I enjoy cooking. My adventure began with frozen fish sticks from the oven, cooked sausages sold in packages of 24 pieces and the famous Norwegian frozen pizza Grandiosa, the most popular dish in Norway, eaten in two million portions every month in this five million country (source: https://www.thedailymeal.com/eat/norway-obsession-grandiosa-pizza).
However, as time went on, both due to my interest and greater awareness of nutrition, I learned more and more recipes, and how to combine different ingredients. Having gained more knowledge, skills, as well as experience and being open to new things, I have come to such a level that I can serve a three-course dinner and amaze the most demanding guests, like a chef in a restaurant with at least two Michelin stars. Okay, perhaps I exaggerated a little – but you know what I mean: practice makes perfect. However, what does it all have to do with BIM?
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BIM and cooking
So if you take a closer look at the issue, in many ways BIM seems to be like cooking. You need high-quality ingredients and combine them in the right way. As in cooking, more isn’t better, but often the opposite is true – it’s about quality, not quantity. You can compare cooking to BIM in the following way:
- People – Ingredients
- Software – Working tools
- Time and budget – Time and price of preparing the food
- Project – Recipe
People – Ingredients
The ingredients make a dish. And people are and constitute the most essential part of any organization. After all, it’s not the machines, but the employees who will perform the tasks, even though the work may be automated to some extent. These people have different types of experience and expectations for working with BIM technology. The human factor is often forgotten in the rush created and connected with widespread digitalization. Therefore, any change and any project has to start with the involvement of the personnel and taking into account the employees in the planning of possible changes. It should also be remembered that just as in cooking, we utilize in a different way ingredientsthat are more or less ripe. Accordingly we will deal differently with experienced engineers with several decades of work behind them, the ones who drew documentation on paper with a radiograph than with fresh graduates who use the keyboard and mouse more efficiently than pencil or pen.
When it comes to people, we cannot forget those outside our organization: investors, architects, designers, contractors as well as suppliers and other involved parties.
You can read about different ways of implementing the BIM technology in your organization in our new article – soon!
Software - Working tools
There are various types of software offered by competing companies available on the market. Almost all of these companies claim that they have a solution for everything. Both in theory and on presentations it all looks very nice. However, in practice, each type of software has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is impossible to meet our requirements in 100%. That is why it is so important to be aware of what is currently available on the market and how to use a given tool in a way that is will be most suitable for the tasks we are working on.
You will be able to read about the software review in our new article – soon!
Time and budget - Time and price of preparing the food
Any project, whether it is the introduction of BIM technology in your company or the construction of a structure, depends on the time and resources available to us for its execution. Ultimately, the quality we achieve depends on it – by investing more time and resources, and thus money, we will be able to perform the task in a better way. But is this completely true? Because in this case, as in cooking, more does not mean better. For example, you can send your staff on 10 short and superficial presentations or courses for beginners which will not significantly raise the level of knowledge and skills. Or on one longer, more expensive and extensive training. You can have two designers working on one solution when one person with the right tools would be able to do the same job. One of directors that I worked with has his saying, a sentence that explains this issue: a company can’t afford ‘cheap’, low-skilled workers. When you join a project you have to start it in the right way – good planning is irreplaceable. It is crucial to approach this task very realistically, looking at the possibilities that can be achieved with the available resources.
Project – Recipe
Just as in cooking, even if the dish is well prepared according to a given recipe, not everyone will like it – just as with BIM, even though one specific solution will work on one project it does not automatically mean that it will be equally suitable to the other one. Sometimes you have to mix the ingredients in a different order, change the proportions or quantities and adjust them to the given recipe. In other words, you should not serve pickles with dessert… And yes, there is no single solution for working with BIM technology – each project is unique and you need to adapt your resources to various needs and requirements. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? But the question remains: how to do it in practice? In the end you need both practice and experience, to learn lessons from others’ and your own mistakes, as well as management skills to make use of people (ingredients) by applying the available tools without exceeding the time and budget. And at the same time deliver the product according to the schedule andat the expected quality level.
And how about instead of cooking... going to a restaurant?
From time to time it’s nice to just leave the kitchen and go to the restaurant – no more shopping, cooking or cleaning. Who doesn’t like it? Also with BIM technology, it is very tempting to hire external consultants that can take care of ‘everything’ so that you don’t have to worry about anything.
This is, however, like going to a restaurant – only a short-term solution. BIM specialists outside your organization are necessary to provide relevant training and teach personnel how to use the technology, but the main goal should be to develop competence within your own organization. Also because there are many ‘BIM specialists’ on the market who have never really cooked a dish – in other words, they don’t have any experience with execution of projects – they’re good only at the theoretical issues. That is why at BIMcorner we focus on practice. How can we help you improving the competence of your employees? Contact us to learn more about our offer!
Just as in cooking or any other activity, as we gain experience through trial and error, we become increasingly skilled and understand what will work and what will not. At some point we realize, that there is no ‘one’ correct solution. Using the analogy of cooking once again – there are different cuisines and ingredients in the world which can be combined according to the effect you wish to achieve – and so using BIM technology will vary depending on the type of project, the people, the software and the goal you intend to accomplish.
Our goal is to provide you with the website BIMcorner which corresponds in a way to a cookbook – with articles instead of recipes and practical knowledge, perhaps not from chefs from the best restaurants, but from engineers working in the largest Norwegian design and construction companies. We encourage you to explore with us and to find what will suit your needs!