BIM Teams vs Toddlers: Who’s better at puzzles?

If you are reading this blog you probably already are aware of the BIM sales pitch. A major part of that sales pitch is that when you have BIM on your project the team members will all work together and collaborate better. If you have BIM it has to be that way right? Not quite.

The truth is, that all of the same old issues apply to BIM. This reinforces something I believe which is that the BIM process is not any different than the traditional process. So the issues in the traditional process still apply. Team members that don't want to play nice are just as difficult to work with in the BIM process. Poor planning still leads to a poor product in the BIM process. And team members don't really have to work together any more than they used to.

It seems to be assumed that if BIM processes are being used then everyone must be working together. This however is not the case. In many cases, I have seen each party involved in a project be so protective of their internal processes that they do everything they can to shut other team members out. It's not that they are afraid of someone stealing their process, its that they are afraid of having to change their process in order to work with others.

This type of behavior is extremely detrimental to the BIM process. Due to a lack of BIM standards we end up having to reinvent the BIM wheel on every project. As a team we meet up and look at every one's process and contract requirements and determine what is possible to achieve. I think of it like a puzzle. Each team member has the ability to contribute a certain number of pieces to the puzzle. The more pieces a team is able to compile the more interesting the completed puzzle will be. But if team members are not contributing all of the pieces they can to the puzzle it seriously limits the final picture. When team members are closed to the idea of doing anything different from their internal process then they are not contributing any pieces to the BIM puzzle.

This is a behavior that needs to change. None of us have a perfect process. I would argue that if your process is not flexible enough to work with others then it is very far from perfect. The entire project suffers from this type of silo'ed approach. BIM should be about working together. That's how every one of us sells it. We should all analyze how we are working with others on our project and determine if we are really contributing to the team or if our internal processes are limiting the project from reaching its full potential. If my toddlers can figure out how to put a puzzle together without fighting (which they can sometimes) then so can we.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply