This is probably better in the CAD Management section but I see very little posted in this area for Revit Design Applications/IT/IS/Digital Design Managers. I am particularly interested in hearing from those managing software for firms of 100+ employees.
We made it through the 8.0 to 8.1 upgrade, 8.1 to 9.0 and 9.0 to 9.1. Each upgrade became increasingly difficult to manage as the number of staff using Revit has grown exponentially. Since we made the decision to migrate a year and a half ago, all new projects are Revit and most new TI and renovation projects are also Revit. We just completed the Revit Architecture 2008 / AutoCAD 2008 deployment and upgrade and all things considered, it was not too awful.
But there must be a better way. Here is what we did followed by a few specific questions.
- We used New Forma to identify all the .rvt files in the network and contacted the Project Managers when we found odd stuff - all was organized in advance with a list of about 100 projects to upgrade (we did not upgrade projects with drafting views exclusively).
- We used New Forma for a side-by-side comparison of new OOTB content and content we made or modified so we could upgrade families what we needed to bring forward.
- Our DA staff upgraded all the projects over a weekend allowing us to find any other problems we may miss during day-to-day support (with plenty of notice - no one was allowed to work on projects between specified hours).
- We notified all consultants in advance to try and avoid problems sharing files.
- We created a login script that installed AutoCAD 2008, deleted Revit 9.1 and installed Revit 2008.
- At Monday morning login, the whole DA staff was available for questions and trouble-shooting.
Biggest problems were coordinating consultants - issues are complex enough with structural consultants who share Revit models mostly with us. What happens when MEP is added to the mix and area consultants work for multiple firms? Who drives the train? Are we forced to coordinate upgrade schedules with our competition in the area? How are you all handling this issue?
Next big problem was managing the content. New Forma helped but it's pretty tedious. It is silly to maintain two separate network content libraries for OOTB stuff and our stuff - too many picks and clicks for the staff and too difficult to keep track of the stuff we delete that just does not work correctly. Is it that tough for Autodesk to provide a "what we changed" content list?
Tutorials are an issue. We do not want to write more in-house manuals for each upgrade but the OOTB tutorials do not have good demonstrations for new features. Are you all just relying on your staff to figure it out?
Would be really nice to have a batch upgrade for .rvt and .rte files similar to .rfa files. Anyone know if this is on the development horizon?
Let me know if any of you have better/faster/smoother methods.