In the past our main aim has been to help project teams and project-facing organisations to develop better ways of dealing with the huge and complex flows of information associated with their project activities.
The underlying, if unspoken, premise in this work has been that, in general, the information used in construction today is of inherently, dangerously poor quality; high levels of skill and a great deal of human judgement and intervention is required to use it safely and effectively. Much of our work has been, in fact continues to be, about helping people to cope with this situation: reducing the effort required and minimising the risk associated with poor information and communications practices.
However, BIM changes this situation fairly dramatically. When used correctly, BIM models create effectively perfect information. The supporting BIM techniques – particularly the data standards and protocols used – enable BIM information to be managed and communicated seamlessly, almost without human intervention.
So for us now, the key question is: what will a construction industry that is based on the use of perfect information look like? The process of becoming digital has transformed many other areas of the economy – what will happen as construction goes digital? What will it mean to you, your company and its place in the industry? There are three key challenges:
- Understanding today’s problems and their consequences more clearly
- Imagining and planning for a digital construction industry
- Managing the transition to that future state
This adds up to a whole new picture of the medium and long term future of construction. It’s not just about how to do BIM; which BIM package to use; where to get the training your people need, and so on. Obviously, such issues as these have to be considered very carefully, particularly under the current economic conditions. But the bigger picture is about much more than BIM. This bigger picture will only start to take shape about five years from now. And it will transform the role of more or less every organisation and individual in the industry. So everyone needs to think this through, prepare him or her-self and his or her organisation for the opportunities and challenges to come.
BIM will impact on the organisation at all three management levels: Board Level, Executive level and Project level. Its introduction will have distinct immediate effects. It will also introduce adaptations in the way the organisation operates and shapes itself over the short and medium term – the next five years or so. But it will have its greatest impact over the longer term – five years and onwards from now.
We can help in three broad ways:
- Strategic scenario modelling
- Management Seminars and Workshops
- Project Implementation Assistance