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BIM - to Panic or not to Panic


BIM - to Panic or not to Panic

[Posted in LinkedIn on July 25, 2015]


Strangely the answer is 42.

How can that possibly be the case?

Simple, it is 36 weeks (at time of writing of course) (note to self, find out how to do a countdown clock in HTML) until the UK government deadline for BIM implementation, 1st April 2016. The beginning of the new financial year, 2016. It is therefore 40 weeks until your first reporting cycle of the new year, plus two weeks to prepare the reports. There you have it, the answer is 42 after all.

In 42 weeks you will see the first indicators of the impact of the UK Government's push for BIM. Public Sector works or not, it will affect you. Does that first report show the beginnings of a downturn in the pipeline for Public Sector works. Does it show a pressure on margins in the rest of the market due to all the Public Sector contractors who have yet to meet the BIM requirements looking to replace their workbook in other areas. Alternatively, you have much forethought, and have successfully, and genuinely, met the criteria, and are struggling to know how you are going to get the additional resources, and fill the skills gap, that is evident from the burgeoning pipeline.

Not to worry, the reports aren't sensitive enough in reality to show any of that in the first month, so there is no need to Panic. Back to your desks, and back to work.

No need to Panic.

But just wait a minute. How long will it take to become BIM compliant after your reports do pick up the change in the market? How much white space will you have to endure before you notice that there is a problem and how long before you can start rectifying the problem. I attended a BIM conference in February 2013 where it was said that if you had not started, you had missed the BIM boat.  Adding all that together that is about 3 years. Can you survive three years of decline? Hey, it won't be three years, because you will take special measures. Ok, can you survive two years of decline? How long will it take to claw back up?

So don't panic yet, save it up for latter.

I like that, some forward planning.

BIM Ready

You are already BIM ready. Oh good. Like a TV that comes ready with the next technology leap. I am so pleased for you. However, you do recall that you will have to have demonstrable BIM experience. Read that as successfully implemented and executed BIM projects across the company. If you were tendering for construction of a new bridge, but you had no experience in that particular area, as you are a general Civils Contractor, how do you think your technical appraisal would go at the PQQ?

  • Have you got a Common Data Environment? Is it enterprise, one for each project, or someone else provides it?
  • Have you got your protocols in place?
  • Can you read / write an EIR and BEP
  • Are your processes amended and BIM centric?
  • Do you have the right hardware and software?
  • Are you using 5D plus carbon as you minimum?
  • Are you ready to collaborate?
  • Do you understand the whole lifecycle concept?
  • Have you reviewed and amended your business model to suit the future trading requirements to maximise your position and profitability?
  • Have you implemented a BIM 4 Health and Safety Plan?
  • Have you linked the new CDM requirements to your BIM Strategy?
  • Do you have a BIM Strategy and Implementation Plan?
  • Have you commenced your cultural change programme across the whole of your business?
  • Do you have a Board Level BIM director?
  • Have you a skills improvement plan?
  • Have you a recruitment plan?

The list could almost be endless. I am sure the readership could keep adding to that list. In fact, there is the challenge. In the comments,  quadruple the list. There are currently 16. (For the avoidance of doubt, this is not the list that may be used to demonstrate UK Government BIM capability)

You may have read the 1192 series. Genuinely well done if you have, there are a lot who have not. They are a good foundation.

Do you still feel that you are truly BIM ready?

Then I suspect you are one of the few, and many congratulations. You are looking at a very successful future and possibly sector breaking profitability. 

Perhaps for the rest, it really is time to panic.

Time to Panic?

If not time to panic, time to get help. If you are not a long way along the path with your internal efforts, and can clearly see a successful outcome, you need to reassess your requirements and get help. There are plenty of experts out there plying their trade. Well, perhaps not that many, to go around. I recently read a good article on cold call BIM Experts so I will not go into that area again. You will in fact need a multitude of experts. A gaggle of BIM experts just to get you started. Start with a Strategy, develop a plan and move forward from there. It will not be cheap, nor will it be quick. It will however be a good ROI. You will not be able to change your company in 10 days, nor ten weeks, nor should you want to. You will be able to have made some inroads into BIM implementation in 42 weeks.

Thank you for your 4.2 minutes ...

PS. Just 42 seconds between the top and bottom photographs.

Don't Panic, ... Plan!

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