"We all need to understand what it generally means, but still appreciate it means different specific things to different people, and on different projects."
— Practical BIM Blog
I like the Practical BIM blog. In fact, here is a link to the blog. That said, it doesn't mean I won't disagree with him and be sparked for another posting in reply. So here is a shot across the bow.
Many adverse things can happen to derail and destroy the BIM process with the above quote, I'll take it easy on Practical BIM and only talk to two of them.
First, opening a can of worms by saying "it has different definitions for different people" will cause the whole BIM efforts to succumb to the dreaded "BIM Ego". This is the personality that we pretend doesn't exist but in reality has taken root in too many firms. The BIM Ego is the person always coming up with new ideas and new ways to build a better mouse trap; but turns in to a two year old in the sandbox who doesn't want to share. They think there way is the only way and you just have to do it like I do; but I'm not sharing. Why does this happen? Because BIM, LOD, DOD, insert your favorite acronym here has different meanings to different people on different projects.
Every project, firm, and person is "special" no two are alike. Flag on the play, I call BS. Why? If everyone does their own thing because they are "special" all you have are incomplete processes, plans, and standards. So when does a project, firm, standard, or person become not so "special?" Is it when there is more than one? When two or more processes overlap? So if all those items are "special" then standards and best practices lose all of their power because everything and everyone is fricken "special!"
So what's another way this mindset is going to kill BIM? It will destroy the collaboration of BIM within the industry. How? Because everybody is "special" and because of that everyone is hiding from the accountability lion like a herd of gazelles. In doing so only the weakest plans, processes, and people are culled from the herd. In reality what needs to happen is the herd needs to come together as a pack and not a herd to be stronger than the lion. Predators don't often attack other predators even if they are out there all by themselves. But everything is "special" and our accountability lion is different than your lion. So in the end no one can be held accountable for anything outside their own walled up little world.
If that's the case, let stop saying BIM will do all these thing and then look at how it can be used downstream. Why? Because it's all a bunch of BS because everyone is "special!" That might work in side shows but it needs to stop in our industry. I know BS is the glue that holds the world together. If we didn't have it we wouldn't be forced to implement innovative ideas our business development people sold, I get that. This is the great industry Okey-Dok. Everything sold is true to some degree and can be proven but 40% of the time it's just BS. So to protect ourselves from the BS we build walls. of course the walls are just BS stacked up but they make us feel "better" and "safer." Until it rains and they start to crumble. We as an industry need to tear down these walls now and break out of our happy places where everyone is "special!" We as an industry have a duty and obligation to commit to bettering what we do and play nicely in the sandbox with other sharing each others tools. At the end of the day we want everyone to see our beautiful sandcastle.
Don't spin in circles; stop being "special" and get ready to become a member of the pack.
And Mr. Walled-In BIM World; tear down that wall!