When implementing new BIM processes and technology, AEC firms often have an initial cost for software, hardware, training and support and they may experience a short-term loss of productivity. However, the long-term “Return On Investment” always result in improved efficiency, better coordination and a reduction in errors and rework. From our experience, four (4) key elements contribute to the success of a BIM/Revit project are:
- Staffing is importantly “number one” element that can make or break a project. Project team members with real-world Revit project experience and/or computational design skills (Dynamo) can often lead to a better project’s results and overall ROI.
- The role of a BIM Manager/Coordinator (aka “the Man”) who can wear different hats is crucial to any BIM implementation plan. So how many hats can the Man handle?
- At the beginning of any new BIM project, the Man assist the PM with BIM request for proposal and BIM contracts.
- Once the project kicked off, the Man will advise best practices, implement project workflows, all strategy and training related to design, coordination and documentation of that project, including proper staffing and schedules.
- At the end of any project’s milestones, the Man may conduct a brief team survey to collect information regarding overall experience and whether BIM workflow is advantageous to the project.
- In his non-billable hours, the Man work with IT department to setup a Common Data Exchange (CDE) environment to share Revit files between offices and/or third-party consultants (i.e. Panzura, Talon Fast, A360 Collaboration, Revit Server…). He prepare Revit deployments and any related Revit/BIM software and add-ins and coordinate with IT for future roll outs. He review the current and new BIM tools and processes and make recommendation to the studios.
- Finally yet importantly, the Man also need to maintain BIM/Revit Templates /Standards and a Firm wide Revit content library.
- It is obvious that new BIM skills are not only important for a BIM project but also for any team member who wish to improve their professional skills. Training courses are only helpful if it is tailored to a specific project with focus on “a task at hand” approach. A BIM Manager should meet with project team weekly to reinforce best practices and to provide ongoing project training for the entire project teams.
- In order to keep the momentum going after the basic training, a BIM/Revit User Group training series ranging from basic to advanced topics need to occur once or twice per month.
- In-house training curriculum are much more helpful than standard curriculum from the training vendors.
4.Top Down Backup
- There will be better chance of success if top principals of the firm back a BIM implementation plan. With the top-down policy approach, project teams will see BIM/Revit skills are a “must have” and not “nice to have” to survive within the organization.
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