Dilemma you say? Yes dilemma. 4D requires two very different skill sets. When we think of scheduling, Primavera, and sometimes MS Project, comes to mind. When we think of BIM / VDC we think of Autodesk, Navisworks and others.
What do these two very different and distinct skill sets have in common? Nothing! That is until they are married at a shotgun wedding to produce a 4D animation. Then that creates a bigger issue, who really is responsible to create, manage, update and own the 4D process? I contend it should be the scheduler working with the BIM / VDC experts to make it happen. The planner / scheduler can communicate how the model can be created to facilitate the plan.
For example, is the Slab on Grade going to be poured all at once or in 4 pours? Additionally, a 4D simulation at its heart, is a schedule that has tasks linked to turn on 3D model elements. 4D is simply taking scheduling to the next level of planning and communication. The modeler’s role is key and a huge part of it, but it really is up to the planner / scheduler to take the model and schedule and use it to better plan the project. Those schedulers stuck in the 2D world of Gantt charts and F9 are going to be left behind. Just as computer-aided drafting eliminated drafting by hand and iTunes has killed the brick and mortar record store, so will 4D scheduling change the way projects are won, planned, and monitored and will become the industry standard.