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Need help reducing mistakes at work

Anob

 To all my fellow, CAD Monkeys, Drafters, Draftsman, Draftsperson, Junior Architects, and to those former CAD Monkeys, Drafters, Draftsman, Draftsperson, Junior Architects,

I work as a draftsman in a medium size firm. Lately I've been making too many CAD mistakes and other office errors. Granted that ive been thrown a lot of work and projects at one time. I feel theres a bad communication later when giving a simple task. My confidence has gone down because of these mistakes. I usually check my work 2 or 3 times before I hand it off to a project architect or a principal. 

Can anyone give me some advice to reduce my CAD mistakes, office errors , and increase better communication with the principals and co-workers? Does this sought of thing happens often in professional medium to big offices  or is it me? Is this problem architecturally exclusive?

 
Oct 9, 14 7:42 am
gruen
What kind of errors?
Oct 9, 14 8:34 am  · 
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subgenius

Always have someone, briefly, check your work before you hand off.

develop a checklist <---- literally check things off a physical list.

be aware of recurring mistakes and why they seem to recur.

really....develop a checklist and stick to it and let others see you sticking to it so that you become predictable with it...even known for it.

Oct 9, 14 9:16 am  · 
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curtkram

did you proofread your post here before posting it?

Oct 9, 14 9:31 am  · 
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sameolddoctor

Quit before they fire you. You are over this job in your mind. You're welcome.

Oct 9, 14 9:36 am  · 
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molten

^^ Listen to the doctor.

Oct 9, 14 9:41 am  · 
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Do less work, make fewer mistakes.

Translation: don't take on more than you can handle.

Oct 9, 14 10:10 am  · 
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toosaturated

Time management is important and can reduce mistakes. If  you set aside time for a specific project and solely focus on that one project during that timeframe, you should be more focused and less likely to make mistakes.

Oct 9, 14 10:12 am  · 
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chigurh

++ to curtkram

if your post is anything like your professional work, it seems you don't have any attention to detail in a field where precision is of the utmost importance.  

Really try to understand what it is that you are doing, ask questions, understand how buildings are assembled and why they are assembled that way, try to be proactive and look for areas where the person handing off the redlines has made mistakes, again, ask questions.  

Think about the person that has to read the drawings to construct the building...Would you be able to understand your notes, dimensions?  Are there conflicts, omissions?  Where could you give more information to make the contractors job easier?  Can you protect the owner from change orders by drawing additional details?

Go over the redlines with a highlighter to indicate what you have picked-up and what you haven't.  If you are in CAD understand that a revision on one drawing usually has repercussions elsewhere in the drawing set, which the project manager probably hasn't marked on all locations.  Think about where everything is located in the drawings.  

The reality is that you have to understand the building better than anybody else in the office.  Don't be lazy, think and do it right.  The work is important, if you are only in it half-assed, it it not worth your time or the time of the people you are working with to not give 100%.  

Oct 9, 14 11:38 am  · 
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shellarchitect

It helps to print the sheet for yourself before bringing it to someone else to review

Oct 9, 14 12:14 pm  · 
1  · 
toosaturated

try sleeping too!

Oct 9, 14 3:25 pm  · 
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Anob

I have a high level detail. I've worked on high end housing to hospitals. I think i may need to reduce  my work load and clear my desk and head.  I've had a rough week. Time to schedule my vacations. I will take all the constructive  comments with me. 

What do those more experience architects do to reduce mistakes? 

Oct 9, 14 4:30 pm  · 
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tintt

Step 1. Look for mistakes. Step 2. Fix them. 

Oct 9, 14 4:36 pm  · 
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Don't make them to begin with.

Oct 9, 14 4:38 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Stop beating yourself up. The people "catching" your mistakes make plenty of their own. If you're working in a firm where there's no respect for the red line process and they expect you to be perfect the first time, ask yourself if you truly want to work there.

Oct 9, 14 5:14 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

I say it depends on the quality of instruction you receive, as well.  Miscommunication can cause you to make 'mistakes' that aren't mistakes at all, in that they could have been prevented by clearer instruction, and/or you asking more questions.

I worked for a principal who would redline something with (for example) "make blue."  I'd change it to blue, then bring it to him the next day, he'd see it, and yell at me "I said red!"  Big mistake in showing him his own redline, but that's a story for another day....

Oct 9, 14 5:56 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

Learn when and where mistakes are ok and not. I do not check my work most the time because there is always time between multiple party reviews, DOB filings, engineer coordination, shop drawing phase (thats where i do check everything 20 times or more) and in the field coordination................in other words you should know when it matters to be precise and when it does not. If your supervisor thinks everything has to be perfect all the time they either have ego issues or not much experience. The ego thing is obvious but the experience thing is not. I know plenty architects who think every job at every phase at any fee needs to be perfect all time, this is naive and ignorant. So although they may appear to have experience they have not learned from it........also understanding when and where mistakes are acceptable should help move you from being a draftsman to a project manager etc...

Oct 9, 14 6:13 pm  · 
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zonker

1. ask questions - when you get a stack of red-lines at 5:30 pm, ask the P.A. critical questions about his marks and scribbles before he heads out the door at 6 or 7 - you will be there until the redlines are done(10pm - 1am or so) - so you really need to know what is expected before you begin. 

back check, back check and back check again

you will never advance to the next level - job captain unless you are 100% thorough

 

did you you back- check?

that's what I thought, go print out a half size set and back-check - use different color markers form each pass.

Oct 9, 14 7:21 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

And this is how the profession eats its own. Instead of being supportive, we tell people to stay until 10PM or 1AM because the PM didn't use proper time management.

Oct 10, 14 11:25 am  · 
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zonker

The P.M.s tell us to use proper time management to meet their objectives - "we need the 90% CD set right away" This is where back-checking is imperative.

Oct 10, 14 11:41 am  · 
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SneakyPete

I'm confused where proper time management is the individual's solution to unrealistic (verging on and sometimes surpassing patently absurd) deadlines. The PM is in charge of schedule. If their schedule requires more hours than are in a work week for one (or more) individual(s), they're failing at their job.

Oct 10, 14 12:44 pm  · 
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curtkram

if they're setting you up to fail, as in xenakis's scenario, you're going to fail

but it isn't you're project.  you're not responsible for the project.  you have no control over the schedule or design decisions or anything else.  in a case like that, you can't be responsible for the project.  your superiors won't let you take responsibility for the protect.

if you're being set up to fail, go ahead and fail.  you'll be moving on anyway.

Oct 10, 14 12:51 pm  · 
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zonker

I use to work at one firm, architect/developer firm where the CEO would ask people how long it would take to do a task, if that person said 2 days, then he would go ask someone else until he got a time-frame that was the least time. To keep our jobs, we would tell him what he wanted to hear, then work fast as hell to get it done. Survival of the fittest.

Oct 10, 14 1:03 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Fuck that job. 

Oct 10, 14 1:09 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

If anybody ever finds themselves doing redlines at 10pm "or 1am" as Xenakis states, you need to grow a spine (and go home).  We are not talking about printing sets for permit, we're talking redlines - which will be redlined again at some point anyway.

Fuck that job.  If you have no self-respect, you're not going anywhere in your career anyway, and you'll find yourself in the same situations over and over - as Xenakis seems to do - being passed over by people who work smarter, not harder.

Oct 10, 14 2:31 pm  · 
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zonker

My dear bowling ball

Have you ever been laid off, and out of work for 12 months? it changes you - 

better to do red-lines than being some broke person

Oct 10, 14 4:35 pm  · 
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chigurh

totally agree with bowling ball.

xenakis is always complaining how he works 7 days a week. 24 hours a day, in fear of loosing his job in some kind of cut throat game of "who is willing to go the furthest" Survival of the fittest?  Ha!  More like exploitation of the mentally weak. 

I can't stress enough, the importance of finding an office environment and management team that has respect for your personal time.  Nobody should work that kind of schedule on a regular basis.  It is bullshit and in xenakis's case a self fulfilling prophecy.  Sack up, stand up for yourself man!  

Try leaving at 5:30 every day and see if anybody really gives a shit.  Maybe you will become known as the guy that leaves at a reasonable hour and if they want to get some last minute work out of you, they better get it on your desk by 4:00, otherwise it will have to wait till tomorrow.

Paradigm shift bro.  Make it happen.  Enjoy life.  

Oct 10, 14 4:37 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

.

.

Oct 10, 14 4:47 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

I will reterate my point above differently within this PM argument. If your PM does not know when and where mistakes are acceptable or less than complete sets are useful or not then your PM has either a major ego problem which hinders their management skills or is naive and ignorant. So yeah, fuck that job if your boss after all those years of experience can not manage their situation properly, or maybe not unless you wanr to be a draftman forever. What does this whack job know that you don't? ....btw I am one of the few people who has and still does make ridiculous shit happen fast, and once you build this reputation - oh man the work comes in....did not make less than 6 figures during the recession....what I have learned is to not even tell the people who have no clue they have no clue when it comes to management....i more or less was fired once for telling my boss he was an idiot, and i was right, but he had enough experience to know a little bullshit can make 40 hours of work go away. I stealthily help people manuever the job, take my check, and they can have the "credit".....so on the other hand you can run with Xenakis suggestions but make sure you perform like this for the right person at the firm - your performance needs to be like a drug.

Oct 10, 14 4:55 pm  · 
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zonker

that it is indeed, I eat spinach for lunch, drink PEETS espresso, run 35 miles/week and am constantly learning the latest stuff on Revit - if I fall short - then I get pulled off projects and or laid off - I am in a 0 sum game. make it happen or make it happen - failure is not an option. - now I need to back-check these details.

Oct 10, 14 5:13 pm  · 
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chigurh

you poor bastard...as they said in 'American Beauty', never underestimate the power of denial.

Oct 10, 14 5:19 pm  · 
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zonker

.btw I am one of the few people who has and still does make ridiculous shit happen fast, and once you build this reputation - oh man the work comes in....did not make less than 6 figures during the recession.

good for you - at least you didn't lose 6 figures in the recession like I did - when my savings account was gone, then I lets say became more "realistic" in my aspirations - so I stay a modeler/drafter forever - better than unemployment - got do what you got to do

Oct 10, 14 5:22 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

And your name is Xenakis...the stochastic composer of percussion and avant-garde music... sure as hell not a zero sum game. Philip Glass might be more appropriate.

Oct 10, 14 5:23 pm  · 
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oh man the work comes in....did not make less than 6 figures during the recession

Anonymous internet forums are a poor place to brag.

And 6 figures over 5 years really is nothing to brag about.

Oct 10, 14 5:29 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

Yearly dumbass

Oct 10, 14 5:36 pm  · 
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^ More anonymous chest-thumping bullshit. <yawn>

Oct 10, 14 5:41 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

You are clearly a dumbass miles.

Oct 10, 14 5:43 pm  · 
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Opinions are like assholes, Chris. Everybody has one.

Oct 10, 14 5:48 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

Last time I am getting out of character, damn notify button was pressed.....Miles I am making an example argument for our Xenakis here, opinions may be like assholes but production and skill is money in the bank.

Oct 10, 14 5:52 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Isn't a yearling ass worth more than an elderly ass, regardless of its intelligence?

Oct 10, 14 5:53 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

I challenge miles to a duel? I will be Burr and you can be Hamilton.

Oct 10, 14 5:55 pm  · 
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x-jla

The more you give the more they will expect and demand.  It's a losing game to give it your all unless you are working for yourself.  I gladly work for my self at 2am but no fuckin way am i working all night while the boss is home in bed.  The company will throw you away regardless of how hard you work if they can save a dime. 

Oct 10, 14 5:58 pm  · 
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Olaf, we already dueled and you lost.

Sorry.

Oct 10, 14 7:06 pm  · 
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zonker

no fuckin way am i working all night while the boss is home in bed.  The company will throw you away regardless of how hard you work if they can save a dime. 

that's exactly what happened - no job for a whole year afterwards  - should have back-checked one more time - a missing dimension

Oct 10, 14 7:11 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

or not Xenakis.... you really think it would of made a difference?

Miles you are historically inaccurate, as usual....

1799: Aaron Burr launches Manhattan Company, ostensibly to bring clean water to city. Huge loophole allows him to turn it into a bank that would compete with Alexander Hamilton’s Bank of New York. Fallout: Bitter enemies, Burr and Hamilton run against each other for president in 1800. Burr kills Hamilton in a duel in 1804.

Oct 10, 14 10:04 pm  · 
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chigurh

hey xenakis...don't let that one layoff shape your entire career path...you can only be someones bitch if you let it happen...sounds like you are a sorry sack looking to be miserable in life.  

Oct 10, 14 11:22 pm  · 
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s=r*(theta)

to the op, chigurh is really dead on. All I can add to that is mistakes are divided into office standards, industry standards, and pm / architect / supervisor standards!

@Xenakis, i can get where you are coming from, i use to have that mentality, but i started working harder to get the license instead :)


 

Oct 13, 14 6:07 pm  · 
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zonker

chigurh

s=r*(theta)

 

Actually, I have been moving on(better job progression in last 6 months) and moving toward getting licensed - I figured I'd better get going before the next recession when the tech bubble bursts here in SF - I got 3-4 years tops to make the grade and become "immortal" it was comments from "bowling Ball" that got me going.

Oct 13, 14 8:24 pm  · 
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btoogood's comment has been hidden
btoogood

You may be interested in a checklist of mine

Its not specifically a CAD checklist, rather it’s a drawing-based checklist for architectural practices. Each checklist is based on a specific drawing, generally avoiding wider management issues, focusing instead on the design and its communication in that drawing.  Each checklist is broken into SK, DD and CD stages to ease implementation. I think you may find it useful. 

You can download PDF and Word files in the links below and feel free to adapt and use as you wish.

PDF

https://dl.orangedox.com/1jZlt...

DOC

https://dl.orangedox.com/deJRf...

I also have a post on my LinkedIn page that contains a discussion of how management documents like these can be used to accelerate a graduate’s education and journey to becoming productive members of an architectural practice and the wider profession.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/bernard-toogood-75315b2a_activity-6785350465879199744-kRt3

Apr 15, 21 8:23 pm  · 
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Visit job sites and familiarize yourself with the process of construction.  Watch how things are installed and built in real life.  When you go back to your CAD work, it will feel far easier.  If you you don't see how all those 1s & 0s represent physical matter, it will always be harder to spot mistakes.

Apr 18, 21 6:15 pm  · 
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