Now that building information modeling (BIM) has become a fixture in modern construction, integrating it into your operation has become even more necessary.
Generally, BIM benefits construction businesses by reducing project risks, improving timelines, increasing cost savings, ensuring better project outcomes, and enhancing marketing with highly accurate visualization.
However, BIM is a complex and comprehensive process. This means your entire company and everyone you will be working with must clearly understand how BIM works and how you can work effectively work with it.
An Autodesk white paper outlines the BIM implementation framework that is based on three essential strategies: vision, driven leadership, and incremental and integrated change. It “starts with executive vision and sponsorship, but is carried out by an organization’s leaders and its project workforce.”
Here are 6 ways to ensure your organization successfully implements BIM:
✔ Start with the right vision.
✔ Work toward strategic goals.
✔ Verify all data.
✔ Ensure leadership buy-in.
✔ Collaborate and build a highly efficient team.
✔ Choose the right partner.
Start with the right vision.
Your vision, according to Autodesk, should be more than a mere statement; rather, it should feature a detailed narrative that lets you see exactly where your business is heading with BIM, and exactly how you’re going to get there.
Your vision must answer the 5 Ws of BIM: who, what, when, where, and why.
Your vision must also clearly communicate both the need to aim higher and the motivation to do so; and then it must be easy to communicate throughout your entire team.
Work toward strategic goals.
Implementing BIM in your organization involves major changes to the way you build, communicate, and work together as a team and with architects and contractors.
Make sure your goals are the right balance of aspirational and realistic. You can also complement your goal setting with an outline of both the benefits you will enjoy and the challenges you will need to conquer. Lastly, clearly defined, strategic goals will be wasted if you don’t track your progress, so make sure you always know where you are at any point in your implementation time frame.
Verify all data.
The complexity of the model structures and the accuracy of the details possible with BIM require sharp attention to the data that find their way into your BIM database from a broad range of sources.
To build highly comprehensive and accurate models, your BIM implementation requires meaningful correlation among the following:
- Legal data
- Financial data
- Geospatial data
- Designer data
- Specifier data
- Owner data
- Environmental data
- Sustainer data
Ensure leadership buy-in.
Your entire leadership team has to be on board with your BIM implementation. Your business’ leaders may not be as directly impacted by BIM, and therefore may tend to focus more on the cons and ultimately view it as something that will drain your resources, both financial and human. Hence the importance of communicating a clear and detailed vision and well-documented strategic goals.
Collaborate and build a highly efficient team.
BIM is a collaborative rather than an isolated process, and relies as much on human factors as much as it does on technology. The information that drives it as a process is driven by human input. This means that forging healthy working relationships should be among your top priorities.
Be prepared to bridge gaps and engage those who can provide your team with useful data. Bridging gaps also involves facilitating interaction among professionals from diverse fields as well as forming teams with representatives from their respective groups.
BIM requires a team that works well together. Everyone should be able to overcome any initial resistance to change and leverage individual strengths to implement a highly consistent and accurate modeling process.
Lastly, a successful BIM implementation requires regular, strategic communication among stakeholders.
Choose the right partner.
Look for experience, expertise, and reliability. Of course, BIM can be entirely in-house, particularly for smaller operations. However, it generally makes sense to partner with an external team who can tackle the technical aspects and build-out of the process. This lets you focus on designing and implementing the more strategic elements of your organization’s BIM implementation.
Working with a partner also means you can save on costs (i.e., hiring and training, payroll and benefits, medical insurance.