Bad BIM Promises

In previous posts I have mentioned that BIM is not that complicated.  I still think this is true.  But that does not mean it is not easy to mess up.  Individuals that are just getting into BIM or learning about it through internet searches and software propaganda instead of through practice can easily be fooled into thinking that they can deliver something that they can't.  I'm writing today's post to try to help you make sure that (in the words of Kelly Chase) "you don't let your motorboat mouth make promises your row-boat ass can't keep".

Former Blues Enforcer Kelly Chase doesn't like people that can't keep their promises

The reason I wanted to write this post was that I have seen a dramatic increase in people selling the ability to deliver a BIM at the end of a project that can be used for Facilities Maintenance(FM).  No doubt this is something that is entirely possible.  What makes this a problem in all of the recent examples I have seen is that this promise is being made in a vacuum.  Contractors and Designers are telling Owners that they will be creating models that they can use to manage/run their facilities without actually knowing anything about how the owner runs their facility or if the owner is interested in putting in the immense amount of work that will be required on their part in order to make that a reality.

To summarize the issue, Contractors and Designers are promising a deliverable that actually requires more work from the Owner than it does from the people promising it. Now if it is understood that this is something the Owner is ready and willing to do then that's great. But in most cases the idea of delivering a FM Model is really the brain child of someone who has heard about it and does not understand that just because models are being created for a project it does not mean that they can be used for FM (See My BIM's not Your BIM).

The end result in most cases is that an Owner is delivered a model that was built for some other reason (Document Authoring, Coordination, etc) and they are left wondering what to do with it. This is bad for everyone because this is the reason that people lose faith in a models ability to bring more to the process. The owners are expecting a tool they can actually use.  The most they get is something that is nice to look at.  Too many models are being passed around with little to no understanding of their purpose. Too many of us are promising one thing and delivering another.

This is just one example of where it is easy to mess up with BIM. It's easy to mess up here because we sell our services as individuals but BIM is a collaborative process. There are parts of it you can't do all by yourself. But there is an easy solution. We can still sell our services and expertise without damaging our reputations or anyone's expectations of BIM.

Sell BIM in one of two ways. For any BIM that you can deliver without any additional work on anyone's part, sell as a product. For any BIM that does require work on other people's part, sell as a service. Sell your ability as an expert to lead a client or a team through a process that will result in the final product. That way expectations are in line with what needs to be achieved and no one feels like they need to hire Kelly Chase to make people keep their promises.

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