MBD Implementation 10 DOs and 10 DONTs – Motivate All Involved

We talked about “Don’t hesitate (Part 1 and Part 2), and “Establish a core implementation team” in Table 1. A common question facing the core implementation team is how to motivate participants, especially those not on the core team. This post will share some thoughts.

The shift from 2D drawing to MBD will encounter all kinds of resistance. It’s like a start-up where stress and frustration are inevitable, to an extent where some early members may even choose to drop o. Another possible by-product of challenges and frustrations is blame and finger-pointing, which hurts moral and wastes energy. Therefore how to motivate people and make 1+1>2 instead of the opposite is vital.

Regarding motivation, contrary to common beliefs of monetary incentives, Danial Pink summarized three important non-monetary drivers: Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose, or MAP in his book Drive (New York Times bestseller and Wall Street Journal bestseller).

  • Mastery: the urge to get better and better at something that matters.
  • Autonomy: the desire to direct our own lives.
  • Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

In specific executions, there are many examples: establish a common goal, promote MBD benefits, trust and encourage people to think anew, summarize periodical progress, run MBD design competition, recognize remarkable contributions, reward outstanding teams and individuals and so on.
Here let’s talk a bit more about purpose because it’s the most fundamental driver. James DeLaPorte, Partner and Business Transformation Leader with NexTec raised two thought-provoking questions:

  • What are we doing today that we are not going to be doing in the future?
  • What are we going to be doing in the future that we are not doing today?

(Source: Model Based Enterprise Impact on Organizational Behavior, James DeLaPorte, 2011).

These two questions lead organizations and members to focus on long-term vision and gaps today. With these in mind, participants can understand the justifications of MBD better and be more willing to cope with changes and difficulties as a price for long-term successes

Now let’s flip the coin. Yes, there are challenges and frustrations by the definition of going beyond comfort zone, but they also mean opportunities to recharge ourselves and leapfrog competitions. In the early days of Tesla Motors, so many seemingly ordinary things became so difficult, just because they were building something new: electric cars. Where to put the battery pack? What if it’s too heavy, too big, or too hot? Even the drive train that they thought should be quick by licensing from AC propulsion didn’t work for their acceleration and reliability requirements.

So many times, they had to revisit fundamental premises and start from scratch. But you know what? That’s exactly where major innovations and competitive edges are born. Today, in Tesla’s vehicles, we see all kinds of unique advantages that no other cars can match, many thanks to the extraordinary challenges they encountered and outstanding solutions they were pushed to innovate.

Speaking of Tesla, when watching Tesla product launches, I cannot help saying to myself: “Boy, that’s the way to push the human race forward!” We all have only limited time in this world, while our everyday life is so easy to turn into routines. But before we die, why don’t we do something exceptional? Why don’t we make some positive differences to the world? Why don’t we build something we can brag about to our kids or grand kids? This is why I work on MBD. This is why I’m writing boring blogs Sunday afternoon while my 7-month daughter is sleeping. When she grows up, she will read 3D product specifications and instructions, instead of 2D drawings.


Another point is motivation shouldn’t be limited to core implementation team. All those involved should be encouraged, especially those in productions. In front of nay-Sayers, arguments wouldn’t help much. A more constructive approach is to listen carefully to concrete objections. Some misconceptions can be clarified. Some roadblocks need teamwork to resolve. For example, GE Power and Water actually came up with a transitional “pseudo drawing” to alleviate resistance.
Next blog will look further into Production beyond Design: Don’t be confined to design department alone. To learn more about SOLIDWORKS MBD, please visit its product page. Also welcome to discuss with me at Twitter (@OboeWu) or LinkedIn (OboeWu).

Oboe Wu

Product portfolio manager of SOLIDWORKS MBD, passionate about smart manufacturing opportunities, Keen listener to customer challenges, Sharp problem solver with 20 years of experiences in engineering, Sleepless father trying best to take care of a baby daughter.