Kevin Breslin | ISD/RCS Services
Here at IMAGINiT, we’ve been helping customers implement Civil 3D and various other technologies from Autodesk for over 20 years. In addition to learning a lot about how to best set an organization up on the right design technology, we have also learned the time-tested fact that history does indeed repeat itself.
Back in the 90’s, many civil/infrastructure/survey organizations were implementing Softdesk/DCA/Land Desktop along with the latest version of AutoCAD. In the beginning, we had the “early adopters” who were motivated by the benefits of the technology and were willing, planning and budgeting to make the leap to get a jump on their competition with the latest and greatest technology.
The second general group of adopters were the “majority adopters”, who after the “early adopters” had blazed the trail towards success, chose to follow suit for obvious reasons. They too planned, and in most cases budgeted for their technology implementation. This second phase of adoption was the largest by far and is where most organizations found their way to using the latest technology of the time.
The last to make the move was the “laggard adoption” group, where organizations for various reasons had put off the implementation of the newer technology as long as possible, and usually didn’t make the move until something essentially forced them to do so. In the case of these late adopters, many had not willingly made this jump to take advantage of the technology and its benefits. Also in many cases they often had little to no budget, or a plan to make it a successful process.
As the old saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail”.
Over the years, this saying has proven itself to be true, as many of the late adopters can tell you. Unfortunately some of the laggards who were late to make the move, never got past the speed bumps of a poorly, or unplanned adoption, and once compounded with the added challenges of tough economic conditions, found themselves in a difficult place with their business as a whole.
Fast forward to 2017, while the technology de jour has changed, the tried and true adoption curve rules have not and have once again proven itself to be an accurate predictor of how organizations adopt technology.
In the case of AutoCAD Civil 3D, the program has been out for over 12 years, and from a technology perspective, is considered very mature. AutoCAD Civil 3D has a very high (though not complete) adoption level within the civil/infrastructure/survey industry, particularly in the US and Canada. At this time, it's safe to say we’ve seen the “early adopters” and “majority adopters” come to pass.
That brings us to where we are today, which is in the latter stages of “laggard adoption” territory for Civil 3D.
As it has happened in the past, we once again see the same behaviors play out, where the late adopters are struggling with, reeling from and generally bucking the necessary and unavoidable realities of what it takes to implement a new design platform. Organizations today that have just recently decided that it’s time to make the move, are begrudgingly, through gritted teeth, trudging forwarded and are looking for that darn and elusive Easy Button.
In conversations with these organizations, there are a few common themes:
- They want to successfully adopt Civil 3D as quickly as possible
- They would like to effectively change nothing about how they operate
- They would like to avoid, or greatly limit training
- They have little to no time allotted for the adoption
- They have no plan/strategy to successfully adopt Civil 3D
- They have very little or no budget for the implementation
In short, other than wanting to make it as quick, inexpensive and minimally disruptive as possible, all they just want it to be done with the implementation so they can get back to work. While this is completely understandable, the truth is in most cases, it’s just not that easy to do. And sadly, as it turns out, there really is no Easy Button.
The fact is, as was the case with the adopters who have proceeded the laggards in successfully implementing new technology, there are a few basic aspects that will need to be dealt with to successfully adopt a new design technology.
The (unavoidable) realities of adopting new design technology are:
- It will take time
- It will have some short-term impact on productivity
- There will be expense involved
- There will be resistance
- It will not happen (successfully) overnight
To recap, there is no easy button, cost-free, time-free, disruption-free path to a major change to your primary design technology. Any organization who has tried the (fill in the blank)-free implementation path can surly attest to the painful reality lesson they’ve learned as a result of its failure.
The question is, “Realistically, how can the time, expense and hassle related to implementing new design technology be minimized? The simple answer is, planning and using proven implementation methodologies.
That brings me to the response to the conversations we’re having with late adopters today when they inevitably cite their concerns and questions related to a new design platform implementation.
In short, we can help. Yes, I know this sounds like a cheap ploy to promote our business, but the truth is, IMAGINiT has done this for hundreds of organizations, large and small, private and government all across the US and Canada. We have over 10 years’ experience with Civil 3D implementation alone. We have 15 technical experts on staff who have experienced both directly and vicariously through customer’s previous experiences, what works and what doesn’t work. We have developed a range of services from our quick and inexpensive Civil 3D Jumpstart for small organizations with limited budgets and staff, to our comprehensive TakeAIM implementation services which address all facets related to developing and implementing a custom implementation including education, customized design environment and support.
All of our services involve planning and proven strategies, which are based on tried and tested approaches to making the adoption of a new design platform as quick, painless and minimally disruptive as possible.
In closing, can an organization simply install the latest software on their systems and have their designers and engineers watch some YouTube videos to implement the latest design technology? Sure you can. Will it actually work? Will you be successful? Will your productivity be improved and will it make you more competitive? Maybe, but as many who have tried can tell you, probably not.
A better option is to work with a consultant who has done this hundreds of times. An organization that has created and refined their services to make the adoption process as smooth, painless and successful as possible. This method works. We know it does, and so do our customers. We can help you too. . . . . . you just have to contact us.