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BIM Modelers: Project Managers of the Future

All too often we will find that the resources in organizations are being spread thin and the days of owning just one hat are long gone. Responsibility is shared as are the consequences, so it only seems fitting that team members should be, to some degree, interchangeable. Some people will wear those hats better than others and some will choose to just wear the hat that they like most. What I am saying here is that people are different and thus do not deserve the same benchmarks. What this also says is that the right person for the job may already work in your organization and maybe just maybe is standing by for an opportunity.

In my experience to date I have seen all forms of efficiency from the competent to the downright careless. To no surprise there was a correlation between the personal values (working ethics) of some colleagues and their quality of work. In juxtaposition there was almost an equal relationship to quality of work based on team member’s relationships with their superiors. I say this because as I have grown I have realized that your managers are not always producers and your producers are not always managers and that expecting them to switch roles is an assumption that does not seem rooted in logic… or is it? These roles are dependent on one-another and the success of either one is conditionally dependent on the communication and relationships among associates.

Now we get to the heart of this article which is to say that the ways of old worked in the olden days but we are in the modern era and an industry where technology changes almost daily, and thus requires a team to be driven by a community vested in that technological evolution.

The average BIM department will be full of hungry designers looking to make their mark in the industry and some of these people will have an understanding of the industry that is fundamental enough to make them great candidates for project management. With the onset of true BIM modeling practices we are starting to see that the people with the most information are not the members in the field but rather those that have an intimate relationship with the building models and the data
associated with them. Tools like Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks Manage, Point Layout, and cloud data storage are finally allowing us the capability to accurately design entire buildings before a single boot has landed on a construction site. This is forcing a paradigm shift in not only the way we manage jobs, but the way we look at the job management process.

As the great Francis Bacon once wrote, “ipsa scientia potestas est” (knowledge itself is power), and in the modern world we can no longer accept the norm as a test for validity but instead need to constantly ask ourselves if the tool still fits the job and if the method is what’s best for the team or just a compromise.

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