Here’s Johnny! A Survival Top 10 List

Ed Note: John Postlewait of discussion group and AU notoriety works for George Butler Associates in KC. He wrote this up for me and I’ve been sitting on it for too long. These are his opinions, and have not been edited except for consistency of inconsistency. John’s Top 10…after the jump!

John’s Top 10 Tips for Surviving the C3D Implementation

  1. It requires a big commitment from your firm. Senior Management has to be aware and involved. If you are the person who decides to carry the torch on this change your first job is to sell upper management. You are really changing the nature of THEIR business and they must not only be on board but enthusiastic about doing this. It may be as simple as showing them your subscription bill and informing them that Autodesk is not interested in improving LDT and is putting their R&D money into Civil 3D. Your reseller or consultant should be able to help you in this.
  2. You need help. You can’t do it efficiently by yourself. Send someone to an essentials class and find out if they just read you the book or have someone who knows what they are doing. If they just read the book, you can buy the book for 60 bucks.
  3. Network your butt off. Go play in the newsgroups. Be positive, when you can, establish a presence. Check the Blogs. Most of them allow you to subscribe in one fashion or the other but a lot of really good information that you need has already been posted.
  4. Select your consultant. Personally I wanted someone who is not far removed from actual Civil Engineering work. I wanted someone who has actually used the product in a production environment and not just someone who has gone to an Autodesk week of training.
  5. Recruit your implementation team. This one is just as important as getting Management backing and selecting your consultant. You just have to find the right people to put this in place. I’m guessing this may be the easy one. You should know by now who your shooters are and who will be willing to take the lead on the floor of this adventure.
  6. Be prepared to adjust. You will have roadblocks. Sort of like driving through Baghdad these days. Not everything will go according to plan.
  7. Be open to new things, like say, Vault.  I really don’t know what I’m going to say next. Complicated question. If you are the guy that doesn’t have a chair when the music stops and you end up the Vault Administrator, welcome to the club. I am just hoping that Manchester is listening to a few of us that are trying to make this work. And I’m just hoping that the Vault guys are listening to Manchester.
  8. It takes a while. Don’t expect it to happen over night. It’s a process not an upgrade. Everybody is effected not just the users. The P.M.’s also need to learn what is going on. You have to figure out a way to a) get their buy in and b) get them to change how they manage projects.
  9. Styles creation takes time. It takes time to get the hang of it and it takes time to create the literally hundreds of styles that will be needed. Have a team that can take on this task. It’s worse than being the Vault administrator and you don’t want to do this yourself.
  10. Learn to be diplomatic. This one is very important. You may have to do things that are extremely irritating in order to achieve your goal of bettering your business. Do them and do them well. Stay focused on the goal and if you have to spend unnecessary amounts of time dealing with the “doubters” or Management, just do it. My current plan on dealing with the doubters is just to bypass them. Train the ones that want to learn new methods, let them run with it. Pretty soon it should become obvious that you either get on this bus or get run over by it.


  1. Matt Kolberg says:

    Some very good points John. Your point about getting the interested people training hits home. I have trained many people who are there because they were told to be, or because they thought it was a good idea, but they weren’t totally bought in.

    It’s very important for the company to have a plan to use it IMMEDIATELY after the training. Even if it’s just a few hours a week at first. Just start using it or you’ll forget it. I’ve also had many people come back after 8-12 months for retraining because they never used it.


  2. John Lowe says:

    Its been a rough week and it is nice to come to this website and find that people have been where I’m going and have come out on top. The tips and advice I find on here are priceless. Thanks!