BIM, Productivity, Architecture, Engineering, and Construction.

Albert E. was right…it’s all relative.

Stress and lack of productivity  are largely related to several factors: uncertainty, poor communication/collaboration, improperly assigned time factors, etc., and thus can only be mitigated.  Some us actually are cursed to love the associated  challenges and thrive on the unknown facing each new renovation, repair, or new construction project.

Can undue stress, uncertainty, risk, etc.  be minimized? Can productivity and transparency be improved?  Absolutely!  Here’s a “short list” of some items for consideration;
1. The construction project delivery method/process is the single most important aspect that impacts the tone and ultimate success/failure.  Focus within our industry must be shifted to business processes that encourage collaboration and upfront planning/information sharing: integrated project delivery – IPD, job order contracting – JOC, public private partnerships – PPC, etc.
2. Technology is an enabler, not a solution.  Benefit is maximized by embedding robust business process into technology…. not enabling poor processes!!!! (review the history of ERP systems – enterprise resource planning,  for a primer on the failures associated with spending millions on automating poor business practices – “garbage in = garbage out”.  That said, cloud computing (vs. cloud-washing) is a disruptive technology that will act as a catalyst to accelerate change in our industry and general business/social environment.
3. Revit, Archicad et al… are NOT BIM, but rather 3D visualization components of BIM.  BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.  Again, an instance of technology supporting a robust process.  Don’t even THINK about implementing BIM without an understanding of robust life-cycle management / total cost of ownership processes, ontology, metrics, etc.
4. Our educational system as well as our industry is at the threshold of fundamental change.  Focus upon individual domains or silos of information/work will shift to integration and collaborative techniques. Adapt or fail.


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