Keeping up with “Industry Related” Technology
When transitioning to any new “industry” technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) you will have people who resist the transition, the prospect of having to learn new software, a new process and the disruption that the transition will be their main excuses not to move forward.
Technology has had an impact on a number of industries. Design and Construction is no exception, we need to constantly adapt and keep current if we want to remain in the industry, or you’ll become obsolete like these services we all use to use..
Remember getting your film developed? Use to be exciting going to pick up your photos, going through them for the first time, seeing which ones turned out and which ones didn’t. Often seeing photos you took months ago…
Going to get a movie… for me that was exciting seeing what’s new! Going to the video store to pick a movie to watch that evening was fun…. Look at how fast Blockbusters disappeared!
Going to the store to buy music on a Compact Disc (or cassette), browsing through the available CD’s looking at what your favorite artist had recently released. Taking it home to play on your CD player… (Alternately substitute the word Compact Disc for Vinyl Record).
There are many examples I could refer too including, Fax Machines, VCR’s, PDA’s, pay phones, newspapers, parking your car, Taxi’s, Cable TV…etc, etc…
“Industry” in general is changing and as technology advances at an ever increasing rate, so too will the Design and Construction Industry. Which means we have to adapt now! Not only adapt our software but adapt our processes and the whole culture around design and collaboration and our traditional deliverables. Changing “tradition” is the challenge, I’d be quite happy eliminating printed drawings tomorrow, but it’s part of our contractual obligations, even though the BIM has far greater information that the printed set of drawings ever will.
When transitioning to a new process that utilizes technology keep in mind the long term goals of efficiency, productivity, sustainability and longevity. Resist the urge to go back to the “traditional” process or only “dipping your toe in” to test the waters, you need to move forward with a detailed plan and with confidence. There will always be hurdles and bumps in the road, keep the goal in mind and don’t turn back, it’s the only way you’ll be able to achieve your goals.
You don’t need to be on the cutting edge, but you also have to be careful not to end up on the “cutting room floor”, take advantage of the technology and make it work for you, introduce aspects gradually and build upon existing skills and knowledge. Through an incremental approach you’ll be surprised at how quickly people adapt and adopt technology, pretty soon you’ll be walking your client through a Virtual Building Model. Technology will allow you to deliver a better product faster than ever before by simply utilizing Building Information Modeling and the available associated technology that is rapidly being developed.
BIM is just a tool… And tools are what we use to amplify our capabilities.