3. The “BIM Effect”
How does BIM affect the other departments in your firm?
BIM has an impact in all departments such as IT, Human Resources, Marketing and Finance.
If you work in a fully *BIMplimented firm, or are making the transition from CAD to BIM you would have noticed that BIM has an impact on the operation of your business.
As a BIM Manager you can advise and provide valuable information to other departments in the company. Take a good look at your company’s current Work Flow or Flow of Operations manual. Quite often the “Flow of Op’s” is based upon traditional methods of drawing and document creation and doesn’t really fit well with today’s Building Information Technology use in Architecture.
BIM has had quite an impact in the AEC industry over the past number of years and in most cases our traditional Architectural business model hasn’t changed. We need to look at expectations of output and time at each stage. Personally I have found as a direct result of implement BIM that we need more time during Design and Development and less time for Working Drawings. This change impacts contractual agreements, fee structure and client expectations. BIM has had a direct impact on every stage of our Flow of Ops manual from marketing to administration to production.
IT: Internal or Outsourced
Working with IT is critical, your IT support needs to have an understanding of BIM and the demands it has on a project. BIM needs to work in conjunction on IT as IT manages the network, the Revit Server, computer requirements and can be a valuable resource creating scripts etc.
Evaluate your needs for training and your best possible options, if you’re not comfortable instructing maybe you have a power user who may be comfortable instructing or possibly you have external resources available.
HR: Staff Selection and Training
Who knows your technical staff better than you do?
Who can evaluate a potential employee's BIM skills better than you? Be a part of the interview process, even create a BIM or Revit skills evaluation test. Typically I can decipher how good a potential employee's Revit skills are just by talking to them and asking them pertinent questions.
You know your technical staff's skills better than HR, it's up to you as the BIM Manager to improve your technical staff's skills by making training and education options available.
Same applies to team selection, you know the best people for the type of project, their skill sets, what types of projects they like to work on and also when and how to "push" them forward and place them in a team position to help them move forward.
As an active BIM Manager you will have the best knowledge of your staff’s skillsets. Quite often you will know who the best person capable for a specific project. I communicate regularly with project managers and discuss what Tech’s are available (or coming available) and make suggestions which people would be suited for project teams. Keep in mind that you don’t want to burn out your Revit Power Users, typically after a particularly arduous project I’ll give that team a break and recommend them for a simpler “fun” project, and on the other hand I’ll gently push those tech’s that I think are ready for it to step into the role of Project BIM Captain. Resist the urge to step in and take over a project… it’s not your role.
Finance: BIM’s impact on the bottom line
Traditional billing method still working for ya? How about billing?
Advise the project manager on time line expectations and billing time line.
BIM has changed the typical design time line and unfortunately the billing sequence still does not reflect that change.
* BIMplimented - Full BIM implementation. A firm utilizing BIM technology to accomplish its goals as a profitable entity.
Make time to know your colleagues in other departments, eat your lunch with them, greet them in the elevator. By getting to know your colleagues that are “outside your circle” you’ll develop a better understanding of the challenges they face and see ways where you each will be able to help one another.
Educate your colleagues (marketing, finance, HR, event reception) on BIM and it’s impact of the business, this will give them a better understanding of the benefits of BIM and your role in the company. You don’t necessarily need to run a workshop for them just have a conversation.
Participate in the staff meetings, give updates on new features, tools or even give your perspective on where the technology is going and how it will impact the industry.
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