11-13 Oct 2021
Darling Harbour, ICC SYDNEY

Getting The Best From BIM – What Can Designers Do?

By Peter Barda, Executive Director, Australian Construction Industry Forum

Developing the right environment to foster effective implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) requires a significant change initiative for people and organisations.  It requires leadership and direction from the most senior level. And that is particularly important when considering how architects, engineers, constructors, and trade contractors and suppliers need to work together to get the best from the technology.

The more integrated the project team is at the outset, the more likely it is that it will work collaboratively in a supportive project environment that encourages risk taking without the usual blame game if things don’t go quite as planned.

Collaborative working using Project Team Integration (PTI) and BIM requires not only the learning of new approaches and technologies and software but also, for many, the learning of a new way of working.

Recognition is needed by senior leaders that BIM is a collaborative tool which is the main communication method to facilitate technology enabled advances in design, construction and facilities management.

Importantly PTI and BIM can empower current and future generations of industry practitioners to achieve increased productivity, waste reduction and a viable aesthetic and sustainable future.

Organisational process change is central to achieving integration and collaboration of project teams.  Project sponsors and project team leaders need to understand and address the cultural and behavioural change required to do things differently.  Senior management need to be aware and convinced of the benefits of PTI and BIM so that they can convey the benefits to various stakeholders, including their own employees who may need reassurance and convincing of the need for change and training.

Managing the relationships to optimise PTI and BIM require a new operating environment, driven by senior leaders guiding their organisation towards PTI and BIM adoption.

Organisational change requires a management framework for creating and managing change. This requires recognition by senior leaders that the organisation needs the required culture and personnel/skills: hire new staff and/or retrain existing staff.  Preparedness for investment in training, learning and education from senior leaders in organisations is critical to the successful implementation of PTI and BIM.

The establishment of mentoring programs within organisations is a practical and valuable method to advise, encourage, develop and support staff learning the skills of PTI and BIM adoption and experiencing organisational change.

The necessary resources should be invested to progress and monitor the PTI and BIM adoption programme which includes the change management plan.  Creating the climate for change assists the organisation to migrate from current to future states with less disruption and resistance.

The ACIF session on PTI and BIM at DesignBuild 2015 on 30 April will explore these themes, and the practical steps that can be taken to encourage and sustain collaborative working to get the best from new technology.

Story via Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) – the peak body and meeting place of the leaders of the construction industry in Australia.

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