The expression “fail to plan, plan to fail” can have tremendous relevance in the design and construction of any size projects. When implementing a technology such as Revit in your firm, you really must plan. Blindly marching forward as if it is just another CAD application will certainly lead to failure. Understanding the shift to a building information modeling approach is not just a technology change; it is also a cultural change both internal and external to your firm. Most importantly, Revit and BIM both facilitate and demand a process change.

BIM in itself can be classified as a way of working, not just the tools that get you there. It’s about: communicating differently and more often, understanding how work completed today affects future participants in the process of building, operating and ultimately deconstructing a building, and finally it is about reducing waste. Understanding process and the impact of planning can be very time consuming and challenging effort.

If you are just beginning to think of how to incorporate new processes into your organization, you have to think like a consultant. Research and document current processes, challenges, and bottlenecks within your firm. Develop an implementation plan that determines your needs beyond obtaining the software and training. Implementation plans that I have developed for organizations often involves getting buy-in from management and the staff prior to moving forward. Also, determining who, what and when are important aspects to solving what you need to get started. Choosing the right team members, what type of project it is, and understanding the schedule have a tremendous impact on the planning and ultimate success of your pilot project. Do you need content (Revit families, details, templates, tutorials, standards, etc…) in place before proceeding with a pilot? Who receives training? When and how much? Every organization is different and you need to plan carefully.

Once you have made BIM a priority, have completed a pilot, and hopefully a formal evaluation of how things went, the planning does not end. In order to maximize the benefits of BIM on your projects, you really must create a BIM Project Execution Plan. By identifying the purpose and needs BIM will fulfill for the project, and clearly communicating roles and responsibilities, you better ensure success.

All of these topics require additional time to discuss. I will outline BIM planning in further posts.

To get you started in thinking about the process; this planning guide and it’s associated tools are available for free from the Computer Integrated Construction (CIC) Research Group at Penn State. It’s a component of the building Smart alliance (bSa) National BIM Standard™, or NBIMS.

More info:

BIM Project Execution Planning Guide

building Smart alliance

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