Rule 3: Setting Boundaries [BIM Rules of Engagement]

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A lack of employees with sufficient digital construction skills also adds to the problem, and I say employees because you can’t expect the BIM Manager or digital lead to educate project teams that are outside of their company. This insufficiency –– not only slows the BIM adoption but creates the challenge of maintaining the traditional standards while trying to introduce new digital standards. These skills are core capabilities and they can’t be ignored and the boundaries must be set for each project. As an example, let’s take the BIM Execution Plan (BEP) some even call it the Holy Grail. Most BIM projects should have a BEP- it’s not a standard, it’s a guideline for the team to adhere to the standards. I guarantee that up to 80% of the team will not even read it through, if they do, it will be once and never again. Yet the BEP is the lifeline to the project standard and if your team are not fully engaged with its content, what other infringements, small breaches, are you going to have to deal with? Then you have those kick-off meetings or design meetings where you spend more time asking the teams about updates. In my experience, I have never heard of a meeting agenda where the team asks if everyone is adhering to the standards laid out in the BEP? Its even worse when the responsibility for gathering updates is placed on a single person usually lands up with the BIM Manager.That person then has to continuously chase other team members trying to ensure standards have adhered too.This doesn’t mean you need to have hundreds of rules laid out in your BEP. In fact, if you are still writing out BEP word documents that is almost as bad as submitting 2D printed drawings for plan submission. It needs to be digitized using platforms such as Plannerly or depending on your CDE platform such as Asite you can draft live updates and create workflows that hold the teams accountable for their actions. This will also help with prioritizing modelling tasks or keeping the client updated on progress for the agreed tasks If you are smart then you will use the CDE to automatically notify teams that work is complete. As for setting the boundaries to introducing the standards, you must keep in mind that certain standards are a living document and will possibly change many times on the project. You need to keep the team aware of the changes and ensuring they align with the changes and there needs to be an audit trail. Its not that hard to introduce certain industry standards but implementing standards such a MIDP or even a Responsibility Matrix can help make sure everyone understands their roles and sticks to them. You may just have to be that helicopter parent if you want the project team to succeed..