Monday, September 19, 2011

Life, the universe and everyBIM?

Once upon a time, long ago, a band of super-intelligent beings (mice) decided to finally answer the great question of Life, The Universe and Everything.

"Deep Thought"

To achieve this, a great super computer called Deep Thought was built.  The most powerful computer ever built spent 7.5 million years in serious consideration before announcing the answer.

The Ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is...

(You're not going to like it...)

Which suggests that what you really need to know is 'What was the Question?'.

What this great computer kindly pointed out was that the problem really was that no-one knew the question.

Recently, we have seen a massive uptake in interest in ‘BIM’, with countless websites, conferences and commentaries all offering their own slant and definitions to what ‘BIM’ is and why we need it.

The fact is BIM can mean so many different things to different people.  When implementing a BIM strategy, make sure you know what your ultimate goal is.

The great thing about BIM is that the principles of data integration and collaborative work processes can be applied to so much, including – but certainly not limited to…

BIM for design integration
BIM for error avoidance
BIM for construction coordination
BIM for building management
BIM for manufacture
BIM for project collaboration
BIM for energy efficiency
BIM for facilities management
BIM for asset monitoring
Or simply, BIM for visual appreciation

When moving to such a potentially powerful and inclusive management process, it could be easy to lose track and find yourself off message… The end result may still be fantastic, but was it what you originally aimed for?

In developing your BIM answer – make sure you know what the question is, and that your conclusion addresses this.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hair today, gone tomorrow

The title for this post was glaring out at me following my first visit to the hairdresser after looking back over my recent holiday photos.  The increased presence of visible (and rather sunburnt) scalp resulted in the decision to start becoming a bit more aggressive with the ‘pruning’ of the remaining hair – a process that, so far, seems to be fairly successful in minimising the visual impact.

What was most alarming was the seemingly short time-frame within which this androgenetic alopecia (apparently) has occurred.

There are various theories as to what causes hair loss, ranging from genetics to environment, covering pretty much everything along the way.  However, there is now a new factor on the table…

At a recent BIM seminar, I was presented with the following explanation:

BIM causes baldness!

It didn’t take long for this suggestion to sink in… the history fit, and the evidence was there (or rather, not there) on the top of my head.  The more time I’ve spent over the past couple of years speaking about BIM, attending seminars, carrying out presentations, and so on has coincided with a definite reduction in my scalp covering.

Forget concerns over model ownership, and interoperability exchange formats… what we have here is a REAL issue.  Contract form and company policies will inevitably need to undergo some degree of evolution (or altogether re-structure) in order to give fully collaborative and open project execution a fighting chance – these are matters that can (and must) be overcome.

Choice is a powerful thing.  With regard to BIM, one of my favourite quotes came from Paul Morrell, who said...

“Very soon looking back on BIM and thinking it was a choice will be funny”.

For me, the reality is, looking back on wearing a hat in the summer and thinking it was a choice is funny.