The question I hear the most from people is “Why does BIM fail in some companies?” The most straightforward answer is too much complexity and not enough education. BIM is most successful in companies that understand the value it provides: this value is unlocked when implementation is simple to understand and incorporate.
If your team wants to use BIM, you have to start slowly, and make sure that everyone has a chance to learn why and how your system functions. This is key to full adoption. Your team may have different levels of expertise and understanding, but the right kind of education will help them work together successfully.
So: what do you need to educate your team? The first thing is to thoughtfully create documentation. I like to create my documentation and my curriculum’s around the idea I’m trying to explain BIM to my Grandma. She is far from stupid, but she needs background information to understand how BIM works.
Usually when we start a new job, BIM leaders will create a standard BIM execution plan and standard procedures for the tools. So, by all means go ahead and create that 60 page all encompassing BIM execution plan. Now proudly put your bound manual at the back of a drawer: it’s time for some serious editing.
This is based on a project example I received:
- Reduce the 13 page introduction on the purpose, objectives, goals, definitions, references.. blah blah. You need 1 page of why and how for your project.
- Reduce 8 pages of BIM contacts to 1 page. List each person only once. If you wouldn’t contact them to talk about technical model problems, take them off the list.
- BIM Goals and BIM uses should only be one half of page.
- Cut BIM Tools to one page: list only tools being used and how information should be transferred.
- Remove the BIM use Deliverable Process: Think about the necessities on the project.
- Remove IT Requirements – I personally never understood why this belongs in the BIM execution plan, if you are doing BIM you likely have all the required IT.
Now that you have a simplified BIM execution plan, test it on your first project by asking these simple questions:
- Do all parties understand BIM?
- If not, time for an overview presentation to the whole project team. The introduction to BIM should be as simple as the videos you find online about “What is BIM”
- Do all parties understand the BIM goals?
- Make sure the whole project team understands what the BIM goals are and why you are requiring them. When you get a team that doesn’t understand and believes you are wasting their time the project will suffer and the model will suffer.
- Why are we requiring specific levels of BIM and LOD?
- Does the client understand why this project is being modeled to the selected Levels? Does the team understand?If not, it’s time for a presentation that clearly explains the difference between LOD 200 and LOD 500 or Level 1 BIM and Level 3 BIM.
- Do all parties understand BIM?
It’s important to focus on what you need to get done, but make sure you are also addressing team concerns, like what is the purpose of each component? Always ask these questions to make sure whatever you’re doing is simple and easy to use.
If you take a bunch of users that have been in AutoCAD their whole lives and you throw them in a Revit project as it should be delivered, you’re going to have a lot of issues if the BIM part is not made very clear to your team. Focus on little steps: little steps make things easier for your team, and doing things simply means that you get the project done quickly, on time, and under budget… which means you prevent future issues from the future and there are less problems moving forward.
If you want your first BIM project using Revit to be successful, start simple. Make it easy. Help your team understand. With this, you will have the best foundation possible for an on-time and on-budget BIM project delivery.