Thursday, April 10, 2014

The measure of a BIM infiltration coefficient for a BIM-active entity

I’ve been taking it easy with BIM lately.  
This can be seen as a probably not surprising bi-product of my self-preservation instincts kicking in at the end of a challenging year.
One can say, I got totally BIM-med out over it, an unhappy culmination of two decades of vigorously pursuing an elusive professional target with at best- mixed results.

I now got myself a job that has nothing to do with BIM.
I am staying away from most online or real-life BIM interest groups. My contributions to my own blogs had been muted to an almost full silence and I never upgraded to ArchiCAD 17, though I expect the launch of 18 to be soon.
I still fire version 16 up every now and again, nothing quite like this little tool to check over things I need to be absolutely sure about in my current job, that has – as noted before – no relation to BIM.

So, with such a high level of BIM-abstinence mastered, it could be considered a sign of weakness for relapsing into thinking BIM again, but for a person of few skills and even fewer hobbies, this could be just the right thing to ponder over, on a peaceful Thursday night.

One trigger that made me reach for the BIM-keyboard tonight was a BIM report that had been forwarded to me by a well-wishing friend, aware of my professional interest in the topic.
A scientific looking, chunky publication of 60-something pages it offers a myriad of serious-looking BIM behavioural theories for an entire region, based largely on the survey of 400-something AEC professionals.

I am not one to get terribly excited about surveys, in fact the ones related to BIM I avoid even more than others, but this set had sparked a rekindled interest to formulate the ‘true level of BIM advancement of an entity’ through numbers, somehow.

The other prompt for me to pitch in the debate of quantifying BIM uptake within the AEC industry had been a series of recent encounters with people working for large multinational AEC companies claiming that their organizations were now ‘doing BIM, whole sale’, ‘full on’ or in a similar way, implying a deep and widespread commitment.

Start scratching the surface of some of these entities and you’d see that BIM capability can be easily limited to a small group of up-trained CAD technicians, headed by a self-styled BIM manager or even worse, by semi-formal relationships with modelling back offices.
When the mother-ship’s staff numbers reach into multiple-thousands working over many continents, these capabilities are often just a drop-in-the ocean of BIM ignorance.

So, for those that advocate for high level of mandated BIM for government clients, here is a suggestion: why not establish a calculable BIM coefficient that will reflect the ratio of BIM saturation within any one company?
What better way to establish true and robust scrutiny for public providers to be judged on?

Not quite sure yet what the formula would look like, but something that would reflect the number of people being truly BIM literate in relation to the entire population of the company, as well as the number of real BIM projects measured against  all of the work of the entity.
Someone clever with numbers could probably tweak such formula to reflect the length of combined BIM experience (again related to the overall size and age of the organisation) and true depth of the hands-on BIM capabilities as opposed to the shallow make-believe BIMs  dreamed up by marketing and business development departments.

Anyone with a suggestion, drop me a line.

Image from here: