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BIM is transient !


BIM is transient !

[Posted in LinkedIn on March 12, 2015]


It is transient and ephemeral.

What is BIM anyway? Yes it is Building Information Modelling, but is Building a noun or a verb? Perhaps it is Building Information Management or even Better Information Management.

This wordle under the title of BIM can be read here.

This wordle under the title of BIM can be read hereHere is another.

All are dated from 2012 and are significantly dissimilar in content and emphasis. I recently saw a newer BIM wordle which had progressed again. Different words and different emphasis. Fortunately some remained the same, but with a significantly changed emphasis.

Should we be surprised about the apparent change? Should we even consider that dissimilarities in word graphics has any real meaning, as they can easily be manipulated. Taken on their own, it would be a dubious call, however, there is ample evidence just within the pages of LinkedIn that BIM is changing all of the time. BIM is evolving as more people talk about it and work with it. There are still many discussions about what BIM is and how it should be treated, and by whom.

BIM will continue to evolve.

It is therefore not a surprise that BIM has actually changed as much as the graphical representation of it has. This is all before the integration of BIM, PIM and AIM. Then add GIS, FM, and Big Data. Let us stretch it even further into integration and interoperability of DIMEC and Digital Built Britain. Then stretch it yet again to include Europe, USA, New Zealand and Australia, Middle East, India, China, and any other BIM adopting countries around the world. BIM will therefore continue to mutate and will eventually change beyond the initial understanding and intent. BIM is therefore most definitely transient. Not the here today, gone tomorrow, over hyped type of transient, more the moving sands, continuously changing and adapting transient.

BIM being transient is not however, a bad thing. It needs to continue to evolve and develop to maximise and deliver it's full potential.

One of the really good things, to my mind, is the increasing evidence of the recognition and acceptance, of the importance of people. Yes BIM is software, and it is process, and it is information, but primarily it is people, about 70% people.

Now given that BIM is transient so must the people involved with BIM become adaptive to rapid change. They must be agile and astute. This obviously only applies to the BIM Manager, or the direct BIM team. No that is totally incorrect. BIM will effect almost everybody involved in the construction industry. It is a game changer that will impact all but those about to retire.

BIM will impact all but those about to retire

The procurement team need to understand the implications to contract and how to procure differently with a different emphasis. Behaviours become an important part of the Tender Evaluation. EU Procurement Rules will need to be reviewed to allow the development of long term relationships, both within multiple phases of a single project and multiple sequential projects.

The commercial team will need to understand the concept of almost instant quantity takeoff, and the ability to price the job as the design progresses. With the ability to say, you can't make that change as it breaks the budget, almost as soon as the change is made. Designing to a budget becomes a reality. Working hand in hand with the designers and the constructibility managers. The commercial team will also have the benefit of continuously updated progress and valuations. Which in turn leads to accurate EVA and reporting.

The Project Controls team will have much better and timely information to feed reports and decision making.

The sustainability team will more information than they very dreamt possible, and at a time when changes can be made easily and relatively cheaply.

The Health and Safety team will be able to see the use of visualization to test safe working methods, and to brief teams prior to work, with reduced communication problems. The information will provide locations of safe access and egress points together with the location and type of hazard, or restricted area.

The list goes on and on. Each part of the team will be affected by the implementation of BIM. It is therefore an imperative that all of the team is engaged in the cultural change management process that nearly all employers of staff in the construction industry should adopt.

It is therefore an imperative that all of the team is engaged.

It is people that will drive BIM forward. It is people that will collaborate to make the whole better. It is also people that dislike change and disruption, especially when it appears to be continuous. They may be called Luddites by some, but at some point they will need help adopting change.

The BIM implementation strategy must therefore include an element of cultural change management which is provided to all members of the team and immediate stakeholders. (eg a project has residents and neighbours as stakeholders, who do not necessarily need to be trained in BIM)

It is a business failure to think that you can just hire a BIM team and get on with BIM successfully. Just as BIM is transient, so must the shape and content of the BIM Team. The BIM implementation team needs to include many skill sets. It is not just a case of calling the CAD Manager the BIM Manager, and hope for the best.

BIM resources are going to become in great demand as the 2016 deadline approaches. With shortages comes the inevitable supply and demand equation. They will become expensive (even more so). They will become difficult to recruit and retain. Get in quickly and get started now.

More about the structure of the BIM implementation team another time.

The face of construction is changing, and the people behind that face must change as well.

Remember, the construction industry is made up of companies that have teams which consist of individuals. Individuals need to be included in the BIM implementation strategy. Individuals working together can make a powerful difference.


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