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One-sized BIM

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

There is a misconception that a one-size-fits-all solution exists in the BIM (Building Information Modeling/Management) world and this seems to be holding many companies back from reaching their true potential.

Over my 25 years working in the building and construction industry, I have used several different software solutions and even worked for one of the leading companies in that arena. During that time, I have held many conversations with clients and potential clients about how to best solve their issues with respect to streamlining their processes.

Many are convinced that a particular solution is the perfect fit after seeing a demonstration, or after having completed a trial period. This is not always the most effective method to determine a solution’s worth and most solutions require extra pieces to complete the package. These pieces could be training, tools, procedures, etc.

This “easy button” mentality is rooted in good intentions, but it is not generally practical in the real world. It is really a pursuit to obtain an increasingly streamlined way of working and cut down on delivery time, thus resulting in more revenue. This concept has its origin when a person is trying to make a decision when viewing an overwhelming amount of information, but they have just a short amount of time to come to a conclusion, so they pick one. Sadly, this many times results in a mediocre outcome.

Reason being, when someone begins looking for a particular answer, they generally find an answer regardless of the quality of options presented and believe that it is the end solution. This is not necessarily the case. Proper scientific theory holds that we seek to disprove our hypothesis to eliminate it from the pool of possibilities, yet if it does hold up to scrutiny we can conclude that it is a good idea. If you prefer the Sherlock Holmes process, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” This is not usually the reality as most people stop searching when they find an option that simply seems to fit their needs.

Sometimes the issue is perception...

Problems are too often viewed one way by decision makers and another way by the end users of a product or process. I do not make this statement as an “us versus them” delima, but only to emphasize the importance of broad conversations with decision makers and the end users.

A good way to have this conversation is to include a third party who is independent from the varied solutions companies (software, hardware, etc.) and can talk about the possible solutions with equal emphasis and consideration. This requires several detailed conversations and adequate time to reach a good solution. Any of these solutions may not always be software-related, but can simply be a result of adjusting procedures or providing help on deciding when to use a particular piece of software over a different one.

Lately, software companies have been moving towards monthly subscription options and this can allow for adjustments to be made more quickly without a large outlay of money. Microsoft products have been offered in this way for several years now. The benefit: If you need to use a different solution this month, you can simply pick up the new solution now and not renew the old one - next month, the opposite. This helps a company stay nimble no matter their size, but is no less complicated when trying to decide which one to pick. It will require further investigations and extra time to be spent on research.

Proper investigative procedure includes these simple questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Sounds elementary, but many times people skip one or more of these because they think they already know the answer. However, when asked about how they came to the decision, their data is often incomplete and this missed information can cause lost time and often be expensive in the long run. Investing the time to research can also be difficult for industry professionals given the amount of time they need to spend on other and more pressing projects.

It is often a great idea to have an industry consultant look at the overall picture with fresh eyes and an unbiased opinion who can devote time to the research and deliver a good plan with options instead of getting locked into a solution simply because of the time invested. A consultant can help avoid lost revenue, connect disjointed products and processes, and generally reverse underwhelming ROIs.

This is where BIMSync’d can help.

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