Taking the technology out of BIM

I haven’t been in my BIM-focussed role for too long but I have been aware of BIM since its inception and watched its growth throughout the industry with interest. I’ve even championed it in the past and done trial projects to understand its benefits. I get BIM and what it can do for the industry and have done for years but I am still left wondering, why hasn’t it taken off properly?

I think I have gotten to the bottom of it and it isn’t down to the lack of standards, workflows, processes or technological solutions, it’s down to one thing… empathy.

The focus of BIM has, so far, been focussed on technology, standards and processes

Nothing within the implementation has focussed on people. There is a general fear and technology and how it can replace people in their roles. There is inherent emotion associated with change and transformation. With both of these challenges, there has not been the counter-argument of how we protect our people from the effect of this.

So how do we begin to change the way we do things and speed up BIM implementation?

The key is having empathy.

I hate the phrase ‘data is king’ or something along those lines… stop focussing on 1′ and 0’s and start having empathy for those that work for and with us.

People are meaning monsters, they want to have a purpose, they search for purpose, they want to feel safe.

How are we making people feel when we are constantly telling them they are late shit and over budget?

How do you think it feels to know your job could be automated or done by a robot?

Are you really going to welcome this change with open arms?

Digital transformation needs empathy

The problem is that word digital. We keep focussing on digital and the issue is digital doesn’t have emotion.

Why do you think BIM is struggling to get going? When has anyone ever looked at BIM from a people-first perspective?

The whole process hasn’t been shaped with people in mind. Look at the fucking BIM wedge, how is that meant to make anyone want to get involved?

Now, we have come so far and so much good work has been done but we need to rethink our approach to this. We have to look at our people and understand how they feel about what is coming. Change the speeches, change the way we train people to change the way we talk about BIM.