Evolution of the Project Manager and BIM

I had a training/information session with some Project managers and found out some interesting information we need to account for in the world of BIM.

Today’s Architecture firms have changed the way Project Managers work.  In the past the Project Manager would work in the drawings to develop details and design.  Now the technologist without building knowledge, model the buildings. This has brought about an interesting problem, how does the PM check the models to verify the technologist it putting together the correct pieces.

Not too long ago we thought of the model as a tool to develop our 2D deliverables, now we are required to start handing over our models. So now what do we do?

My discussion with PM’s has developed a list of items they would like to do in Revit.  They want to be able to check the model for accuracy along the life of the project. So now there needs to be training, and a discussion with modelers. We have to go back and rethink the use of the Revit model.

I have done several presentations on modeling in Revit with an emphasis on the deliverable, which at the time equaled sheets. Now that the deliverable has evolved, there needs to be a new training emphasis on the model being used as the deliverable.

eBook Launch

Becoming a BIM Advocate

Thanks to the support and help from friends and family I can proudly say I have published my first eBook.

Becoming a BIM Advocate

I hope this book can help others get over that ever looming hump of BIM Implementation. This book is full of help and ideas to get your firm over that hump.  Take the first step and see what it takes to be successful.

I have presented my “Top 5 ways to promote BIM in your office” idea 6 times this year so far.  I have 2 more presentations coming.
Looking forward to my new share on BIM goals, I hope that presentation will be just as successful.

Presentation at the @PDXrug thanks to @Ideateinc. 

Drove down to Portland last weekend so I could share the knowledge at the Portland Revit User Group.  Had a pretty good turn out and some great questions.  One of the questions I thought would be good to focus on for the blog this week.

“Sum up selling BIM to a client in 30 seconds”

I like this question, and I don’t think I really answered it to my satisfaction – sorry for that.  So now that it’s been a week let me try again.

In the meeting with your client you want to prove to them the power of the process, and that your firm can provide the services needed to effectively use this process.  So the client asks you “Why do I need to use BIM?”  Your answer can be short and to the point.

The BIM Process will help all of your company’s projects by providing a smarter way to build and design.  BIM can give you the ability to see the construction and correct any faults before the contractor breaks ground.  You can improve your construction time getting the building done months ahead of time.  Create sustainable buildings with energy and cost savings, make your building work for you.  BIM will help lead you to the future of buildings and the built environment.

There I feel better about that answer J

Now I really want to thank all of you from the PDXrug that have reached out to me with kind words and for my material.  Gives me great pride that I can help fellow BIM lovers.

Until next time Portland

Autodesk AEC Blogger Council kick off @autodeskaec #AECbloggers

Autodesk has asked me to be part of the Autodesk AEC Blogger Council.  We had our Kick-off webinar on July 6th, and let me tell you I’m excited.  Autodesk has committed to us “quarterly webinars exclusive to the bloggers, advanced news before it’s made public, NFRs of products so we can play –yea, and access to internal teams.”

This first kick-off we had gave us a peak at some new items, but the one that got my ears perked was the new Autodesk Stingray coming soon.  Bobby del Rosario showed us some updates to Infraworks 360, even though I don’t use the software it’s pretty cool.  The ability to adjust and design roads using existing mapping looks pretty cool to me.  Not really my field – but still cool.

Autodesk is also diving into a new platform, Autodesk Building Ops.  This looks like a pretty good start, getting to the piece we all struggle with the owners on, Hanover and lifecycle costs.  It’s a Mobile-first maintenance management solution.


I’m pretty excited to be on the council, I love learning about new technology on the horizon, helps keep this old lady from falling behind.

Speaking engagements galore!

AS10473: Design Workflow from Concept to Construction Documents

AU 2015 Las Vegas December 1-3

That happened, never thought I would be a speaker at Autodesk University; I guess this is my year.  I’m so excited to talk about using Formit for predesign and moving it to Revit with stops in 3D Max and Navisworks on the way to the finish line.

That makes at least 9 total presentations I will be giving this year – AMAZING.

Presentation on the “Top 5 Ways to Promote BIM in your office

Presentation on Being a BIM Manager (still working out the content) in September for Summit AEC Web series

First run at the Presentation “Design Workflow from Concept to Construction Documentation” at the Lower Mainland BIM User group, in September.

Exciting year for me, thanks to @ideateinc for giving me my first taste of presenting my experience and knowledge.  Looking forward to more in the future.

Hopefully I will see you there.

BIM Conferences oh my

Learning about everything BIM – find a conference today!

How very exciting there seem to be BIM Conferences everywhere you look.  I was just contacted by Aurore Colella, @AuroreColella, for the BIM Integration Congress being hosted August 26-27 in San Francisco, CA.  This looks like a perfect conference for all who want to integrate BIM into their workflow, and understand the benefits.  Integration and Collaboration stop the duplication and miscommunication in your project.  I highly suggest you go check it out if you can.  Sadly I am unable to attend, but I’m putting it on my radar for next year!

Then there’s the Pacific Coast BIM Workshop being held in Anaheim, CA October 1-2, which I will be speaking at.  Brought to you by the BIM Workshops, @BIM_Workshops, providing conferences for the Mountain States, Central States, Pacific Coast and Hawaii.  This is a great place to connect and with all walks of the BIM world.  There’s a lot of great class options, check it out and get registered.  Hope to see you there.

Had a chat with @IdeateInc to set up my date to present at the @pdxRUG July 14th.  Looking forward to going back to my home town to teach the Top 5 ways to promote BIM in your office.  Will be great to see all those friendly faces from my past life.

I have several more presentations planned for the rest of the year.  Autodesk has asked me to be a presenter in their web series that will be August 27th. @SummitAEC has asked me to be part of their web series presentations on September 29th.  I will also be presenting at the next RELM meeting  on September 17th to be held in my office.  Make sure to Stay tuned for a series on Project Delivery a bunch of us BIM’ers will be putting on starting in September.

Lots of exciting learning happening in the BIM community, let’s get our collaboration on!

How to be a BIM Manager

How to be a BIM Manager

In April of this year I was promoted to BIM Manger, and put in charge of the BIM movement in all 4 of our offices here in Canada.  It is pretty exciting and terrifying at the same time, not going to lie.  After I got my head around the new position I sat down and took some steps to help lead the company to the BIM future!!!

The first step is to setup some goals, do a 3 month plan and a 12 month plan.  These goals will help you focus on what needs to be done, and gives you a time line.  For myself it helps me keep going, when I finish one project I know I have a list so I keep the positive energy flowing.

Goal 1:  to develop a BIM Curriculum, I read in a blog about the importance of creating training program for your office in order to develop consistence in education. (I’m sorry I don’t remember the author of the blog, if it’s you thanks, and let me know so I can give you credit).I think this is a big piece of helping your office move forward and making your self visible to all staff, which is a big feat with 4 offices across Canada.

Goal 2:  of course the biggest headache, is content.  Who hasn’t fought with content and making it consistent thru all your offices.  Hopefully after much pain and suffering I will have a post dedicated to how I wrangled this issue.

Goal 3:Start a BIM Hour, this came from an Idea I someone at my presentation in Sacramento said.  He said his office is across America and they started an IT hour so people could join a conversation and get their IT questions answered.  I thought I would take it to BIM, my first BIM Hour saw over 50 people participate.  We discussed Formit and it’s Analysis tools, we took the hour and did a short demo, watched a video and answered peoples questions about using Formit and what our offices plan was.  I received a lot of great feedback and people looking forward to the next BIM Hour in August.

Goal 4: Startup my BIM User Groups, and BIM education series in all offices.  This is something I have been doing in Vancouver for the last 5 years, it has created some knowledgeable users about Revit and how we use BIM in our projects.  Now it’s time to get it across the country.  The BIM User Group is an office specific training during lunch that staff can join and see some cool uses of Revit.  The BIM education series is what my BIM Curriculum is set for.

Goal 5: Keep that office wide training going.  We have several advanced modules in Revit to help users get better at the tool.  It’s a 4 hour training series that runs thru the quarter.

I will go more indepth in my book “How to be a BIM advocate” coming out in July, until then Keep up the passion.

It’s Monday morning time to check those Models

I usually reserve Monday’s for my Model Coordination task.  I believe the Model Coordination time is very important for projects to be successful and the BIM workflow.  This task needs to be completed while no one is in the model, and usually ends with a shake of the head and a ton of follow up training.  I can usually get my list complete within an hour for most projects.

Here’s the simple list of what I do on a weekly, and monthly basis.

  • Manage Links (checking for lost links or links from users’ desktops)
  • Check the Project Browser for ??? and organization according to standards
  • Check the number of groups and verify that no groups are just 1 instance.
  • Review the families loaded in the project, looking for families with the .00x.rfa extention, or family1.rfa
  • Check Filter and View Template naming conventions
  • 3D Inspection for workset organization
  • Check that the Levels and Grids are pinned.
  • Compact the model
  • Once a month I Audit, rebuild, and compact of the model.
  • Once a month I purge the model – (Do Not Purge All, remove unused Groups, CAD files, Missed named families and images.

During my process I make a list of items that need to be re-trained or trained.  These items become my Revit Coordination training sessions.

Each project has an Excel spread sheet saved in the BIM Docs folder; the Model Coordinator then fills it out weekly.  If the model coordinator is not me I just check the document to verify it’s getting done and look see if there is any glaring issues.

My first Conference

My first official conference: 4th Reinventing Construction Project Delivery here in Vancouver BC on May 27 & 28 2015.  I’m excited to be presenting on Collaboration in the Design Process with Joe Sam at WSP Canada.

We will be discussing items such as the Project Delivery Model evolution, Project Setup, Lessons Learned and the Developments in BIM Technology.

I wanted to take a minute and explorer the Project Delivery Model Evolution.  We are all seeing the amazing technology advance for Virtual Reality glasses so we can walk around our models.  Even Augmented Reality helping us plan our campuses or find the perfect building location in the real world.

It’s exciting out there and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

My trip to the Bay Area thanks to @IdeateInc

I have to say the trip down to Sacramento, San Francisco, and Oakland was a great success.  I really want to thank @IdeateInc for the opportunity to present my take on the Top 5 ways to Promote BIM in your office.  It was refreshing to hear the success stories, and all too familiar to hear the frustrations.  I hope my tips helped those just starting, and those in the middle of the battle. This trip and the many people I talked to has reinvigorated me role to find more success in the Promotion of BIM, because it is a never ending battle.

This trip made me realize that the industry as a whole is still not coming together.  After all the entire key to BIM is collaboration – Period.  I just read an article in the new REVITworld magazine released last month on What’s in BIM for me?  The fact that in the UK’s pursuit for Level 2 BIM by 2016 two thirds of construction business believes it’s unachievable is mind boggling. Maybe we should take a moment and remember what JFK said about going to the moon, We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” The power that statement provided to America made going to the moon seemed achievable.  I’m not comparing BIM to the moon, however it is a similar concept, everyone thought it was impossible to go to the moon, and the construction industry thinks it’s impossible to have a fully collaborative environment.  It’s amazing to me that we are still fighting this concept, hasn’t BIM been proven to be valuable to all parties, and those that have embraced it have done incredible things.  Educating the world on BIM seems to be the biggest hurdle, and I hope these little successes soon build to bigger ones.

BIM tools are still in their infancy and it is exciting to think we are only on year 15 of Revit.  Every day someone is coming up with a new idea, or a new way to create that much need database giving us greater collaboration.  I hope in the next 2 years that the concept of all consultants working in the same model is not so foreign and added to every BEP.

Perhaps the new generation of Architects, Engineers, Contractors, and Owners can help advance the idea of BIM and in another 15 years we can look back and say remember when….