Getting Clients, Colleagues, and Management to Adopt BIM Technology

by Kate Morrical
- Feb 21 2014 - 3 min read

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already convinced of the benefits that BIM can bring to your workflow and your business. But you don’t work in a vacuum—you have clients and consultants, colleagues, and management that need to be persuaded, too. No matter how good your technical skills are, you won’t get a successful BIM technology transition plan without buy-in from all groups.

1. Your Clients and Consultants. These days, if you’re considering BIM, your clients are probably on board already. They may have even made the initial request for BIM. For your consultants, simply put the expectation out there: “We’re using Revit on this project, and we request that you will, too.” Then decide if it’s a deal breaker. If your usual MEP engineer isn’t ready to move to 3D, can you work with him or her anyway? Can the owner? Or is it time to find a BIM-ready firm?

If you can get the whole team signed up for BIM, remember that with great technology comes great responsibility—for communication. Have a BIM kickoff meeting, schedule regular check-ins with the people actually working on the models, and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone if you have questions.

And if your clients or consultants aren’t using BIM, don’t let that stop you. If it makes sense for the project and your discipline, go ahead with your 3D model. You can always export 2D CAD files and PDFs to share with the rest of the team.

2. Your Team. How many BIM rock stars do you have at your firm? If it’s just you, it may be time to recruit some more—whether by training internally or hiring externally. Start a list with your colleagues of your favorite BIM blogs and discussion groups. Consider starting an in-house Revit group. (More on that in my next article.) Find your Local User Group and start attending meetings. Watch Autodesk University classes. Show off the things you learn back at the office, and if you’re excited about a new feature, don’t try to hide it! Enthusiasm is contagious, and the more people you have on your side, the more backers you’ll have when you take your case for BIM to management. Speaking of which…

bim technology

3. Your Management. Getting management on board with a BIM plan is crucial—and tricky. Managers probably aren’t day-to-day BIM users, so they’re not as aware of the practical issues as the regular modelers. But they’re also in charge of the budget, so they see the time and money adding up.

I’ll say it outright: You’ll never convince everybody. Some people can see only the costs of BIM, not the benefits. And yes, they often have data from less-than-successful projects to back them up. So instead of focusing on ROI—which, for your first few BIM projects, is often not high—you can present lessons learned from previous projects, and outline the steps you plan to take to avoid those issues in the future

Above all, keep up the communication. Hold regular internal status meetings to share challenges and successes on active projects. Invite your managers to your internal Revit meetings so they can see specifically what issues your group is tackling. Share articles on the best practices for BIM, and explain how they do (or don’t) apply to your workflow. Find inspiring “success with BIM” case studies and share those, too.

With persistence and a little luck, you may be able to turn your biggest skeptics into your biggest supporters.

And to help you build your case for BIM, check out 5 Reasons Why You’re Ready for BIM.

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