Archive for Best Practices – Page 3

Image courtesy of khunaspix at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Dear Mr/Mrs. Architect,

We greatly appreciate and admire your work, and we understand that you, like us and everyone else on the team is under pressure to perform.  As our team leader, we look to you for guidance and direction, but there are a few things that would make our work on the team a bit easier and more efficient.  Over the years, we have found the following items to be most problematic. If you could please consider these items as it pertains to your work, it would be much appreciated:

Updates

When sending background or drawing updates, please cloud the revised area(s) or provide a description of what or where you made changes.  We have spent untold hours trying to figure out where (if any) changes have been made.  And as powerful as our software is and as efficient our methods of file comparison have gotten, it still takes up too much of our time that could be dedicated to the actual design of the project in lieu of what basically equates to an Easter Egg hunt.

We do not always require a new background or section or elevation each time you make a change, getting four or five background updates a day is very frustrating and inefficient. On the other hand do not wait until the afternoon before a job goes out and send us all the changes you made this week to include in our final drawings.  The balance of this obviously requires good judgment, which tends to come with experience.

Coordination Drawings

Note that much of our work, whether it be mechanical, electrical, plumbing or fire protection is much like yours, is installed in a  3D world,  i.e. it is affected by sections, and elevations, both interior and exterior, roof plans and details – not just in floor plans and reflected ceiling plans.  Please send us at least PDFs of your latest drawings when sending us drawing updates. If you are not sure what to send, just ask.  Sometimes we just need your latest to start our coordination efforts – not the final product. If your MEP consultant says a floor plan is all they need to do their work – you may want to look for another consultant. It may surprise you , but when I have asked for sections and elevations for coordination, I have actually had some architects ask why we needed them? Really?

During the course of a project It is very common to have an architect/owner require multiple review sets for owner review and or approval – but it is rare that we get a copy ourselves unless we specifically ask.  PDFs are cheap – send us a copy and make it a standard. And if a consultant says that they do not need a copy, see above.

Project Completion

Speaking of plans, why do we not get a copy of the final plans when the job is completed? In the old days of paper it was common for every team member discipline to get a big fat hard copy of the plans for our use and for many it was the first time we saw many aspects of the building.  In today’s electronic world, sending a complete set of PDFs should be a no-brainer and standard procedure.

Schedules

We like you balance schedules daily and greatly appreciate it when you ask us about our schedule and when we can fit a project in or sometimes explain that it a particular project has a tight schedule and what it is.  Telling us that every schedule (as ridiculously short as it is) is critical and that we will lose the project if we cannot meet it, shows that you either have no negotiating skills with the clients or you really do not understand what we do.

When you do set a schedule, please be thorough and clear about it and try to stick to it – if you cannot , be understanding that we based our schedule on your original dates. i.e. When you say we have two weeks to do a project and our only submission is the final product, it is not very fair to come to us one week in and say please send us a progress set for tomorrow for pricing. Really?

We often time do preliminary design work that never hits the computer systems until we have the latest plans that we can possibly get from you – because we know you are working directly with the owner and other consultants, and these discussions will often require changes . Much of our work depends on yours and the changes you make to the floor plans, ceiling plans and in some cases interior furniture layouts all of which will affect each of our trades a little differently, but they do affect us.  Once we feel that your plans are pretty solid, then we jump on it and get it done – we really like to do it once whenever possible.  So accurate schedules are important.

Oh, and those last minute background changes, especially those that come after we just hung up with the courier or FEDEX/UPS that you say are very minor – to you maybe, because you have not plotted yet, but to us they are not.  We have to update our background (see DWGs below), make the change, (which is not always moving something two feet to the right) print it, check it, plot however many sets of the new version and re-collate it in to the other sets, reschedule the courier or FEDEX/UPS pickups if possible or worst case now drive it to the drop off location. We understand this happens occasionally, but lets try to keep it to a minimum.

DWGs

As well put together as your drawings are, (sometimes) we do not just drop your new or updated drawing in our project directory, reload the xref and keep working.  We typically have different priorities as to what is to stand out in our drawings, what is to fade and what is to not show at all, so we need to do some cleanup.  This cleanup varies greatly by the quality of your drawings and can take anywhere from 5 minutes to over an hour.  Every time you send an update it is rinse and repeat. Poorly put together drawings can eat our lunch on time and fees – and is another reason why we often do not update backgrounds right away, but wait for a few before we go through the process.

Planning

I am not sure if it is the economy (as I keep hearing) or the general change in behaviors that everything has to be done “right now”, like design work is no different than “Fast Food”.  We know it takes time to do your work, then it takes additional time to do ours, and it seems the pushing is coming from the owners, but it seems like we are doing schematics, DDs and CDs all at the same time.  This week the job is split systems, tank type toilets and fluorescent lighting and next week it is package units, flush valves, and LED – but the job is due next Friday!  Where is the planning and what do you mean no additional fees? We were almost done!

Communication

Obviously not all architects can be categorized by the above issues, we have all worked with the good and bad architects and architectural project managers of the world, but when we get the bad ones it really sucks.  A lot of time I bet you would be willing to make changes to how you do things if only someone told you. Well, that’s kind of what this letter is about.  I know in some cases it is a couple years late and for some of us it is very timely, but we are just letting you know these are a few things you could do to make our work a bit easier.  You could always ask us too, those that are not shy would love to let you know what things might make the relationship a bit easier on us all.

If you feel you may do some of the above and are willing to make some changes, thank you.  We, as your consultants will respect and appreciate your efforts very much.

Yours Truly,
MEFP Consultant

P.S.

Although this is a bit of a Rant, it is not meant to pick on Architects, as you have an equally hard job to do.  I personally have been fortunate to spend time on both sides of the fence of Architect/Consultant over many years in this industry and have seen issues and quirks from both perspectives.  Many of the issues I have seen and heard about can be handled with better communication and team work, and some well, we can just keep praying.
As a follow up, I plan to do a series of letters which come from different perspectives of the various team members.  Future letters will be directed to: Dear contractor, Dear Engineer and Dear Owner.  If you have some input for these, please drop my an email or comment.
Disclaimer:

All of the pages and posts written by me on this blog are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of any association, organization, affiliation or past/present employer. The voices in my head are mine and mine alone.

Image courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Efficiency in Systems

kaizenThe title of this posts has two of my top three favorite words – “Efficiency” and “Systems”, my third being ice cream, which doesn’t really fit this discussion.

Since I am calling this year “the year of efficiency”, it would make sense to talk about various methods used within our “Systems” to create efficiency.  Systems are a part of our every day life, both at home and work.  I did a post on the topic of systems on another blog which discussed a DVD by Andy Stanley titled ” “Systems – Liberating your Organization“.  Although Andy is a “church” guy and the DVD was about helping church leaders do a better job at running their organization, the concepts discussed work in all aspects of our life. Basically, our world and our life are based on established systems.

Key system statements:

  • Systems are your approach to getting things done
  • Systems create behaviors
  • The system you inherit, adopt or create will eventually impact what employees do
  • Systems have a greater impact on an organizational culture than a mission statement. (Mission Statements hang on the wall, your systems are happening down the hall).

If we want to change our world or our life we need to change our systems. When it comes to efficiency, there are two methods that come to mind right away that can be used to optimize our systems – “Kaizen” and “5S”.

Both of these methods are commonly used in business, predominantly in manufacturing environments, but can be applied to many areas of work and personal life.

Kaizen:

A Japanese term meaning: “change for the better” or “to become good through change”. The concept of kaizen is one of restructuring and organizing every aspect of a system to ensure it remains at peak efficiency.

 5S:

5S is the name of a workplace organization method that uses a list of five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke (Sorting, Set, Sweep or Shine, Standardize, and Sustain).  The list describes how to organize a work space for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order.

We will get more in to the 5s system in the next post, today we will look at Kaizen.

Kaizen, is a Japanese term and is commonly associated with the manufacturing world in Japan.  Although it has probably been made most famous in Japanese culture (think Toyota), the concept was actually taught by Americans to the Japanese after World War II, who embraced it and fine tuned it further.

From Investopedia:

Some of the key objectives of the Kaizen philosophy include the elimination of waste, quality control, just-in-time delivery, standardized work and the use of efficient equipment. 

All good things to apply in our work and with the exception of maybe ‘just in time delivery’, also in our personal life.  A commonly used term around Kaizen is “continuous improvement” – not a “quick fix” or a “sudden change”, but continuous improvement.

Kaizen is applied with a few simple steps:

  • Standardize a task or process based on specific requirements
  • Measure the process
  • Compare the results to the requirements
  • Innovate to meet or improve on requirements
  • Standardize the new, improved process or task
  • Continue the cycle infinitely

Kaizen allows you to make smaller changes and continually improve on your system because it is not a one time fix or drastic change.  You can continue to tweak things to make sure they are as optimized as possible for ongoing changes in your industry or life.  So how do you apply the concept of continuous improvement?  We will walk through two examples, one from work in this post and one personal in a follow-up post to see how Kaizen can be used to improve a current system or even create a new one.

Work Example:

Let’s say you manufacture and ship products – “Widgets” – an apparent commonly manufactured item from what I have read.  So you make these widgets and ship them to customers all over the world.  You’re a small company, so the tasks of taking orders on the phone, or over the web, packaging, and shipping is handled by whomever is not already doing something else.  This has proven to not be very efficient or consistently handled as you have found out over time.  Missed Widget parts, broken Widgets due to bad packaging, late shipped orders and forgetting to bill the customer or update the inventory have been costing you a lot of money.  You have decided to fine tune things and figure out how to optimize the whole order to ship process.

To keep things standardized you want to have:

  • Orders entered the same every time
  • Widget packaging the same every time
  • Shipping and tracking handled the same every time
  • Billing done the same and as an integral part of the process

You have written out a set of steps that each stage of the process requires, some of which you already do and some of what you would like to implement.   You post the steps at appropriate workstations and have a company meeting to announce it.  Then it is back to work!?

But… You probably should start off a little different and discuss your procedural ideas with your employees first and see if they have any suggestions or see any potential issues.  If that goes well, you take what you learn and update your procedures – then hand them out at a company meeting with a discussion and a re-iteration of the point and goals for the new standardized procedures.

Was it a success?  Hopefully, but to be sure you need to continually monitor the new procedures and see if they are meeting your desired goals. This will include verifying if all the employees from full-time to part-time are following them.  If they are, that’s great, but if not – what do you do? Tell them to get with it!?  Maybe, but you definitely need to discuss why they are not following the new procedures and see if there is something that needs improvement.  If it seems to be more of a refusal to change, you may want to let them know that you can replace them with one of those newer Automated Widgets you read about!  If it is an actual valid reason – like some tasks are taking too long and are slowing part of the process down, then you need to re-evaluate the troublesome procedure and fine tune it.

At some point you will get things running smoothly, hopefully pretty quickly, but keep in mind that there will be a need for changes down the road, so monitoring and leaving it open to employees and even customers to make suggestions will keep you moving forward as efficiently as possible for many years to come.  Sometimes you just need to re-evaluate how you have always done it!

This may seem like very logical steps, and they are, but they also follow the Kaizen process.

  • Standardize
  • Measure
  • Compare
  • Innovate
  • Standardize the new
  • Continue the cycle infinitely


Other Kaizen terms you may here in a business environment:

Kaizen Blitz:

A Kaizen Blitz is a rapid improvement workshop designed to produce results/approaches to discrete
process issues within a few days. It is a way for teams to carry out structured, but creative problem
solving and process improvement, in a workshop environment, over a short timescale.

Lean Kaizen:

Lean is a methodology that eliminates waste and boosts efficiency. Kaizen means continuous improvement. Lean Kaizen helps you get rid of waste as part of the continuous improvement process.

Kaizen is a very powerful concept that can be applied to all areas of our life.   Although I will likely bring it up again beyond the next post, if you would like to learn more, there have been many books written on the topic as you can see in this link:

http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/kaizen

Are you currently practicing Kaizen in your workplace?

WES

2013 is a brand new year and thankfully the Mayans were wrong. As is a tradition every new year, people are wanting to change their ways, from diets and fitness to how they handle their work and personal schedules in hopes of being a trimmer, fitter, better organized and all around better person. To help get things moving in the right direction this year I’m going to be doing more, shorter posts on ways you can increase your efficiency both in and out of AutoCAD. These things may cause you to change your ways, but hey change is good! In the end, if you follow through you’ll be more efficient.

I myself am constantly looking for ways to spend less time doing any kind of process. By spending less time, I do not mean taking shortcuts – the end result must be equal to or better than the original in quality. In this constant effort to shorten my time requirements and multitask I must still maintain quality in whatever I do.

An example of one thing that I do to be more efficient is in how I write my posts. The majority of my posts are now written while I’m doing other things, like shaving, dressing for work or actually on the drive-in to work. It may seem like it could get messy or even be unsafe, but it actually works out great. I use voice recognition software on my smart phone and dictate in to a note app. I can either email myself the articles or login to the Cloud and finish the editing there before I post it (as I am doing right now). Thanks to the accuracy of the recognition software my editing time is reduced drastically and I am able to do two things at once. This also allows me t be spontaneous about my thoughts on an article or blog post.

Another area where I spend a lot of time, as i am sure you do as well is AutoCAD. Being efficient in AutoCAD is paramount for Architectural and Engineering design firms that use it. We produce drawings to communicate our ideas and designs to clients, reviewers and ultimately to the actual builders. In a business, profits are the key to survival, and you make profits by being able to produce a desired product quickly and efficiently. And no – quickly and efficiently are not the same. In this production process, speed alone is not what makes us efficient.

As an AutoCAD designer or even a regular CADD technician, profits may not be the first thing on your mind. But keep in mind profits are what pay your wages, your bonuses and any other perks you might receive. The more profitable your company is the better you (should) do. By doing your work more efficiently, you create shorter production times which translate ultimately in to more profits. So how do we go about being more efficient? In the next post “Macro Mania” , I’m going talk about about an old AutoCAD customization tool called toolbar macros and how they can automate many of the steps you do every day. These tools will reduce the time you spend doing manual steps, and in the process, increase your accuracy – increasing your productivity and efficiency.

WES

 

One again I find myself motivated by a Blog post by a fellow blogger and AUGI cohort the Kung Fu Drafter (KFD) at KungFuDrafter.com on the topic of Standards or more so what they should be called.  KFD discussed how one should consider changing the more common name of “Standards” to “Best Practices”.  In the post, KFD made some good points about the struggles we face with Standards – like the big one of “those things that your management always tell you that you need but never got around to developing”.  One that he did not mention directly, but inferred is that of the frustration some feel with having to follow standards, especially if they do not like them or had no input to their creation.  In the post, KFD made the statement that:

“…there is almost nothing good that comes of calling your documented processes standards.”

And to this I agree one hundred percent!  I have seen many places where management, business owners or newby CADD managers with a big ego think that they know best on “how” to do something.  Sometimes they are right, but often they are wrong.  As KFD said in his intro – “…there is more than one way to draw a polyline.”

But two statements that I struggled with the most were that “the difference between “standards” and “best practices” is minimal.”  And “A ‘standard’ is a documented process…” I struggled with these because I see them as completely separate things.  My view of ‘Standards’ maybe somewhat limited, but I look at them as a production result or something ‘used’ vs ‘done’ to create a desired result.  We have standards to create something uniform and consistent.  But the processes, techniques, or practices that we use may not be the same.

Standards vs Best Practices

In looking at some definitions of Best Practices on the web I found the following on Wikipedia:

A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a “best” practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. Best practice is considered by some as a business buzzword, used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use.

Some consulting firms specialize in the area of Best Practice and offer pre-made ‘templates’ to standardize business process documentation.

And on the BusinessDictionary.com:

A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.

The first definition mentions ‘standard’ and ‘standardize’ with the first being about “a way of doing things”, while the second usage discusses “templates to standardize business process documentation” i.e. creating a document that standardise how you do things, both of which would follow KFD’s line of thinking.

When looking for a definition of Standards” on Dictionary.com:

  • Something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison; an approved model.
  • An object that is regarded as the usual or most common size or form of its kind
  • A rule or principle that is used as a basis for judgment: They tried to establish standards for a new philosophical approach.
  • An average or normal requirement, quality, quantity, level, grade, etc.

And on BusinessDictionary.com:

  • General: Written definition, limit, or rule, approved and monitored for compliance by an authoritative agency or professional or recognized body as a minimum acceptable benchmark.
  • GATT definition: “Technical specifications contained in a document that lays characteristics of a product such as levels of quality, performance, safety, or dimensions. Standards may include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, testing and methods, packaging, or labeling requirements as they apply to a product.”

So, my definitions would be that:

  • Best Practices” are the best known method, technique or proven processes used to achieve an end goal –  a ’standard’.
  • Standards: are usually established by an authority (a rule or principle) or by general consent (defacto standards) as a basis of comparison. Typically used to achieve a specific look, quality, quantity, level, grade, etc. or obtain specific results or create a safer environment.

I think every AEC firm company needs some form of ‘Standards’ but where I look at things a little different from KFD is that rather than setting up the processes as the standards, I believe  a company needs both a set of ‘Standards’ AND a set of ‘Best Practices’.  Things that I would see in a set of Standards include: (Think National CAD Standards)

  • A Standard set of Layers
  • Standard line weights used for the Standard layers
  • Standard Fonts used for standard Company Styles
  • Standard Title Blocks, drawing Blocks, and annotation Symbology

Basically – A standard looking set of documents for your company.

Now, as to how you get there, i.e. what process you use, I can recommend some ways, by doing certain tasks or steps – kinda like best practices. But, if you want to use scripts or layer states to control your layers, or if you use toolbars in lieu of the Ribbons – I don’t care if it achieves the same results.

CADD managers may document steps to get a result, and may be it is a non-flexible result so that a specific process has to be used, but this may be where some good automation get’s setup.  The more arduous things are and the more steps one has to use, the more likely they will find their own way or  shortcut to get a result (like exploding in lieu of redefining blocks).

CADD Managers beware –  by labeling your company “Standards” as “Best Practices”, I believe you are offering up that the desired result is flexible or has ‘elasticity’ not something I would want too many people interpreting on their own.

Standards are something necessary and need to be defined, monitored and controlled while Best Practices can be taught but may vary by individual.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes what some users may choose to use as a process is less than optimal….  Because there are many different ways of doing things, we can teach “Best Practices” and encourage them to be used, but in the end we require  “Standards”.

 Thanks to this thought-provoking post by KFD, I have added  “Best Practices” as a category to this blog and will start updating my existing post’s  categories to reflect it.  And this has also prompted me to put together a post dedicated to some useful business “Best Practices”.
Thanks Curt…
WES

 

4 Color Markups?

4 color markups

This post is in response to another post that I recently read on the Kung Fu Drafter’s blog titled Stand Up for your Markups by Laying Down Some Rules…”. 

Worth it?

I have been involved in the architectural and engineering world for over 25 years and have been on all sides, from hand drafter, designer, CADD drafter and designer, CADD manager, Project Manager and even have done and still do CADD and IT consulting.  I have marked up drawings, drafted markups and reviewed other’s work from someone else’s markups, but until I read this post I had no exposure to the “4 Color System”.   My first thought was that it seems to put a lot of extra work on the person doing the markups, the more I read, the more I saw an “us and them” picture developing.  As the first couple paragraphs stated, the work is done as a partnership – and this requires work from both sides.  I feel for those that endure horrible markups and hope that they can find a way to communicate this frustration without causing additional conflict.  Unfortunately, for those that do endure scribble and hieroglyphics, multiple colors will just make them more colorful.

It has Logic

Using separate markup colors has logic, and I am all about logic, setting a standard is good too because standards combined with automation are in my opinion the best way to create quality and cost-effective output.   I am all about logic – well logic and foresight.  Logic requires thinking about more than a single project or task and foresight allows us to look down the road and see the big picture.   The 4 color markups obviously were created with logic and foresight; although it seems a bit heavy on the designer.  If I were the person marking things up, I would have to keep picking up and putting down various color pens or pencils as I reviewed and marked up the drawing – annoying? Yes.  efficient? Not so much. But I am only one of many.

Agree and Disagree

For this methodology, there are a few things I agree with and a few I don’t.  Black is definitely a bad color for markups for the great reasons given.  Red is a common if not the ‘most common’ color for markups and has kept the pen and marker companies in business for years.  The blue – probably a good idea, as some drafters may not truly understand what they are drawing and will just go ahead and throw it on the drawing – although this may be where experience and training helps.  Drafters should have a decent idea of what they are drawing and be able to notice something out of character.  For me, the red pen has pretty much always worked.  The green pen – I do not see the reason for it at all.  If it needs to be gone, mark through it with a red pen.  The yellow pen confuses me.  Who uses that?  Is this a highlighter that the designer uses to highlight stuff he/she has already reviewed? If so, that’s ok as a checklist for themselves, but I’m not sure how the drafter benefits.

Size Matters

The idea of giving each person a different color highlighter is good for small offices if you can get everyone to stay firm – of course this relates to any standard.  What I have found useful in the past and especially with large drafting departments is that everyone can highlight their work in any color, but when they start their work they write their name on the sheet in the lower right-hand corner and run their highlight color over it.  If this person is out sick or has to pass the work to someone else to complete, the second person writes their name and highlights it in a different color and then uses that color to highlight their completed markups.  This way the designer knows who to go back to if they have questions related to the work or wants to explain something that the drafter misunderstood.  Using this method would work for most firms – unless you have a dozen people working on one redline; you should never run out of highlight colors.  Even with all the color options, there are a few things that the drafter needs to do as well – it is not always the designer’s fault.

As to the statement:

Comments that are poorly written lead to confusion in the drafting room. The wrong word is typed or the wrong size is used and it is nobody’s fault but the person who marked the page up.”

I agree with the first line, but the second one I believe is unfair and inaccurate.  It would be easy to discount mistakes by saying that I could not read your markup, and that is why it is wrong but in reality, I was distracted and not focusing on the markup or in a hurry and did not want to try and think through what the designer was saying.  Maybe I did not want to walk to their desk or call their extension to get clarity – this would be part of the partnership.

Responsibility

Creating good markups ARE the responsibility of the designer whether they are being done by an architect, engineer or an architectural or engineering ‘designer’.   Bringing to their attention or to their bosses attention that they tend to be hard to decipher is the job of the drafters.  Clarifying the markups is the responsibility of both the designer and the drafter not solely the markup originator.  If after years a drafter cannot decipher markups from someone they have been working with or a particular type of work that they have been performing maybe they need to get more knowledge about what it is they are drawing.  The less detail a designer needs to put on a drawing to get the point across the more money and time they save.  The time savings allow them to put more time into more important details.  If the CADD drafters are constantly too new or keep getting moved around before they have a chance to figure out what they are drawing then there are bigger issues in your company then how markups are done.

One Solution

When I run into a clarity issue, I have a personal solution.  I keep three highlighters nearby – Green, Orange and pink.  When I finish something, pick up a red-line etc… I highlight it in Green, if a word, paragraph or line does not immediately make sense, I look at what it relates to, think what it might mean (this is not the first redline I have done) and if I still don’t have a clue I highlight it in Orange and move on.  When I am done, (or think I am) I go back over the markup quickly double-checking that I picked up everything, on large or complex markups I highlighting in pink as I go indicating it was double checked.  I then take the markups to the designer/engineer/architect etc… and go over the orange items.  Once it is clear, I finish up and return the markups along with the final plots to them.  If the person that did the markups is not available and I have other projects or priorities to move on to I have already established an understanding that the orange means I am not clear on something and they get back with me or sometimes pick it up themselves if they can.

Fairness

Now to be fair, I can see situations where the “4 color” system may come in very handy.  If you are working in a standalone Drafting shop or your markups are sent overseas or out-of-state to drafters, the additional clarity would be helpful (still don’t see the need for Green though).

The statement:

“It’s not always easy for CAD managers to push procedures up the command chain.”

could use its own response post, but for brevity’s sake, let’s just say ‘pushing’ anything ‘up’ is not often successful.  Starting at the top of the department or division and discussing a better way to communicate markups would be best, and one that does not add additional burden to the person doing the markups.  Talk it over and maybe you can offer a solution and get them to believe it was their idea.  Things will go a lot better the more we get away from the “us and them” attitude and maybe even get us back to that partnership originally mentioned.  Yes – I know it is often easier said than done, but not impossible – don’t give up before even trying.  And a final point… Having drafters “Lay Down some Rules” may not the best way to start working on a partnership.

This response post is in no way meant to slight the writer, as it is obvious that the topic came from years of experience and frustration.  We don’t all have to agree on one method of doing anything to make progress; we just need to think through the issues, find a compromise that works best for all sides and work to get it in place.  The information that is shared on the Kung Fu Drafter blog is very informative and is obviously based on a lot of experience – which of course is why I subscribe to it.

WES