Time to be a BIM leader


It’s time to be a leader; time to take control of this BIM rollercoaster and set it on the right course.

To quote Wesley Benn “Is BIM Better… er… er?” Currently there are a lot of misconceptions in BIM and too much leaping before looking. As BIM advocates and innovators we need to educate our teams so that they can learn to harness BIM strategies instead of being overwhelmed.

“A leader has to bend and shape his or her leadership so people can be encouraged, engaged, energized, and mobilized in a way that works for each of them individually. It is not easy, but it does pay off.”

Mark Kiker, AUGI World, October 2014

So let’s get started… but how? The best way I know is to break the process down into manageable chunks.

Step one: Create an implementation plan that sets a clear path to BIM.

  1. Teach the proper definition of BIM to all staff. Many teams get stuck thinking that BIM is just software instead of a holistic project management system.  Using a 3D modelling tool is not BIM; using 3D modelling software that allows users to design a building and access building information from a database IS BIM
  1. Create a BIM curriculum for Lunch and Learns. I was able to tailor the curriculum based on my conversations with staff members. By laying out a curriculum based on staff knowledge (or lack of knowledge) of BIM, I was able to target their weak areas and present to their skill level. Each topic was presented at a lunch time session and recorded for those that missed the original presentation.

 An sample BIM curriculum:

1.       Understanding BIM and its uses.

2.       How to start your project using BIM

3.       BIM Tools

4.       BIM Design Methods

5.       Standardized Documentations

6.       Multidisciplinary Coordination

7.       Sustainability and LEED

8.       Extending BIM Beyond Design

Step two: Become an integral part of the project kick-off or project execution plan.

  1. If your company does not have a project start or execution plan, it’s time to put one together. BIM belongs on the table before any project starts, prior to software being used. The choice to use BIM will affect the information within the model, how the project will interact with all members of the team and the project requirements.
  1. Get the project team thinking about using BIM tools and working towards BIM execution requirements. Often teams don’t realize that BIM is just as powerful during the design phase as it is during documentation. During the design phase the team can link the 3D model to cost estimating software, allowing real time changes that keep the project on budget and on time.

Step three: Don’t let the tools or the idea of BIM get in the way.

My job as a Design Technology Manager is to make sure BIM is easily implemented and that users are able to use these tools effectively. Technology and how BIM is used is continually advancing, make sure you keep an ear to the ground and keep up with technology for Architecture.

Now lets all go out there and get everyone on the right road, stop all this BIM madness.