Wednesday, 24 October 2012

BIM Implementation & Process/Culture Change - Part 5

We all understand the importance of mentor(s) in our lives, parents/teachers/senior colleagues and so on. Mentoring has profound impact not only on our lives/career development but also on businesses and it's profitability. Mentoring is directly linked to staff retention/employee turnover, one of the biggest challenges while embracing disruptive technology such as BIM. Besides this, the studies have found that employees turnover costs the U.S. economy an estimated $5 trillion, making it one of the most ignored significant economic factors in businesses.
Putting this in perspective, let's talk about how BIM can affect mentoring and facilitate win-win situation for businesses as well as employees.

Traditional mentoring pattern is mainly one way top-down where  juniors have to spend lot of years learning about how a building gets built, lets say. This results in a slow career development for juniors. Also, knowledge transfer is a big challenge with this model as it is done at the users' discretion and heavily depends on juniors relationship with seniors etc.

In BIM world this is slightly different. We are living in an Information/digital age and young generation want to learn as much as possible and as quick as possible. At the same time clients are demanding more, faster, and better, putting  pressure on businesses to look at the ways to meet their demands and as a consequence seniors are put into a relatively new (project delivery) territory.  The challenge for businesses is to establish a culture where young BIM savvy work force and seniors collaborate more efficiently to provide best of both worlds to meet the clients' demands. BIM facilitates this internal resource collaboration. Juniors can't model buildings without knowing how it will be built and seniors can't deliver project without knowing/using BIM technology. This is like a 'match made in heaven' from businesses point of view, No? This facilitates two way top-down and bottom-up knowledge flow resulting in automatic/efficient knowledge transfer. Also, this pattern accelerates juniors career development and builds stronger relationship between juniors and seniors.

Mentoring is one of the crucial factors affecting business culture and success. BIM will have a great impact on mentoring process/culture, mostly in a positive way.

Further reading:

"People are truly an organization's greatest asset. However, when employees perceive they are under-valued and go unrecognized, they can be an organization's greatest liability. The results of the most comprehensive labor study ever conducted were recently presented in a HR publication. The study found that employee turnover costs the U.S. economy an estimated $5 trillion, "making it the most significant cost to our economy and one of the most ignored economic factors in business history." The construction industry does not escape these costs. Many recent studies have shown that the expense of replacing a senior-level project manager can be up to 250 percent of their annual salary; a superintendent or entry-level manager, conservatively speaking, 150 percent."

Read full article here

Friday, 5 October 2012


What is BIM ROI?

Google this and you will find plethora of material on this subject. I was asked this question very recently by a friend of mine whose employer is going through the initial days of researching about BIM and its implications on the business etc. As part of this process he has been asked to submit BIM ROI to the board. Really? I thought we have overcome this hurdle years ago.

As we all know, ROI in general is so subjective that it can be calculated and interpreted in many ways. I am going to look at this from "Level Of Engagement" (LOE), yes! another acronym in BIM world, point of view. In fact, this point of view can relate to any technology investment/implementation.

If you invest money in BIM software and hardware but have 0% LOE at the top management level then what would be your ROI? -VE? Yes.

What if you have 50% LOE at the top management level but 0% LOE at the middle management level? What is your ROI? -VE? Yes.

What if you have 50% LOE at the top and middle management levels but 0% LOE at the ground level? -VE ROI? Yes.

In order to get +VE ROI we need to have increased LOE at all levels, top management/middle management/production staff etc. This is true for each consultant involved at, lets say, "Design BIM".

Now apply this concept to all major consultants involved at "Design-BIM" to get the ideal/collaborative BIM ROI. Will we get +VE integrated BIM ROI if we only have one discipline with 100% LOE and the rest with 0% LOE? Of course No. We can get +VE integrated BIM ROI only if we have all major disciplines involved with increased LOE.  

In addition to this when someone asks about BIM ROI, ask them following questions.

What would be your Return On Inconsistency? -VE?
What would be your Return On Innovative approach? +VE?
What would be your Return On Improvement in efficiency? +VE?
What would be your Return On Integration with other disciplines? +VE? 
What would be your Return On Informed decision making? +VE?

If the answer to all of these questions is YES then tell them that their BIM ROI is going to be +VE. If answer to any of these questions is NO then, well, think twice!

So next time if someone asks you "What is BIM ROI?", tell them it depends on their LOE.

And finally if you want to Remain Open Indefinitely then don't bother doing 'BIM ROI' and just do it. BIM is happening now! Be part of it.