How to make the move to BIM and minimise risk to cash flow and disruption to the projects.
Question: Why is it that about 30-40% of small practices are not BIM compliant, when medium to large practices are reaching 80% for compliancy?
Is it due to the misconception that:
- There is a high initial investment involved moving to BIM
- BIM Implementation causes disruption to the practice
- BIM doesn’t apply to small businesses
- Small businesses don’t have the time or resources to manage the move to BIM
Possibly a mix of all those points mentioned?
The move to BIM and or Revit does not, should not, be that dramatic and problematic. Especially, for small businesses. Small businesses are in a really good position to make the move relatively fast and easy, as there is virtually no need for:
- Complex chains of decision making
- Planning for the effect on multiple departments and roles
- Creation of a large-scale change management strategies
- Provision of a continuous long-term training strategy for a large amount of people
- Provision of simultaneous technical support for multiple projects for larger project teams
- Issues that a large organisation would need to consider when making the implementation of BIM as smooth and effective as possible.
NOTE: With the AEC People Small Business BIM Start-up Pack Options, there are also no need for:
- Large investments (financial or time)
- Long-term consultancy contracts
A small practice is in a position to make the decision to move to BIM on a relatively informal basis and could inform the project teams with the news and why, in a Monday morning office meeting. (The “why” is important though, so do tell the teams please).
So, what can a small business do to prepare for the move and minimise the concerns for disruptions, change management and financial/time cost?
The first thing to do (and its free): In-house Marketing. i.e. let the teams know a change is in the pipeline and illustrate the positives of why the practice is making this change. Put up a poster in the coffee area and hold a few forums for information and Q&A to let the people know they are involved and can have their say. Make sure that the teams know that it is not an overnight change and that support on technical skills and processes etc. will be provided. And finally, that their jobs are not on the line if they don’t adapt within a certain time period. The idea is that the practice will grow and develop as a team, together and in phases.
Next. (also, free) Arrange for an implementation plan. It is critical to see a plan and understand the time line and how it will affect cashflows and project plans. The plan should include practical training, document handover and technical resources and it should be clear on what the BIM status will be after the implementation. The proposed implementation plan should be free.
As for the investment in the move to BIM (i.e. implementing the agreed plan). It does not have to be all or nothing. It can be implemented in stages with consideration to cashflow and project needs. One thing to remember. It is often cheaper and less stressful to be prepared than to react to a demand.
There are lots of reasons why a small practice should make the move and you can read about the reasons and get an idea of the costs here:
What you should know is that where ever you are in the process of making a decision about BIM. It does not have to be all or nothing, from day one. There are things you can do for free to help the practice and the actual cost and efforts, to make the move when you are ready, does not have to be that alarming.
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