In this final article we will talk about implementation and transition planning. Your key BIM “Checklist for Success” must include the following:
- Get assistance developing a sound implementation strategy. There are a wide variety of information sources to help you. Talk with firms that are at various stages of adoption, read AIA documents, go through the McGraw-Hill BIM report, talk with your allied professional network, and talk with me. Then decide what is right for your firm’s personality.
- Understand that BIM is a business decision, not just a new drawing tool. Successful BIM based firms rethink everything from workflow to billing practices, from client marketing to staffing, services offered and more. Make sure you develop a broad vision as your firm makes the transition.
- Assemble your “A-list” team. These are the people that will absorb the new technologies, help you rethink the processes, mentor the rest of the staff and provide the “glue” that keeps transition on track and vital.
- Select a suitable starting project. Your first project or two should be “familiar” projects that allow you a great deal of freedom to think about, explore and master the new technology and workflow. Projects with an extremely tight time table and projects that are highly design intensive should be reserved for a point where the team feels comfortable with the technological fundamentals.
- Evaluate and improve after each step and project. Meet regularly to evaluate what is going well, what needs to be improved and how to incorporate the necessary changes into your workflow. Tie this in with outside mentoring assistance for a couple projects, and you will see much faster gains in productivity. Of all of the “Checklist for Success” steps, this is the most often neglected and perhaps the most essential for ongoing success.
Building Information Modeling is one of the most important shifts ever in the design field. It allows for exciting new possibilities in design, essential movement towards a more sustainable world and many new business opportunities. Change managed well has the power to bring additional energy to your practice.