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Change Part 2 – the vehicles of BIM implementation


Change Part 2 – the vehicles of BIM implementation

[Posted in LinkedIn on September 13, 2016]

Let us assume from the first instance that leaders, CEOs, CIOs, MDs and the like have all acknowledged the need for change. Accepted that it is sink or swim, flounder or flourish, and that their ship is in peril. I know that that is an erroneous assumption, but it is necessary to allow us to move on without another round of why. The why is by now a given, it is time to start bailing out, and then start the steering.

Change is upon us in various guises. It could be called BIM, information revolution, digital revolution, or Digital Built Britain, or many other names or acronyms between. We have the why change, but what is change?

What is change?


There are many books and courses which will tell you about change. Part of the problem here though is that society itself has changed, and not always for the better. The willingness to read, and I make no apologies for the length of this article, has diminished. The attention span has decreased. The modes of gathering and exchanging information have changed significantly. The internet rules. Even there it is difficult. Talking to a VLOGer recently, you have to grab your audience within 30secs and expect to hold them for no longer than 3mins, and that is with a subject that they chose to search out and watch. Instagram, twitter, instant, small snippets of information, with no depth.

I have exceeded my 3mins, so get on and change the world.

However, for those that want to continue, back to what is change, in this context. Perhaps we can consider it as a desire to promote a profession, a group of people, a process, or a product. Perhaps it is a desire to change an outcome, whether that is to increase profitability, improving employee satisfaction and retention, and recruitment, promote employee wellbeing, including Health and Safety, develop efficiency and sustainability. Perhaps it is to be philanthropic and do something for society. In any of these, change is fundamentally there to influence something or someone. Generally, the something is controlled by a someone. Therefore, is it fair to distil it down to change is the act of influencing someone to achieve a desired outcome?

How to change?


Is how to change the most difficult part? How to influence people when people are so diverse in so many different communities, with so many different objectives. Impossible to get right! No, it all follows the same principles. Think about painting the wall in the earlier post. Or getting in the specialist to do the bathroom. There are the stakeholders. Those that you wish to influence and those that will have an influence on the outcome of your efforts. If you are a client you may think that all you have to do is get the executive board on board, and then give the edict for everyone to follow. If you are a fifth tier subcontractor, you may think it is just a case of changing everything you think and do for the latest demand of the tier above. Perhaps you have a readership, or membership just waiting for the next bout of wisdom. All of these are doomed, and not in a St Paul’s Cathedral way. You have to identify your stakeholders, categorise them, loosely. Then you have to plan how you are going to influence them. Hold on, have I missed something. Yes. Before you can start to influence them you need to have a very clear understanding of what outcome you want to change. What are the objectives of your change programme? The mission statement as it were. Is there a clear link between the outcome you want to achieve and the influence you are going to apply? If so, you can start to develop a strategy.

Before you can influence any of the stakeholders that you have identified you need to be able to communicate with them effectively. There are many forms of communication, all with various levels of success. The most important part of the communication is to get people to listen. What do you think is the proportion of people watching a particular advertisement on the TV that take any notice of it? How many could tell you what it was about in an hour’s time? If that is the case why are so many millions spent on TV ads? Internet, street, newspaper, and magazine ads? Our communication must be so much more successful than advertising. The communication must be targeted according to stakeholder, where they are on the grief curve, their attitudes and benefits, their interrelationships, and where they are on the change management plan. Already, we have a complex matrix, and one size does not fit all. However the path broadly follows;

·        Awareness

·        Inform and explain

·        Engage

·        Educate and train

Then comes implement, mentor and support.

How this communication plan manifests itself depends on the audience, however, due cognizance must always be given to the makeup of the stakeholder body. The communication streams or activity streams for one group may be;

·        Communications and events

·        Technical papers and publications

·        Interaction with professional bodies

·        Working with educational establishments

For another group it may be;

·        Internal workforce and consultants

·        Other departments

·        Clients

·        Supply Chain

·        Product providers

·        Industry associations

Each stream has to be developed dependent upon the stakeholder analysis and the desired influence to be applied to create the desired change in outcome.

Once this is aligned it is possible to complete the change strategy paper and to commence populating the streams with activities against the timeline. To create a matrix communications plan.

We need to get used to change and become adept at it as it is going to be with us, in the construction industry in particular, for at least the next decade. We need to become agile, innovative, efficient, and collaborative to cope with this rate of change. We also need to accept that it must be done progressively to succeed. Expect to revisit some things and change them again. We are not ready and not capable to make that one big step, we have to feel our way with small steps, but always in the right direction.

That is the why, what, how. The who, when, and where are down to you!


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