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Engineering Design Software Implementation: How One Engineering Firm Successfully Implemented AutoCAD® Civil 3D®

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Spatial Visualization

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.540.1 - 25.540.10



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Paper Authors


Sonya Bond Overstreet EMH&T

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Sonya Overstreet is the Production Support Manager at EMH&T, one of Ohio's premier engineering firms. Overstreet's many years of experience in the engineering field have provided her with a broad technical background in civil engineering and commercial development. With her technical and organizational skills, Overstreet manages the integration, use, support, and advancement of AutoCAD and other similar design software products throughout EMH&T. Overstreet earned a bachelor's of arts degree in organizational communication and is currently pursuing her master's of science in instructional design and performance improvement.

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Engineering Design Software Implementation: How One Engineering Firm Successfully Implemented AutoCAD® Civil 3D® During an Economic RecessionLayoffs, waning employee morale and premature halts to training programs are all potentialoutcomes of an economic slowdown. In this paper, I discuss the efforts of one engineering firmto position itself for future success and gain a competitive edge by updating its engineeringdesign software. With a backdrop of the worst U.S. economic recession since the GreatDepression of the 1930’s, I chronicle “company name” implementation and training strategy forupgrading their engineering design software. During a recession, allocating resources to newtechnology is a difficult decision. Recognizing that they were at least five AutoCAD® LandDesktop versions behind the decision was made to undertake a corporate wide technologyupgrade. After careful consideration, it was determined that the best course of action was to takea two-step approach. “Company name” would upgrade from AutoCAD® Land Desktop 2004 toAutoCAD® Land Desktop 2009 and then make the leap to AutoCAD® Civil 3D®. The upgradebetween Land Desktop versions was simple compared to the upgrade and implementation ofAutoCAD® Civil 3D®.The upgrade and implementation of AutoCAD® Civil 3D® would force a shift in the way“company name” produced engineering plans. It was also fully recognized that an initiative ofthis scale had not been carried out in the organization since its major move from hand drafting tocomputer aided drafting (CAD) decades ago. “Company name” successfully implementedAutoCAD® Civil 3D® by assembling a diverse team of employees to run and manage theimplementation. The team first developed an initial implementation strategy using the HumanPerformance Technology (HPT) model (Van Tiem, Moseley, & Dessinger, 2004). Humanperformance technology is defined by the International Society for Performance Improvement as“a systematic approach to improving productivity and competence, uses a set of methods andprocedures -- and a strategy for solving problems -- for realizing opportunities related to theperformance of people.” After the initial strategy was in place, the team developed, documentedand implemented corporate CAD standards. With a comprehensive set of CAD standards, theteam began to develop a custom curriculum for training all technical staff that included, projectengineers, project designers and CAD technicians. The last steps of the implementation were toconduct hands-on instructor-led training classes and to establish a support network that wouldassist users in the daily use of the software after training.

Overstreet, S. B. (2012, June), Engineering Design Software Implementation: How One Engineering Firm Successfully Implemented AutoCAD® Civil 3D® Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21298

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