Overcoming the BIM Challenge

Recent research has shown that companies that have already begun to incorporate BIM are experiencing a number of challenges. This is mainly because BIM is a new concept; a delicate and complex system that demands expertise. Therefore, one of the most difficult challenges has been a lack of experience and ability. People in the industry lack the knowledge needed to make a smooth transition and put these new methods into practice.

The next issue, not dissimilar to expertise, is a general resistance to evolve. To ensure BIM is used to its full potential, a culture of implementation must be fostered. As a concept, BIM requires the utmost open-mindedness. For instance, project managers traditionally spend most of their time on site, where they have the freedom to work however they see fit. With BIM, however, project managers need to work to tighter guidelines and processes. Due to this, there has been a natural resistance to change.

Workplace cultural reform is a huge psychological roadblock to contend with. No one wants to change their work process needlessly. This is why, for BIM to be successful, companies (in their entirety) need to be concordant with their value chain. Making such drastic changes to workplace culture naturally leads to high business costs – which is yet another factor in the cycle of resistance.

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BIM is not a cheap transition to make. Not only does it cost in software, but training and development too. But this challenge has the simplest solution of all, because BIM needs to start being universally recognised as ‘value added’. It is an investment in your business – not an unnecessary expense. But it is an investment that requires education; a shift in mindset.

For instance, companies that are not data-driven and make decisions reactively must embrace the learning process. Shifting to a proactive mindset may seem daunting, but we must not underestimate the ingenuity and drive of humans. People are naturally proactive. Introducing a proactive culture into any business is no easy feat. Industry practices must be redefined, and training and buy-in is required across all levels of a company. But how do you convince people that this is the way forward?

It shouldn’t be hard to persuade detractors with training opportunities, as well as incentives and rewards for the successful implementation of proactive practices. Make a clear distinction between the costs of reactive decision making and the costs of proactive decision making.

The challenges affecting the implementation of BIM are few. But they are also big. Companies need to bite the proverbial bullet and prepare for the future – or risk getting left behind.