Up Close & Personal - A Perspective on BIM & Document Management Adoption

Up Close & Personal - A Perspective on BIM & Document Management Adoption

Thoughts from our Principal Consultant Daryn Fitz

One of the key points I often try to make when presenting and introducing people to Building Information Modelling (BIM) principles and workflows is the importance of making it personal.

We are all human, and that naturally makes us all so very different. We all have different interests, values, experiences, passions, beliefs and convictions; the list goes on and on. It is what makes us all so wonderful as individuals and of course also inherently flawed. We can’t be perfect in everything we do, we are all fallible.

It is my opinion that this is one of the reasons why trying to get individuals within companies to all work in the same and consistent way is a challenge, and remains so despite employers requiring everyone to work to the same company objectives and values. It is important of course to not negatively affect the creative design process as an example, but consistency in output and approach supports the company brand, de-risks the business and provides a quality assured approach.

Too often we hear the term “blockers” to describe individuals within companies who will not engage, follow procedures or not act as a team player. But are they really blockers? Or do they just not see a personal reason why working in a certain way is a positive situation for them? I believe that often it is the latter, so let’s put this into context by using a real-world situation for illustration:

If I explained to you the benefits of document and drawing management software solutions such as Excitech DOCS, Meridian, etc, I am sure you would smile nicely at me and say

“that is great Daryn! Fantastic! I can search for things, retrieve things quickly, automatically fill in document issue sheets and update Revit title-blocks automatically”.

However, in the background, you might be thinking

“another complex piece of software to learn, more cost, or most of our staff don’t use the systems we already have correctly.”

There is nothing wrong with this opinion, and I would not be personally offended. However, if I asked you how long you spend each day searching for documents and information on local servers, within internet search engines, documents hidden in emails etc, and then asked how often you are successful in finding that information, the conversation is much more personal.

Let's consider search engines such as Google; they are a rich source of information and help us find information quickly. Imagine how much additional time we would waste if search engine web crawling and indexing technology was not freely available to everyone. Wouldn't it be great if you could retrieve all your own information just as easily?

Quick Quiz...

Research from IBM suggests that 1.8 hours of a working day is spent looking for information; that is 9 hours wasted each week searching for information.

  1. If you are still reading, just take a few moments now and think how much time you spend each day just looking for information. It may be 30 minutes, it may be closer to typical research, or it may be a lot higher.
  2. Take that number and now multiply it by five for a working week. Now think how often you are unsuccessful in finding the information.
  3. Research suggests between 60 and 65% is the success rate. So, lets complete the calculation; let’s assume 2 hours per day looking for information, multiplied by five days = 10 hours.
  4. Take our ten hours, divide it by the success rate of 65% (let us be more than generous and say it is a high 70%), that means three hours a week is wasted.
  5. But don’t stop there. Let’s multiply this by the number of working weeks in a year, using annual working days of 216. The final tally amounts to a wastage of 129.6 hours a year, just not finding the information you are searching for in the absence of a document and drawing management software solution.
  6. For the business leaders out there, now multiply that number by the number of staff. Let’s say 25 individuals:

This equates to your business wasting 3240 hours a year. That is two extra members of staff for free.

So, going back to the personal perspective, if I asked anyone

“What would you do if you could have nine hours back in the working week?”

I am sure there is no one who would not be on board and understand the personal benefits.