With so many experienced BIM Managers in our industry today, why do organizations and individuals struggle to adopt, grow and support BIM? In today’s AEC industry, a BIM Manager can have many responsibilities -- including enterprise planning strategy, project coordination and support. In some organizations, the BIM Manager role has become somewhat diluted. This title is being handed out as a catch-all for just about every responsibility that is related to BIM. A quick LinkedIn search for those in BIM Manager roles, for example, returns almost 10,000 results. And if you search for titles that contain the BIM acronym, the number goes up to more than 250,000 people! This gives us a good indication of how many individuals overall may be associated with BIM.
More organizations could benefit from carefully defining the BIM Manager role. In fact, challenges that are associated with BIM team coordination, productivity, BIM execution plan and project delivery often come from poorly defined BIM roles and expectations. Once clear expectations have been set, however, companies may choose to fill this role internally by promoting “power users” of selected BIM applications. Or they may hire external candidates who can facilitate initial understanding, adoption, and growth of a BIM implementation.
The responsibility to oversee all BIM aspects may be assigned to a BIM coordinator. In larger organizations, however, the enterprise planning role may be performed at a Director level or above -- depending on company size, number of projects, and type and location of services.
Driving BIM Transformation
A major challenge facing BIM Managers today is the lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities that can cause a misalignment between the organization’s objectives and the BIM Manager’s expectations.
BIM Managers who spend too much time on billable projects, for example, may be unable to drive a large, organization-wide BIM implementation effort. Similarly, organizations that do not define clear BIM expectations run the risk of placing under-qualified candidates into management positions for which they do not have the required knowledge or experience.
This will make it harder to grow process understanding, change organization mindsets, and push the organization’s ability to leverage new technologies and workflows.
The Big Picture
A company that decides to implement a BIM framework needs a strong leader with deep understanding of the profound impact that such a disruptive technology can have on the organization.
I’m not talking here about understanding all the BIM dimensions or model uses that can be defined as BIM Excellence. We should be talking instead about the issues of scale that are associated with an effective BIM implementation and BIM strategy.
BIM means far more than 3D modeling and automating clash detection. The technology aspects, however, can be simple to understand. Once implemented, they also provide immediate and visible results. So it’s easy for a BIM Manager to become fixated on technology because of past experience as an application manager or power user who may be lacking enterprise-level management experience.
A true BIM leader, however, can achieve higher dimensions of BIM model use by first understanding how workflows are interrelated, and then by defining a common data environment and interoperability requirements to support them.
The role also includes such responsibilities as content creation and management, project execution planning, budgeting and application license management.
Becoming a well-rounded BIM Manager, as a result, may require a period of growing pains before developing the necessary understanding and knowledge required to achieve BIM success.
This blog is part of a series that discusses some of the key considerations for planning a successful enterprise level BIM implementation and is part of the white paper "the 5 pillars of a successful BIM implementation". You can download the white paper here.
Original post can be found here.