Experiencing The Advances Of BIM Collaboration
Not so long ago, I had a request from a customer to create some custom code for Revit. Although I was able to eventually figure it out, I needed some help from my colleagues who have more experience in coding than I do. Luckily, I work with a great team and a company that believes in sharing information, focusing on each person's strengths to provide the best service possible. Getting the task done was possible through collaborating and sharing our knowledge.
As young professionals starting out or trying to work our way up the corporate ladder, we are often seen as the office guru when it comes to certain tasks or processes. We are often expected to know everything about the subject and can feel a lot of unnecessary pressure when we don’t know or can’t figure it out. After talking to others about what I term “impostor phenomenon”, I realised I’m not alone in this common feeling among my peers. It came mainly from the fact that I was trying to do everything myself and not collaborating with others as I should have been doing all along.
Most companies in the AEC industry view privacy and confidentiality as vital to protect their customers and unique value. However, even with these boundaries there is a time and place to collaborate and improve the product or service you deliver to your clients. It has been interesting to see a subtle sense of anxiety among key players when it comes to sharing their work. There’s a view out there that “my hard work makes another business's life much easier, so why should I share?”.
With everything in life, someone’s hard work or invention has made someone else's life easier. Is that a bad thing? No. Imagine if Benjamin Franklin, the man who discovered electricity kept it a secret? All our lives would be a lot less comfortable today.
There’s a fine line between being competitive and keeping information to yourself, especially within the same company. The whole concept of BIM is centred on collaboration and sharing information as an industry.
As a trainer and consultant, I love sharing my information and helping people. This is why it shocks me to see people not wanting to share data or ideas. I am always willing to share my data with the understanding that the raw data itself isn’t used for profit. If the knowledge or workflow extracted from it could be used by someone else, not only might they reciprocate and tell me a quicker or easier way to do something, but sharing information ultimately helps the industry.
I put my theory to test the other other day. I’ve been training a young man and tasked him with figuring out a process to a dilemma we were facing. This was great for him as it was on-the-job training and enabled him to problem-solve to figure out a solution. With the help of the team around him he was able to solve the problem and helped me put together a video tutorial which will help others.
This proves that we are able to use our knowledge to help others in the industry without hurting our business or giving away our top secrets.
To sum it up, I admit that I’m not a coding expert but that does not diminish what I know about BIM and the skills I have to offer. By working together we can do more and achieve more than we could have done on our own.
The BIM collaboration process requires us to embrace it and learn to share with each other so we can all move forward as an industry. My challenge to you is to test this method, go out there and share information, learn from each other and don’t be afraid to collaborate.
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