It is often quoted that “successful BIM is 90% people and 10% process”. At present there is a strong technology emphasis when discussing BIM, which is natural enough given that digital innovation can be such a powerful enabler. However, innovation through technology cannot independently deliver the benefits anticipated by fully collaborative BIM. Our prediction is that in the next phase of BIM development, as we become familiar with the digital tools and the process elements, the focus will shift towards the human interactions.

In 2012, the South West Regional BIM hub held a conference introducing and exploring BIM concepts. From our “world café” discussion, it was clear that the collective opinion was “it is all about behaviour”. There was also a recognition and a desire in the room to move from a culture characterised by adversarial behaviours towards a collaborative approach.

As a result of these discussions we made a few key observations:

  • Collaboration is necessary to implement Level 3 BIM;
  • The construction industry’s culture is currently adversarial, not collaborative;
  • Culture is a pattern of our individual behaviours.

Some interesting questions came out of this discussion:

  • How could we change our industry culture?
  • What does collaboration look like?
  • What are the conditions which enable this change?

We identified that the first step in creating a collaborative culture is to be clear about what we are trying to create, by specifying what collaboration looks like. So we conducted a review based on existing literature into collaboration within BIM and other sectors.

Our research is based on two key influences, the first being a “profession map” tool which describes the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of an HR professional at each level of their career. The second was an excellent report by the Lean Client Task Group, one of six task groups which developed the Government Construction Strategy 2011, which specified the behaviours of an intelligent client.

Read the full article here



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