Friday, September 07, 2007

Implementing BIM

In a region dominated by Autodesk products, the adoption of Revit has been steadily growing for the past couple of years. According to the Rogers software adoption curve, we seem to be moving into the zone of "early majority" where the program is more commonly accepted and the masses are seeking guidance, information and anecdotes from the early adopters. In recent months, I have been frequently asked in no specific terms...how do I get started with BIM? This post will outline some resources and tips to help you begin implementation of a building information modeling tool.

Assuming your company has done its homework and is familiar with what BIM is and how it is transforming our industry, the task of implementing and managing change begins. In my opinion, the best results can be acheived with BOTH a top-down and a bottom-up approach. First, the leaders within your organization must take a public stand on the technology objectives, providing support if only on a conceptual level. A clear and decisive mission statement goes a long way in convincing reluctant project teams throughout the company. Second and equally important is the identification of those individuals within your organization who could learn the new tools, guide project teams and groom future leaders. These needn't be experts in the particular software you're trying to implement; rather people who are fast learners, have excellent communication skills and exhibit some form of leadership ability. These 'mavericks' should be personally involved in the first few pilot projects undertaken during early implementation.

For your first few projects, it is wise to consult with extenal resources offering both technical and business expertise. While most viable sources (see list below) can be costly ($1,500-$2,000 per day and up, not including expenses), we have found it to be a worthy investment. Such consulting resources can analyze your current business practices and help you focus on the results of your first projects by customizing essential elements such as training, best practices and manuals. I've listed a few consulting resources below based on our experience, but you can always start with your software's reseller or dealer.

Books

Training/Consulting

Other Suggestions

  • Regularly scheduled internal user meetings

  • Monthly reviews of BIM projects

  • AUGI Local Chapter meetings

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