It is now the end of another year, with all the experiences of life that comes with that year. As such, we tend to evaluate the past year and look forward to the challenges and experiences of the new year. That includes all different aspects of our lives, including the personal and professional sides. However, in additional to individuals doing this, organizations need to do the same thing.
Since this is an building industry oriented blog, I am going to touch on what I believe to be an important component of AEC firms in the technological age in which we now live. That is the evaluation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) within your firm. While there are still many AEC firms that have not moved into the world of BIM, it is becoming more common and more important in the industry.
It is extremely important to evaluate BIM within a firm. There are costs associated with moving toward BIM integration and it is important to understand whether your firm is getting a return on that investment and how it can be improved.
I am going to specifically address the usage of Revit, but the same concepts can be applied to other BIM software packages.
Some items that need to be evaluated concerning BIM in your firm include:
- Is BIM usage in your firm achieving the desired results?
- This is extremely important!
- Do various levels of management personnel understand how BIM affects the firm and their specific role?
- Are expectations of BIM appropriate for degree of implementation and BIM experience level?
- Are the proper BIM management and support personnel in place?
- Are users properly trained in the software?
- Are users properly training in the processes utilized by your firm?
- Are the BIM processes documented and enforced?
- Are the BIM standards documented and enforced?
- Are the right technology tools in place?
- Would 3rd party customizations assist with any deficiencies?
- After each project is complete, do you analyze what went right and what went wrong on the project?
- Do you determine how to correct what went wrong?
- Do you analyze whether the degree of detail being placed into the project is appropriate?
- Do you have a documented process to create new families?
- Is there an established system for evaluating and incorporating families from outside sources into projects?
- Can the process of accessing appropriate families be improved?
- Are shared parameters consistent between all families and projects?
- Can the project start-up process be improved?
- Does each project have a BIM kickoff meeting with all key consultants working on the project?
- Is there a BIM execution plan for each project?
- Is there a process in place to track impact and progress of BIM in your firm?
- Is each project seeing progressively better quality and rewards?
- Are all users informed of lessons learned from completed projects?
- Is the project documentations better or worse?
There are many positive results to be achieved by utilizing BIM, but many firms are still trying to get through the basics of getting BIM to work well for them. Until a firm effectively manages the basics of BIM, they cannot move into the move advanced benefits of BIM.