We are often brought into companies to provide what we are told is “BIM Implementation and Integration” and subsequently are asked in interviews and reviews, how can you get our company into the BIM environment? This is such a loaded question, I find myself with a zillion different questions & answers racing through my head:
What are your existing conditions of design technologies?
What is the knowledge-base of existing staff?
What does your Training Program look like?
Which platform(s) do you have and which ones are you using?
What does your research look like for new technologies?
What are your database development capabilities? Internal or external?
What is the budget and understanding of what’s include and what’s needed in the budget?
What are your 1, 3 and 5 year goals in BIM and for the Company?
What are your clients’ three top goals for client delivery?
What are your growth sectors for the company?
This is just a short snapshot of questions I bring with me when I arrive at company or new client project. And while my list is more extensive than this snapshot, the session always turns into more questions and discovery for all parties, the underlying yet unspoken “vibe” in the room is, “Why are you asking us these business-level questions? We just need a BIM Manager.”
Well, Hello “C-Office”, if you are not working directly with your BIM Manager in conjunction with your business planning, then your perception of the BIM implementation process is already on a path for failure and here’s why.
The foundation for BIM integration in any office includes at a minimum:
First - A seat at the table with the Senior Leadership
Systems infrastructure/IT Department
Accounting Department for billing analytics & budgeting
Database programming & development
Training – at every level of the office – from the CEO down to project support staff
Research & Development of emerging technologies
Live Specification integration
Marketing, internally and externally
Client development from RFP through to lifecycle management
This is not about Revit or Navisworks or anything Autodesk-specific actually. This is a fundamental business discussion. Can you answer the question, “Where do you see your company over the next year? 3 years? What do you want to provide your client? Will you be doing the same workflows a year from now?” And it’s quite alright to not know the answer, but at the very least, engage with that BIM Manager, develop a plan, goals, and a vision and embrace our ever-changing design technologies now and tomorrow.