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BIM 2016: Top 4 New Year's Goals

BIM 2016: Top 4 New Year's Goals

by BRETT YOUNG, CEO, BuildingSP | Dec 30, 2015 

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your business's progress over the past 12 months and to plan how you want it to develop even further. If you practice or want to practice building information modeling (BIM), good news! The field is both maturing and advancing! 


Let’s leverage this opportunity by thinking strategically about the coming year. 

These four New Year's business resolutions are designed to help you leverage what you have, and get what you want from the BIM world in 2016.  

1. Get Help! 

The BIM industry has matured such that there are now many extremely talented BIM consultants out there who can evaluate your business and your current level of BIM implementation. (Unsolicited plug: Keep an eye out for Nathan Wood and SpectrumAEC. He’s the real deal.) Now's the time to invest a relatively small amount of your profits into a much better strategic understanding.  

Here's the rationale and value proposition: It's very likely you're going to need to hire someone with BIM skills this year. If you're going to make a hire, what kind of hire will that person be and how can they fill the BIM capabilities gap in your organization? 

It’s very likely you’re going to need to hire someone with BIM skills this year. Do you know what to look for?

An example: Are you using Dynamo? Do you need to? Do you know what Stingray is? Do you know what programs are adjacent to Stingray in the BIM space?

Outside help can evaluate all of these questions so you can make an informed decision.  The cost of an outside consultant will be less than you'd pay for a recruiter, much less than the cost of a bad hire, and insignificant if that hire helps you win new work. 

2. Take Stock

"That which is measured improves."  Take a look at what you're already doing in your BIM world and think about what went well, what didn't work, and what you want to change. Perform a Plus-Delta Retrospective (PDH), which is similar to the Plus-Minus-Delta so often used at P2SL events. This may sound too involved, but believe me, it can be done in under an hour, over a cup of coffee, in a café. 

Ask questions like... What projects were acquired using BIM?  What did you achieve in BIM in relation to the allocated resources?  What inner testimonials did you get? 

You need to do this.  

(Then take that Plus-Minus-Delta into your performance review with you!) 

Cave dwellers club: Boasting the world's largest BIM cave, Texas A&M now is training a new generation of BIM users.

Cave dwellers club: Boasting the world's largest BIM cave, Texas A&M now is training a new generation of BIM users.

3. Plan Ahead

You're going to be winning new projects this year, so you will have to deliver more BIM. Let's plan for that. Come up with other scenarios that seem probable for the new year. For example, if you win X number of new projects, you'll need to make Y number of new hires, which will cause Z number of current employees to move on to greener pastures. How are you going to deliver on this? If you have to make a hire, where are you going to look? What outside help can you get in a pinch? What conferences will you be attending? Think through what you're doing in the next year, and start thinking about your future pain. Then communicate it. Ask for budgets. Warn your people when times will be tight. Talk to them about developing additional skills so they can handle new workloads, if need be.  

4. Think BEyond "Failure"

Some type of failure is inevitable on virtually any system application. But let's talk about failure of the systems where you are the responsible party. What are your software disaster recovery plans?  Who has password access?  Where are your files stored, and how can that system fail? Are you protected from a malicious virus or disgruntled employee?  

(These questions might best be answered over a beer, but they need to be asked.)

And, by they way, while you read this info about failure, are you thinking only about backup? There’s a big difference between that and true “disaster recovery.” Take the time to learn it.

Now is a great time to re-think all that you're doing in BIM and look forward to a bright, productive year. And of course, look forward to even more great innovations coming to the BIM world in 2016!

Based in San Francisco, the author is founder and CEO of Building System Planning Inc., a software startup focused on bringing machine intelligence to Building Information Modeling (BIM). Prior to that, Young spent five years as founder and principal with Modulus Consulting, a BIM consulting firm with offices in San Francisco, Portland, and Washington DC. E-mail him at

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