Levering the many benefits of BIM requires significant changes in mindset and an evolution in roles and thinking
BIM is a ‘disruptive technology ’ that is transforming the construction industry.
To lever the many benefits of BIM requires significant changes in mindset and an evolution in roles and thinking. Successful people can get comfortable doing things the same way over and over, therefore the fear of change poses one of the largest barriers to the successful implementation of BIM. Not all in our industry are comfortable with this change.
You may argue BIM is all about collaboration, which itself is not new. However understanding how models are shared, how operational aspects can be simulated and the management of ‘data’ is daunting for many.
Not all in our industry are comfortable with this change
Digital model creation and viewing be it 4D, 5D, 6D all demand an appreciation of a new vocabulary, an awareness of which member of the teams utilise the various digital toolsets and how decision making is impacted.
How do we change the mindsets? Each organisation may have a different plan - but they do need a plan. We cannot expect such a widespread, deep rooted change through BIM to happen by chance.
I would suggest a 5 point communication plan:
- Set realistic expectations in timescale and people. It will take time.
- Meet on a one to one basis -especially important for senior personnel, or in small groups such as the leadership team of a project.
- Explain how BIM benefits them in their role (as well as the project) and how/what they need each to do.
- Provide access to experts to support and coach (and training as necessary)
- Identify and respond to their specific questions and concerns
Extensive communication will help people experience transformative levels of understanding. Hence, if effort is put into changing the people’s old mindset, then achieving technology, policy and process changes becomes much easier.
Peter Trebilcock chairs Balfour Beatty’s UK-wide design community of practice and its UK BIM Steering Group