Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Once you know how the whole central file / local file business works (see my earlier post), it is time to see it in action and check out the advantages en the pitfalls of this system.

Some of the advantages of worksharing are clear:

  • several people can work on the same project
  • no need to shuffle multiple files
  • always work on the most up-to-date version of the project

But working together on the same file also demands good commuunitcation between the users. For a smooth workflow it is important that you make clear guidlines and rules for such things as:
  • who is working on what
  • importing of families
  • use of families
  • family type naming conventions
  • where to switch from 3D to 2D

In the past I have noticed that despite office standards each user is going about working with Revit and setting up their projects in a slightly different manner. This is a limited problem as long as only one person works on the project from start to finish, but once more draughtsmen get involved, the error ratio and the frustration levels grow exponentially.

This is why I find it imperative that one person is designated to "guard" the drawing. He or she will be responsible for the consistency of the file and will spend time on checking the work of others. In the beginning there will be a lot of checking and correcting, but as time goes on, this should diminish - as long as the errors are communicated with the rest of the group!

Unfortunately, Autodesk does not offer an easy tool for communication between the different users working on a project. Yes, there is the Worksharing Monitor (see post here), which I recommend to use always. But there is no quick communication tool built into this (think chat-client).

What I have done in the past is to introduce a Jabber server and client (an internal chat program that relies on a local server instead of ICQ, MSN, etc). This made work a lot easier and faster, especially when the different users don't share the same office space. Give it a try.


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