Pushing the Creative Buttons

Structural and mechanical engineering brings realization to design ideas. Just because engineering is grounded in physical processes and materials doesn’t make it less creative than any other design process. And therein lies the rub.

The research literature on creativity in engineering can be summarized simply: creativity is notoriously hard to objectify, quantify, qualify, and otherwise manage. There are various creative techniques organizations use to aid the creativity process, most notably brainstorming. Various role-playing scenarios are occasionally used, but most engineers are loathe to engage in such practices. Creativity at the requirements stage is considered particularly painful because engineers want to move on to what is perceived as the more useful and productive processes.

Yet the creative aspects are necessary. When a team suddenly sees a radically different way to achieve a goal, it challenges the organization to make sure the new idea is not just different, but better. Properly managed, creativity can become the catalyst to innovation. Read More

5 Reasons to Attend the Adept Experience Community Event (October 1-4)

We understand. It’s hard to take time away from work to attend a conference. It’s difficult to pry yourself from the ever-growing to-do lists, take the time to justify conference and travel expenses, and then actually commit to attending an event. However, we’ve heard from all attendees at last year’s Adept Experience that their face-to-face meetings with other Adept experts was THE best way to uncover ideas that grow and catapult your business to the next level.

That’s why we’ve put together five bulletproof reasons why you need to attend Adept Experience this year:

Synergis Adept Product roadmap

The Synergis Software leadership team will give you a sneak peek into the future development of Adept for the next 3-5 years. You’ll have a chance to hear directly from the masterminds behind the product about what’s coming and what’s not.

The Customer Advisory Council

Do you have suggestions for ways to improve Adept for your business? During this two hour interactive session, you will be heard. The Advisory Council allows you to give direct input into the changes you want to see most in our product suite. Synergis leadership and developers will be available to hear your feedback and answer your questions. Read More

Change Does Not Have to Be Hard

In my 25+ years of attending engineering software user conferences, there is one consistent theme whenever users gather: how to gain “buy-in” from colleagues or employees for a major software upgrade or new product. Over time I have observed how the ability to embrace change varies with the nature of the new endeavor.

It seems to be easier to get users to embrace specific, individual productivity features than to get a group of users to adopt new workflow methods that affect the team. I credit this to instant gratification. If you now use five clicks and two key-ins to modify an existing door (or weldment or whatever), and I can show you how to do it in two clicks and one key-in, you can immediately put that to work. It is a small bit of learning with a quick reward. Read More

A Better Interface for a Better Adept Experience

When Synergis Software Vice President Todd Cummings introduced Adept 2017 at the company’s first user conference, Adept Experience, last month, he said the mission for the development team was “to deliver more power to users in an easier and more accessible way.” He and fellow presenter Chris Fabri then showed how the transition to web services technology did more than provide a faster “under the hood” experience, but also transformed how users get their work done.

Much of the work to create the user experience in Adept 2017 was about simplifying the way people worked within the program. The web-based clients were recreated from the ground up, with an eye to simplify every aspect of using Adept. The desktop client was simplified and makes users more productive in their every day tasks.

The Desktop Client has an all-new user interface, replacing the original toolbars and menus with a new Ribbon and Tab interface. This approach reduces the number of clicks required to perform tasks. In testing most common tasks were increased by a factor of four, and some by much more. Read More

A New Platform for a New Adept

For the past 14 months, Synergis Software has been hard at work creating a new version of Adept. This isn’t the typical software update with some new features and various bug fixes. This is a serious reworking of the product from its foundation up, designed to make Adept the best possible engineering document management solution. As Scott Lamond said at the launch webinar attended by hundreds of Adept users, “Our mission is to free you from operational chaos, so you can make the difference in the world you want to make.”

For Adept 2017, delivering users from “operational chaos” meant big changes to the inner working of the product, and to the user experience. In this article I want to take a look at the new platform technology of Adept 2017. In my next article I’ll take a close look at how the user experience (UX) in Adept 2017 has improved.

Development of both the new foundation and the new UX were guided by the Synergis mantra, “simple, fast ways to find documents anywhere.” The goal is always to make it as easy as possible for engineering companies to work with one version of the truth, keeping everyone in sync and on schedule. Documents remain secure, collaboration is enhanced, and manual workflow processes are automated. Read More

Five Stars: Why You Need to Plan Ahead for Adept Experience 2017 Conference

In 1992 I went from being a full-time employee at a CAD software company to a self-employed consultant with my former employer as my first client. Several projects were on the list, but the one that I still recall with great fondness was organizing the company’s first user conference. This was before the Internet was a universal resource; less than half of the company’s customers had email addresses. So we reached out through a newsletter and with phone calls (a lot of our business was direct sales on the phone).

We expected 20-30 attendees, mostly regional. We were blown away when close to 100 people from all over the US and several foreign countries signed up. By the end of the first session, everybody in the room realized they were surrounded by friends. They all shared the same enthusiasm for the software and had the same questions about customization or the product roadmap. Over breaks and meals, they shared tips and swapped stories about how the software solved problems or created new opportunities. It was two days of high energy and excitement for everyone there. Read More