Changing in the AEC Industry with BIM

30 years ago the introduction of computer automated drafting in the AEC industry transformed how  projects were delivered. This change is a minor tremor compared to the earthquake created by the introduction of BIM tools. In 20 years the industry has been radically transformed: in 1998 a couple of guys in Wellesley, MA sat down and started writing code for a new piece of 3D software called Revit,  in 2000 Autodesk buys Revit and in 2016 we are still trying to get firms to change to a new workflow process.

A few weeks ago, I realized the most used phrase in my office is “Change is Hard”. I started to think more about it and I thought it was time for a little research, and so I’ve been reading paper after paper on the Stages of Change and how to modify behaviors/attitudes. The more reading I do the more I realize there is a need for a change in the way we initiate and implement BIM.

Unfortunately, the changes firms made 20 years ago to shift from drafting by hand to using CAD left a lasting mark on the industry. When we had to move to this new Electronic Drafting software, firms didn’t understand the need for someone to manage the software.  Adoption was painful, slow, and costly. In time, it became clear that larger firms needed a CAD Manager to create protocols and workflow and help team members control their drawings sets. When offices began to implement Revit, many assumed their CAD Manager could handle the new workflow process. CAD Managers were sent to Revit training and came back to the office crowned as BIM Managers. This trend led to Revit users being guided by CAD Managers who do not understand the complexity of the role of BIM Manager. The title has been degraded to the point some firms will not even use it. It’s time to take back this role and recreate the definition and position.

This brings us to my research and a better understanding of how the AEC industry can learn to take advantage of BIM Technologies.

Let’s start with adapting the Transtheoretical Model to match BIM. I will revisit this flowchart and adjust based on new information that comes to light. Over the next several weeks I will be outlining my ideas and plans for each stage of BIM adoption to review how to minimize the failure and maximize the success of every team adopting BIM.



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