Have you ever noticed that people tend to blame software for project problems? Or worse, for people problems?
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and decided to post after I read Robert Green’s Cadalyst series on the “tool worship trap“. These articles describe how easy it can be to get caught up in the promises of new software (and yes, I’ve been there!), and the reality checks you need to be sure your expectations don’t get out of hand.
But this attitude has a flip side: fear of new technology. Or if not fear exactly, a transference of existing issues onto new software. I’m mostly thinking about Revit today, but there will probably be more examples in a future post.
- “We’re over budget because we did this project in Revit.” (Are you sure it’s not because of all the client-driven changes?)
- “Revit should have notified us that the slab openings moved.” (Maybe. But how would we have handled this in AutoCAD?)
- “I thought coordination would be easier now.” (Well, it can be. But you still have to talk to each other.)
Basically, whenever I hear a complaint or an objection to a Revit-based process, I try to find out if it’s an issue now anyway, regardless of software, and whether it’s something that we could fix if we just talked to the person on the other end.
Revit’s not perfect. (Far from it…although it is getting better all the time.) But I don’t think it deserves all the blame it accumulates for problems that are either long-standing collaboration challenges — that could be just as true for two people working on a Word doc — or that can be traced to other project management issues.
Just some Friday musings…
Thanks for site, always happy to get other’s perspective on the s/w tools we use. *However*, can’t agree with your proposition that we ‘blame’ the s/w too much. I don’t use the shortcomings of s/w as an excuse for why we didn’t meet a deadline, etc; *BUT*, there ARE shortcomings of the s/w (speaking of Revit in particular) that cause ALL OF US to bang our heads against a wall trying to figure it out, or work around it.
I *don’t* think that is mere carping for the sake of carping, but valid and necessary complaints about *expensive* s/w which is often failing at elementary tasks. (That Autodesk does NOT appear to respond to these valid complaints only makes it doubly maddening.)
For example, (as an aside, long time AutoCad user, Revit newbie) the plotting control in Revit -in a word- is woeful (I would choose stronger words, but trying to be nice). Really, when I ‘got it’ (that there wasn’t something I was missing or doing ‘wrong’, and that plotting control was abysmal), I was stunned that basic plotting functions which the junkiest piece of freeware has had ‘solved’ for a decade, are not available through one of the most expensive pieces of s/w you can get. Seriously, I can’t plot a window of a portion of a plan, detail, etc ? Seriously ? ? ?
90% of the time, I am *not* plotting sheets, or not even views, I am plotting a plan, or a portion thereof, or a detail, or a portion of a section, etc. Revit is a left-handed, red-headed stepchild when it comes to plotting. As far as I’m concerned, there is NO excuse for that regression in functionality. AND, that *does* have an effect on my productivity through NO fault of my own.
As I have done for decades, I will slog through the morass of inefficient s/w tools, and get the job done. That doesn’t mean I (we) don’t have valid complaints about *expensive* s/w which makes us all feel like beta testers all the time.
Just saying we don’t have to be polite, passive, and all-too-accepting of bad s/w behavior that we pay for in time, money, and -not inconsequentially- frustration.