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Sabotage?

apkouv

We have a problem at my office:

We have a project in CDs with 6 people on it, all very Revit capable. The other day we had a review and the drawings one member was responsible for were incomplete or missing.

Later, that person revealed to me in confidentiality that he had completed the drawings but they went missing from the central file the day before the review. This person has been recommended to us by our network and is a very hardworking member of the team, so I have no doubt in his abilities and work ethic.

What I have noticed though is that he is a bit unpopular with the rest of the team (he is a new hire) and I suspect someone else might have erased his drawings to make him look bad in our eyes. The thought that a team member would do that to another team member is infuriating, because we have worked very hard to attract the best talent and put together a good team. This could potentially damage our business.

How would you investigate a case of potential sabotage within the team? Are there applications that allow you to see who edits/deletes stuff from the central model at any time? Are these applications reliable? (I know for example it's possible to log in Revit using any alias you want)

 
Nov 4, 18 4:49 pm
citizen

Wow, that's quite a case of office intrigue.  I have no idea how you manage to ferret out the offender, if indeed that's what happened.  I wonder if other explanations are possible...

Nov 4, 18 5:17 pm  · 
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donutsfordough

If there's only six people, it shouldn't matter how many aliases are used if you suspect intentional wrong-doing. Worksharing display should show the last editor.

But Occam's Razor suggests that perhaps it's some issue with six people including one newcomer not saving properly instead of malicious intent. But that doesn't eliminate the others, rather going from a more reasoned place than automatically jumping to alternate scenarios. 

Nov 4, 18 5:23 pm  · 
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RickB-Astoria

.

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Non Sequitur

My vote is for incompetence and or human error rather than conspiracy.

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RickB-Astoria

It seems like it is somewhere. It could be that it is a big misunderstanding somewhere as well as something wasn't done. For example: In some setups, there maybe accounts with different levels of privileges. Was this new employee's account access privileges set up allows for them to submit work directly to the project or did the system somehow rejected it. All of this should be logs on the server system(s).

Whatever the fact of the matter is, there should be evidence to put this issue to rest provide the set up was competently setup in the first place.

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RickB-Astoria

To the OP:

Don't you guys have some kind of log that shows who's account deleted the file and complete logging records of files created, edited, and deleted.

Most file server and data management software (and features which I think even Revit would contain) have these features. wait a sec... and ask an important question.... do you guys have a network/computer IT administrator?

These features are primarily designed for record keeping and in case of hacking but they also serve to deal with this kind of dispute.


Nov 4, 18 5:30 pm  · 
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donutsfordough

That'll lead to the classic office horror story: the mystery saboteur leads back to... the principal?! But really I bet it's just some human error which somehow led to a needless witch hunt instead of having procedures set in place to guard against these problems.

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citizen

Are we sure it isn't a saboteuse? Let's keep that opportunity equal!

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RickB-Astoria

The data will tell something. I wouldn't say it is a sabotage but if there is a data log record on the server and workstation showing that the person was sending file data to the main server or host system. There should be something that would either support or disprove anyone's claim or argument. It isn't about a "witch hunt" but about fact finding so sort out any issue. One part of the multi-prong approach I suggest also is to look over the new hire's privileges in posting. I would think if someone doesn't have file creation or modification privileges, it could cause a person's submission for updates to not be in. 

 · 
( o Y o )

Not having secure daily backups is a critical fault.

Destruction of company property is a serious criminal offense.

Assuming that any one person's story is true is an exercise in stupidity.

If this happened to me I'd give "the team" 24 hours to reconstruct the missing documents. After the work has been redone I'd fire the lot if nobody had come forward to admit to "an accident" or a deliberate act.

I'd begin interviewing replacement staff immediately.

Nov 4, 18 5:45 pm  · 
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RickB-Astoria

In this situation, the IT guy should be brought in to look at the situation from the IT point of view, data records, data logs. Personally, this should logged and backed up every 5 minutes for changes and then a daily backup. Some servers would be setup in RAID 1 - 6 configuration that provides some data mirroring functionality. Then backed up daily to the backup server system or storage like tape drive of hard drive cluster system. 

I am not personally familiar specifically with Revit's worksharing system but I am familiar with kinds of hardware and networking infrastructure that would be used in which Revit would be one of the Software services/apps running but the underlying windows networking since Windows NT, Novell, and other systems. 



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Non Sequitur

Ricky, most offices don’t have IT guys sitting around for this. At best, a BIM manager of sorts should be able to pull the last backups from each local copy of the central file and pin point when and if a certain major element was removed. Reverting the the last backup should be enough if the missing drawings were discovered in the morning and the docs get backed up overnight.

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RickB-Astoria

Most offices can't afford an IT guy?

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Non Sequitur

Ricky, maybe at 100+ staff, there is enough to cover that position, but in my experience, most office don't. Also, IT for the hardware and software licenses is different that IT for project files. Again, this is all typical stuff you'd know if you ever got to work in an office.

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RickB-Astoria

However, IT hardware and underlying software infrastructure should facilitate some records even outside of Revit itself. There should be something but like you said, I am agreeing that it is likely a firm of 6 just isn't going to have these things in place or even if it did by the IT guy that set the stuff in the first place (on contract), the staff just won't know where to look and how to find such data logs and how to read them. Which would mean bringing such a person back in to evaluate at a price which I doubt will be a small token change. My IT training for networking would be stuff that would be found at a larger firm with a real networking infrastructure. You mention this is typical stuff you'd know if you ever got work in an office. That wouldn't necessarily be true. It depends on where you get employed. If I was employed, I wouldn't be surprised to be called to set up the IT work at the shitty lowest intern level pay to save money instead of paying me what I would charge as an independent IT / networking consultant.

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Non Sequitur

"if I was employed" Says enough.

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RickB-Astoria

N.S., so what. If I was employed to work for someone else. I run my own business in building design and software/IT related work. I simply don't choose to work for others because by working for others I am becoming a subordinate of someone else which I have no interest in being. I have been an employee for other people. Decent employers and shit heads. I rather not be working for some shit head and you really don't know that until you are stuck working for them.

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Apparently not.



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RickB-Astoria

You like being someone else's underpaid slave?

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Non Sequitur

underpaid slave? Is that all you see Balkins? I ain't no "slave" and I can confidently point to my city's skyline and say I had a respectable part in shaping it. What have you done lately?

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RickB-Astoria

"I ain't no "slave"...".... Did you just say you are a slave with the use of double negatives with writing in English?

I guess you are????


 · 
Non Sequitur

Ricky, I guess your memory is short. I used the same double negative last week and you replied just the same. 8-)

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RickB-Astoria

Not on Archinect. You did that on October 14, 2018. Outside of poetry such as haiku, the use of double negative is improper form in English language in any country that uses the English language.

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BulgarBlogger

oh please - like you're so important that someone needs to sabotage your project. it is most likely some computer glitch or someone being incompetent about saving their work correctly. 

Nov 4, 18 5:52 pm  · 
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RickB-Astoria

computer glitches, work-sharing privilege settings. If the person is a new employee, work-sharing privileges settings might not have been set up right for the new employee. That would be something I would check.

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apkouv

I insist that this is not a case of incompetence. The guy who got his drawings lost is not some fresh grad, but a Revit specialist who served at some really good places before joining us. He gives technical solutions that other people cannot give. How far back does Revit backup go?

Nov 4, 18 5:54 pm  · 
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RickB-Astoria

Does your IT infrastructure have a central server with a hard drive backup and logs. There should be a record of activities by each workstation and log in account. Given this is a small firm, I suspect that there isn't this level of IT setup in place in which case, I would suggest the guy redo the work but make sure this new hire's privilege settings are not in any way mis-configured in a way that would cause problems in a work-sharing environment.

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Non Sequitur

My backs ups are 20 saves deep with daily backups off main server and off site. I also keep separate backups of major milestones. It is highly likely that this person simply worked on their local copy, detached from central then, one day, failed to read the warning when revit rekindled local to central relationship. Again, this is human error and happens often when people don’t pay attention, believe their are “expert”, and or work too quickly.

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apkouv

I am not experienced in Revit, I am in project management.

Nov 4, 18 5:58 pm  · 
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RickB-Astoria

I doubt it is some kind of shenanigan but possible genuine mistakes. I don't know how far back Revit backup goes. I'm not as personally familiar in a work-sharing environment. My Revit setup is stand-alone.

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BulgarBlogger

what in the world are you doing managing if you don't know anything about how your employees are doing their jobs? you cannot manage what you cannot measure...

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Non Sequitur

That explains a lot. See my explanation above. I’ve seen parts of drawing sets vanish just because someone “tried” something.

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Steeplechase

I worked on a project that seemed to spontaneously self-destruct a couple times.

Nov 4, 18 6:46 pm  · 
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curtkram

he had a local copy didn't he?  i would think the information might be there?

I've had work mysteriously disappear likely due to sync errors.  at least that's the excuse i'm going with.  i am not a revit expert, but i am more proficient than some people who claim to be expert.

Nov 4, 18 6:49 pm  · 
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RickB-Astoria

curtkram, that is possible. Sync errors. That is why to check and verify the sync was done. I know other programs that would do similar things regarding syncing including cloud sync. I just haven't tried that particularly with Revit as it is setup in stand-alone configuration.

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curtkram

also, i believe there is a ghost in the machine.  revit has a soul, and it's an evil soul.  some of this stuff is just too weird to put down to human error, and some problems can only be solved with whiskey.

deus ex machina!

Nov 4, 18 6:51 pm  · 
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RickB-Astoria

I think its a gremlin.....


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RickB-Astoria

This sounds like a possible situation:

"If a user ignores the Sync to Central reminders long enough they will disconnect from the Central. They will lose their work as there is no way to reconnect. So Sync to Central every 30 mins."

https://knowledge.autodesk.com...

The person should have saved a local copy on workstation. If it was me, I save locally then would upload to "cloud".

Nov 4, 18 7:35 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Ricky, a local copy is always present. The issue is users who fail to sync with the common (central) model and dissociated their local copy run the risk of not being able to call home again if the central model progressed far enough. It's more complicated than doing a simple search in the autodesk forums. And before you respond with a 2000 diatribe, note that I am "That guy" in my office that fixes the revit fuck-ups and sets the collaboration standards.

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RickB-Astoria

Yes, but even locally stored stuff can be shit canned when a computer is rebooted. In an ideal world (which this world is absolutely not), what you said "a local copy is always present" would be ALWAYS true. I know specific conditions that will make that statement false. In a sensible practice, I would agree that the local file is present on the workstation. 

As I said in the first sentence, albeit unusual in a practical work environment, workstations can be set up so that all locally stored files by users are deleted upon a reboot. Basically, it has an image and anything you save is deleted upon reboot. It is possible in a small practice to have their work station set up that way. It would be unusual but always possible. Additionally, a user may delete the local stored files. Why would they do that? Would it make sense? Those questions don't matter in reality because in reality, there are stupid people.

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Non Sequitur

"Why would they do that? Would it make sense? Those questions don't matter in reality because in reality, there are stupid people." - Yes, well put.

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RickB-Astoria

N.S., don't confuse what I said above as disagreeing with you. I go by a philosophy in these situations to be prepared for the worst and hope things are better than that. As such, I would be prepared IF the local copy for some reason, regardless for rationale, was deleted.

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Non Sequitur

Ricky, I have separate back-ups, outside of my office's official ones, just in case the gremlins, as you put it, decide to pay me a visit. I also pull a copy of my files if I go on vacation on the off-chance someone needs to "check" something. Worst case possible the loss of a day's work, at most. The problem here is that this particular person, being an "expert" and all, might not know much about how that particular program works, how shit gets saved, and how other people's work can affect theirs in a collaborative environment. Collaborating in BIM is not the same animal as sharing a few CAD files and managing xrefs.

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RickB-Astoria

N.S., At least you are smart about it. I would do much like you said. I would have a copy on removable medium (SD/micro-SD, optical disc, etc.). For me, I don't use the workshare stuff on Revit but I have worked with Archicad and perused how Archicad does its work sharing and collaboration. 

I agree with you that collaborating in BIM is not the same as sharing a few CAD files and managing xref. 

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donutsfordough

As a single user, you can probably Dropbox files and the cloud versioning should be good for at least a week or two of work (they say 30 days of logging but I'd just not expect more than two for best practice). It's not foolproof but in many cases I trust it more than say a SD card which are prone to corruption or errors after x number of writes. Usually happens when you need to access it urgently.

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RickB-Astoria

True but you don't usually have to back up to external storage super frequently. I also have external hard drives. Not every iteration or save done locally would be backed to external medium. Yes, Dropbox (and other services) could be used but I would also have a NAS which I can essentially file serve via a server. The number of re-write cycles are usually on the order of 100,000+ write cycles. Good reliable brand SDs will take upwards to a MILLION write cycles. The point of backing up on SD isn't to save to it 1,000 times a day. No. Maybe a few times a day at most and mostly an overwrite. SDs wouldn't be used as the network file storage. I would use HDs and then the occassional backup to a cloud service if I need to but some projects, I back up to SD because not all projects would it be appropriate to have hosted on a system which you do not have direct control over the security and oversight of the data. For long term data retention, SD and optical disk and periodic copying to newer storage mediums that are available in the time period. While I have equipment that dates back to the 1970s/80s era and the means to recovering data from those systems and methods of transferring them to modern systems. I am familiar with the ever changing storage mediums.

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randomised

Been there (not with the sabotage), although not with Revit but ArchiCAD, working in one massive BIM model as a team project. Things slow down immensely when all are working in the same file and saves occur around the same time and need to be integrated properly into the BIM model. Lots of time was wasted, just waiting for the synching and updating to finish, with the occasional crash or loss of work because the damn thing got stuck.

So, people started working in their own individual files and only uploaded the parts that they worked on, basically in a more traditional way. Which was also problematic because you couldn't see the latest status of things when going through the model. All in all, plenty of opportunity for Murphy's Law next to the active sabotage.

I never witnessed or experienced active, deliberate sabotage myself but since people are weird creatures and when their position is threatened...Did one of the team members get a negative review recently or is their contract up for renewal/extension and do they feel threatened by the new guy coming in, doing a better job than they are? I had people intentionally not share photoshop brushes or libraries of 3D/2D elements to make themselves look better, but that's about it.

Nov 5, 18 5:22 am  · 
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randomised

Or...maybe it's simply a team effort to sabotage the project manager.

Nov 5, 18 6:08 am  · 
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Rashomon.

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randomised

:-)

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Zbig

Always open your project from the Central File. A pop up shows up with the stupid title "Cannot Create Local File". The text on the box is 

You are trying to create a new local file C:\Location of your local files\Project Name_User Name.rvt but a file with this name already exists. What do you want to do?

> Overwrite existing file

> Append timestamp to existing filename

Once a day in the morning you choose the bottom option. This creates a local file with a time appendage to the name. That ensures that you have daily local files that you can use to restore a seriously corrupted file, or in this case, to restore the victim's work.

Nov 5, 18 8:29 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

This is correct and I mentioned something like this, although with less detail, above.

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SneakyPete

It also means that on larger projects you fill up your hard drive in less than a month.

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Non Sequitur

It can fill up quickly, but why keep more than a few copies? Purge at the end of the week and keep only the last save or two. Not difficult if your staff has discipline.

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SneakyPete

If the project is workshared, there are backups on the server already. And frankly, there's not much excuse for not carving a portion of your budget out for individual PC backup plans.

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It may be possible to recover the lost work with the local backup from the new guys local files.  It probably was an error Revit can be finicky.

Nov 5, 18 11:06 am  · 
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SneakyPete

Workshared files have backups. Google how to restore them. Save the restored file as its own file, then open both the orphaned file and the active local file in the same Revit session. Copy and paste the missing info. Boom, done.


Nov 5, 18 11:38 am  · 
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thisisnotmyname

If nothing else, develop a reasonable protocol for team members to back up their work and then make sure they follow it.

In our office, I have observed that it is pretty common for staff people to do a poor job backing up their work and following our filing protocols.

Nov 5, 18 12:39 pm  · 
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millieshaw

Things would have been easier, if you have set the hidden cameras in your office and nobody knew about them.

Nov 5, 18 12:58 pm  · 
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RickB-Astoria

That and the hidden "eyes" in every workstation that reports to the server.

 · 
Volunteer

Who done it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Apr 5, 20 10:12 am  · 
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JawkneeMusic

Get his computer & use diskdrill, EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard, or Stellar DataRecovery.  These are file restorers

Apr 6, 20 9:36 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Did you even read the thread?

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Chad Miller

But readin' iz hard

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Almosthip

Weird thing happened to me, kinda similar.  I was working on a file by myself, not a central model.  I was working from home, on vpn.  I would pull the file off my company server, work on it all day and upload at the end of day.  Monday I returned to work after 14 days.  Went to print a check set for my client and I noticed all my annotations on my RCP were missing.  Check the floor plan and all my wall tags are missing.  Check varies other sheets an notice that random text is missing all over the place.  I am really not sure what happened, but I was able to piece it all back together using backups.  I had to go back a week and pull a previous version off the server.  I actually have no idea what happened.  I couldn't have "select all" text & "delete" because it wasn't all deleted, and it also doesn't account for my wall tags disappearing either. 

Apr 6, 20 10:46 am  · 
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code

This sort of thing happens now and then, it's a sync issue with teams over 4 people, sooner or later, someone gets behind the 8 ball and doesn't sync in a timely fashion, and stuff gets lost. Also, make sure no one loads the central file and inadvertently works in it 

Apr 6, 20 11:50 am  · 
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