocks metaphor is simple - what you think is just right for you is often quickest way to get yourself into serious trouble.
We don’t know what we don’t know. We know what we know how to do.
Software is a tool no more no less. How we want the tool to work is not the most important thing. If that were true, Autodesk would knock off a lot more Civil 3D user wish list items each upgrade and release.
I’ve understood and said for a long time that software is physically additive. Use is clearly neurologically tied to our emotions and even we our sense of self-worth. Certainly, the physical patterns of repeated use are hard to change. We don’t think about driving the Pearl. We do it. We understandably attach emotional reasons to an upgrade or a car trade-in.
The business and human issue is to build a working production environment that maximizes your Civil 3D production man-hours and minimizes your cost to do and maintain that. The Framework for Civil 3D is a managed system built to support these critical path human issues.
Human beings adapt very quickly when they have to get things done and have a lane to run in.
Our preconceived Preference is important. That principal is built into the Framework from the ground up. Preference is not necessarily the first or the key driver in the critical path to success implementing Civil 3D.
Release the Power Beyond the Code
Get the Framework for Civil 3D Release 8