Post RTC Blues

Can you believe it’s already been two weeks since #RTCNA wrapped up in Washington, DC? For three days you were able to attend thought provoking sessions, network with well-respected peers and return home energized to kick your “BIMplementation” into high gear! So what happened?

Post RTC Blues! You walk into the office on Monday and nothing seems to have changed. Same coffee maker, same piles of papers, same desk…and a longer to-do list than when you left. How are you ever going to motivate that group over there (yeah…that one) to stop digging in their heels and implement BIM on their next project?

Take a deep breath and get a coffee from the tired coffee machine. Then come back. I’ll wait…

You’re back. And here’s the deal:

1) Not everyone is motivated by “change” and “early adoption”. When you feel resistance to BIM on a project, stop and understand where the resistance is coming from. Unless your solution is compellingly better, it’s understandable there will be resistance. And vast improvements can’t simply effect a few people – the entire team (Arch, Structure, MEP, etc) is going to have to see a clear improvement to workflow to give buy-in to your ideas.

2) Make sure you can start what you finish. The disruption of having to start over to complete a project is going to go against the grain of many people on your team – particularly engineering types – that prefer known predictability to uncertain efficiency. You’ll really need to do your homework to convince a team to go down an uncertain path. They will resist your ideas if they don’t have confidence in your experience. And enthusiasm doesn’t trump experience.

3) Appeal to both Economy and Vanity. These are the ends of the bell curve for changing behavior. You’ll need to predict improvements in real-world terms of saved money for one group of people, while another is motivated by improved work-life balance. How serious is this? You’ll need to bet your career and reputation on how much time and money will be saved if your proposed changes are implemented. The upside is that if you’re successful you’ll be viewed as someone that can positively impact revenue and growth – and you’ll be helping run a business. The downside of failure is…we’ll…there’s the door.

Bonus:

3) Not everyone needs to do everything in 3D. Understanding people’s strengths is where your role as BIM Manager really counts. Some of the most experienced and talented people in your office may have never worked in “3D” – but they know how a building goes together and they’re experienced 2D CAD users. When this happens don’t begin training them in the typical Building-Content-Documentation workflow. Start with Documentation. Show them the process and predictability of creating details in Revit; don’t draw with lines – assemble with detail components. Don’t use text – use annotations and keynotes!

Thats it! Don’t let the post RTC blues settle in! Head down, chin up and eyes forward. RTC wasn’t two weeks ago – it’s only fifty weeks away!

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