As a consultant in digital technology for design, engineering and construction, I have compiled my 10 top mistakes made in this field. These are not just observations or a critique of other people, but mistakes I’ve made myself.
To my mind, there has to be a better way of communicating and analysing a construction program than a gantt chart. Using visual analytics methods to present activities and other data such as cost over time offers improved program communication & understanding.
Technology is certainly part of the solution, but should not determine strategy alone. In other words, ‘because you can’ is not good enough- there has to be a specific and measurable benefit.
In this post, I illustrate this concept using a ‘digital value pyramid’
For the owner and operator of an asset such as a building, bridge or railway, just a tiny fraction of the data generated during design & construction is useful. This post examines the downstream use of BIM, beyond design & construction
‘Clash Detection’ is often a waste of time particularly if applied without adequate planning, or when it is assumed that a technical solution can solve a process (design) issue. There is a lot more to good design merely than stuff not clashing.
In construction- the usual argument for doing something a particular way is usually “that’s the way we have always done it”. This post examines the future of technology in construction decision making.
In the olden days, many organisations had a group of people (nearly always women) in what was known as a ‘typing pool’. The idea was that if you needed a non-handwritten document, then these people would apply specialist skills (typing) on an incredibly complicated bit of kit (a typewriter) to produce said document.
A surprising number of organisations still work in ‘typing pool ‘ mode when it comes to BIM.
A construction project, with quality documentation so everything fits together properly, budget and program are achieved (or improved upon), construction runs efficiently and there are not any acrimonious legal disputes at the end between client, designers, contractor and subcontractors is an elusive beast.
3D goggles aren’t going to make much difference.
With BIM, it is easy to get bogged down in technology & detail and neglect the important strategic aspects. In this post, I draw parallels between the approach needed to successfully get down a mountain on a bicycle, and that needed for BIM.
Everyone talks about innovation. Most companies have some sort of mission statement, ‘values’ or other corporate mantra that mentions innovation. Some might have a separate department
BIM plans, standards and other documents have a tendency towards excessive detail in which important issues are lost. In this post I explain that the quality of a BIM plan is much more important that the quantity (or weight) of the document
A common phenomenon with technology (and specifically BIM) is to focus on the shiny and disregard the dull. In this post, I argue that the dull is quite often more important and valuable.
The benefits of BIM have generally been poorly explained and communicated. Depending who you ask, you may get a jargon-laden and overly technical explanation, or a vague & salesy definition. This post covers the issues and includes a simple, plain English description of the benefits of BIM.
There is quite a lot of interest in ‘BIM for Infrastructure’ at the moment. However, much infrastructure design is quite different to ‘traditional’ BIM. This post examines the use of BIM in infrastructure.
Construction has become an increasingly bureaucratic and slow moving business. This is coupled with a deep conservatism and a distrust of technology. Many view BIM as just another headache that did not exist even 10 years ago. This post examines this perception.
BIM presentations are often big on wow factor, but low on substance.
I recently attended a presentation on the CrossRail project with the right mix of credibility, practicality and innovative use of technology in a large infrastructure project.
The technical aspects of BIM are generally the easiest, but are given a disproportionate amount of (or exclusive) attention. The most important part of BIM is not software, but in how it is applied.
There is no shortage of service offerings by BIM Consultants.
But what can they offer a business and how do you select one ?
Many of the training issues covered in this post are not specific to BIM & I am certainly not the first to say that training is important. However, the challenge with BIM is to go beyond a token training course in a particular application and to make the training genuinely beneficial.
Object libraries make a huge difference to model quality and speed of work. Therefore they are critical to profitable & successful project delivery. However, this aspect of BIM is often overlooked.