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Letter from the President - August 2019

Today I watched as family members cut down a 70-foot-tall tree in my parents’ backyard. I have fond memories of this one particular tree being a place of refuge when I was young. I could just barely reach the lowest branches and climb up (not too far, since I’m afraid of heights!). I would sit out there for hours, either in the tree or under the tree in its shade, reading books, imagining fairy tale stories, or contemplating life. But now the tree was dying, and rather than have it fall haphazardly on its own, the decision was made to take it down.

Cutting a tree that large requires project management, especially in such tight working conditions. My parents’ lot is small and narrow, less than half an acre. There is a road behind the property with houses on the other side, and this tree was less than 20 feet from the rear property line. How this tree would fall took very precise planning and calculation (and apparently some alcohol!). The safety of everyone and everything around us was top priority (other than my nephew refusing to wear eye protection. Silly boy!) Thankfully my husband and nephew have some experience cutting down trees. This project was not for the faint of heart.

I would like to say that everything went smoothly, and generally it did. Once of the first cuts was to “top” the tree, or cut off some of the larger branches, which landed on my dad’s shed. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the shed will need to be replaced. It took most of the day, with neighbors nervously watching all around, but finally my nephew started driving the wedges into the tree. With each smack of the hammer and each cut of the chainsaw, we anxiously awaited the grand finale. Finally, the tree fell with such precision that nothing else, and thankfully no one else, was harmed. The cheers coming from the neighbors were comical, to say the least! But the sighs of relief were the most audible.

This issue of AUGIWorld focuses on Management. Our tree-cutting project could not have been completed successfully without full cooperation of the team members, quick decision making by the leaders, and careful planning and calculation. The same can be true of any work project. Whether you are a CEO or an entry-level technician, whatever you do requires management skills. This month, our authors show us how to manage our software, processes, and techniques in order to create successful project outcomes. The best response is an audible sigh of relief when a project is completed successfully!

In the next few weeks, registration will be opening for Autodesk University in Las Vegas, to be held November 19-21, 2019. We look forward to meeting all of you there, and we will be hosting our Annual General Meeting. We have some very exciting things to share with you! More details will follow as we get closer to the event. We hope you will join us!

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