Saturday, January 21, 2006

Rules for Redlines

If you are serious about being a Lazy Draftsman, you’ll have to work on your own skills, but an over looked component to kicking out accurate plans fast is getting on the same page with the designers you work with. So much production time is lost to bad communication between designer and draftsman. How worn is the carpet between you and your designers desk? It’s because the redlines you’re getting, well they suck. It’s not professional for me to say, but it’s true and it needs to be addressed. When you are paired with a designer that gives you clear consistent redlines, your sheets get done faster.

Once again the Lazy Draftsman must make things happen by leaving the desk and talking to someone. In this case speak to your designers about way to help you get redlines done with less questions and mistakes. Please note this is great for you, but is much better if all the drafts people in your company can get together and agree on some standards for redlining.

Here are my top item to address.

1. Print clearly – If I can’t read what you wrote, I have to ask you. It takes less time to write it out clearly than have me interrupt you later. Especially when you have trouble deciphering your own chicken scratching later.

2. Consistent Mark Ups – I don’t care what you pick for “delete this” but use it every time you want something deleted. A slash is great an “X” is wonderful just make sure it is understood.

3. Cloudy Instructions – Designers, have you ever written out “delete this” only to have a draftsperson add the words “delete this” to your drawing? When giving instructions I encircle the instructions in a cloud. Now there should be no question.

4. Highlight what you’ve done – When you pick up a redline, signify that by marking it with a colored highlighter. Don’t highlight until you do it. It’s harder to miss redlines when you are marking them off in this manner.

5. Talk to each other – There is no substitute for a face to face. The more you talk to someone, the better you know what they want, and sticking together only makes the team better.

There are plenty more areas to look at depending on the nature of your work, but please look at them. I think you will be surprised at how much more efficient the redlining process can be.

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