5 bad habits BIM managers need to change!

Bad habits BIM managers need to change
Written by Camille Dervin
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February 1, 2023

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Building Information Modelling (BIM) has quickly become the most powerful tool for architects, engineers, and construction professionals, but even the best tools can’t produce the desired results if not used correctly! That why this article speaks about the 5 bad habits BIM managers need to change! 

BIM managers play a critical role in ensuring the success of BIM projects, but often fall into bad habits that can hold back progress. In this article, we’ll explore some important bad habits that BIM managers need to change in order to achieve a successful outcome. Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced BIM manager, this article will help you identify and overcome the obstacles that can halt your projects!

The 5 bad habits BIM managers need to change!

We all know that being a BIM manager is the best job in the world. We’ve even created a whole article explaining why! [insert link to ‘10 reasons why being a BIM manager is the best job in the world’]. However, there are significant challenges that need to be overcome within this role. Here are 5 of the most important bad habits that need to be addressed by BIM managers. 

1. Neglecting the collaborative powers of BIM

It’s a well-known fact that one of the biggest benefits of integrating BIM software into construction projects is its capacity to encourage greater collaboration and communication between project teams, project stakeholders, and team members. Without effective collaboration and coordination, projects can quickly become disorganised and chaotic, leading to delays in scheduling, poor cost-estimating, and increased wastage.

However, it is not enough to just rely on the management software and hope for the best! As a BIM manager, it’s your duty to ensure this collaborative environment is created, maintained, and able to flourish. Successful project delivery may depend on it! Failing to encourage collaboration across architectural, design and construction teams is a habit that BIM managers seriously need to avoid!

An entire construction project involves multiple disciplines, from architects and designers to construction crews and project managers. As a result, effective data-sharing becomes paramount to ensure project success. Neglecting to utilise the management-tools on offer and facilitate informational exchange is another critical mistake. 

BIM managers must ensure that team members have easy access to the fundamentals they need to do their jobs, and that they can share information and collaborate effectively. This can be achieved by proactively implementing data-sharing protocols, and providing training on collaboration tools. By overlooking this aspect of BIM project management, BIM managers risk creating disorganised and inefficient project workflows! If there are any aspiring BIM managers out there, take note! 

2. Bad habits BIM managers do: Not paying attention to the little details!

Another important aspect of BIM project management is attention to detail. BIM project plans involve a lot of data, and even small errors or omissions can have a big impact on the final product.

Skipping steps in the BIM process is one of the most common bad habits BIM managers need to change. BIM projects must follow a critical-path and require a lot of steps to ensure that the final product is of the highest quality. Failing to follow these steps may save time in the short term, but it can quickly lead to errors and inconsistencies that end up needlessly extending the project life cycle. BIM managers must ensure that all steps in the process are followed, and that team members are trained on the proper procedures.

Not checking for mistakes and omissions is another habit a BIM manager can easily fall into. Building design projects contain a lot of data, and it can be easy to miss errors or overlook poor-quality BIM models. BIM managers should implement a quality control plan that includes regular checking and auditing of the building models produced by the project team. To achieve this, they can take advantage of various automated checking tools or have team members conduct manual checks themselves. 

In short, paying attention to the little details is crucial for successful BIM program management. By addressing these habits, BIM managers can ensure that their project objectives are achieved and that they meet critical construction industry standards. 

3. Ignoring construction industry standards, developments and best practices

This may seem a little extreme, but it’s more common than you may think! The standards and guidelines set out within BIM management provide the framework for successful project scheduling and delivery. Neglecting these, or simply overlooking them, can lead to significant inconsistencies and errors. It is the duty of a BIM manager to ensure all team members are familiar with expectations and best practices, and they’re followed at all times throughout the project lifecycle. 

As we know, building information modelling is becoming a culture within the construction process. This means that it is constantly evolving and so is the technology. Therefore, it is important for BIM managers to stay up to date with the latest developments, technological updates, and best practices. 

Failing to implement updates or use the most current methods very often leads to project delays and wasted costs. Team members can also become dissatisfied, and the project can become extremely difficult to keep on track. To overcome these habits, BIM managers must be committed to the process and have the desire to drive the technology forward. This will ensure the project’s performance is always up-to-date and working as efficiently as it can be.

4. Producing poor quality models

One of the main benefits of using BIM is the detailed 3D models that are created thanks to its users. However, it is all too common for team members to produce models that are of poor quality or not consistent with the expectations of the project. As a result, they need to be re-worked countless times, costing both time and money! 

As the leader of the project, BIM managers can combat this by creating a BIM execution plan (BEP). This needs to be done at the beginning of the project as it lays out your expectations of what the models should look like. Producing a BEP also provides teams with direction and clearly defines their roles and responsibilities, lowering the risk for mistakes and confusion throughout the entire project. Although created at the project outset, they should be constantly maintained and kept under review to ensure a smooth workflow and seamless model quality.

An important part of the BIM manager role is providing training and leadership, especially when things aren’t going so well. If you are continually noticing errors, then taking the time to re-train team members in how to produce high quality BIM models can only have a positive impact on the future of the project!

5. Not providing clear direction to project teams

Effective leadership and management skills are crucial to a successful construction project. Therefore, it is down to the BIM manager to provide a clear roadmap to each team member and ensure they understand their roles and what is expected of them. A lack of communication or clear definition of responsibilities can lead to incorrect models, poor budgeting and costly re-works. 

To overcome this bad habit, it simply requires a level of planning and organising from the BIM manager, utilising the information modelling resources available. Firstly, as we’ve already mentioned, producing an effective BEP is always the best way to begin the project. This outlines expectations, roles and responsibilities. Importantly, all model planning should also be kept in one place and accessible to all. This ensures everyone knows what needs to be modelled and when with no overlaps. 

Finally, reaffirming our first bad habit, a BIM manager should always be encouraging their teams to collaborate and innovate! This drives creativity, improves processes, and ultimately leads a project to success. BIM managers should create an environment that encourages team members to work together and share ideas.

In conclusion, changing bad habits can be a challenging process, but the benefits to your BIM projects are clear! By recognising and correcting these habits, BIM managers can improve their work and create more successful outcomes. Remember, the power of BIM and your use of it has a direct impact on the built environment and people’s lives, so don’t let bad habits hold you back!