Whether you or your team received GD&T training or are in pursuit of it, it’s important to manage your expectations and goals to effectively put those skills to work. After working with so many clients, we’ve learned that teams should put together a “training plan”—a simple outline of what it’ll take to help everyone get on the same page in order to reach GD&T proficiency. Below are the top 5 mistakes we’ve seen companies and team leaders make during and after the training process.

1. Not relating GD&T to the business goals

The point in educating your team in GD&T is to produce better results for your bottom line. But managers and team leaders often make these mistakes during the enrollment process:

  • Not knowing which training workers should receive. The content of each training is not relevant to every worker. Quality control specialists and CAD designers have different pains on the job—usually their experiences are not related.
  • Not weighing cost against outcome. We don’t just tout those 10-to-1 ROI stats for nothing. Spending $10,000 on training consistently will yield hundreds of thousands in results. You have to see the whole picture.
  • Not using training to address a specific problem. GD&T education is vital, but it works far better when you know where your issue lies. Is it during the inspection process? Are your manufacturing folks misinterpreting drawings? Seeing a rise in supplier disputes? Analyze your own data, then apply GD&T to counteract your weaknesses.

2. Lack of active management support

The general answer our instructors receive when students are asked, “Why are you here for training?” is: “My manager told me I needed to be here.” No other explanation given. Can’t expect students to feel engaged and focus when they don’t understand the value GD&T will add to their jobs. Managers and team leaders should be involved before, during and after the training. And, they are responsible for converting their team’s newfound skills into performance-based results.

3. Not training the whole organization

We debate this until we’re blue in the face sometimes, but we cannot stress enough that ALL drawing users in your organization need at least basic GD&T skills to reduce their error margin. No matter how skilled your workers are, they cannot read a drawing riddled with errors. On average, even the largest companies have trained fewer than 10% of their drawing users.

Also to truly achieve proficiency, your team needs more than 2 days of training. It’s a start, but it only equips them with the basics. Most workers receive only a week’s worth of GD&T training on average in college, and others none at all. Or for those who received training in the distant past, they need a refresher to recall the standards.

4. Not measuring results

If you spend money on training but don’t use it, you may as well throw it out the window. Once your folks are trained, you need to chart data to see where and how they’re applying their skills. Is there a reduction in drawing errors? How many dollars and cents is it saving the company? How is the training most effective?

5. Not using mentoring

Even for the most skilled workers, GD&T is not an easy topic to digest. Practice makes perfect definitely applies here. Students need reinforcement of their skills in order to gain the confidence to make the right calls on the job. If workers don’t feel comfortable applying the knowledge they’ve acquired, then the training will be less effective.


Keeping these tips in mind will help your team flourish after training.