How to succeed in implementing BIM process Part 2
The Four Phases of a Successful Implementation of a New Process
Phase 1: Preparation and Evaluation
Analyse your current processes and abilities, create a baseline to help you evaluate areas of attention as part of the new process implementation process. A review the current operations will assist you in recognising and addressing area’s where improvements can be made that have the biggest impact.
Evaluate your current technological needs, make sure your computers and network will be able to meet the performance requirements of any new software. Research what you need and plan accordingly in preparation for moving forward, best to do this early on to minimise staff’s frustration and the impact of upgrading equipment.
Engage your staff, take advantage of the resource by recognising existing knowledge and understanding, the inclusion of staff is very important to gain their confidence and trust in the implementation.
Phase 2: Establish Goals and Milestones
Objectives, Stages & Milestones; specific policy objectives, intermediate capability stages, and measurable maturity milestones separating current status from a quantifiable future target.
To measure your progress and success you need to establish goals and milestones, these should include both short-term and long term goals. Each organisation has an ultimate ambition and long-term goal when it comes to adopting a new process. Based on the ultimate ambition, intermediate goals need to be defined together with measurable progress indicators and targeted milestone. It is important to set achievable goals and milestones, to avoid discouragement taking over a successful adoption.
Phase 3: Define the Process
Through defining your goals and milestones you’ll be able to use these to help you start to clearly define the implementation process, typically the process can be broken down into three categories including; People, Process and Technology. Breaking the process down into these three categories will help you define the processes and clearly outline each the steps and how they relate to each other.
People are crucial to the success of implementing any kind of new process, for this to be successful you need to gain their confidence and trust that the implementation of any new processes is an improvement over the old. Identify when, how, who and what training is needed to reach the next milestone.
The biggest hurdle for any organisation is the change in culture, by undertaking effective “on demand” training combined with “hands-on” expertise to assist and reassure staff that they have somewhere to answer questions and play a supportive role.
Training is an investment in your team and your organisation.
As your staff develop their skills and an understanding of your goals and objectives, you will start to see confidence develop.
Internally Look for Drivers & Champions, people within your organisation that are enthusiastic and supportive of changes that make an improvement. These individuals will demonstrate a willingness to participate in the adoption and seek out efficacy and innovation in the system and process.
If your new process or workflow involves new software, look for competent educators and learning resources that cover the concepts, tools and workflows. These can be either delivered through tertiary education, vocational training, professional development or by training sessions held by “in house” champions.
Develop processes that are flexible, manageable and can evolve alongside your organisation and the developing industry. Implement the process gradually and have key adopters take the lead and encourage the change in culture.
Technology is the tools of our trade, having the right tools allow us to achieve our goals. Having inadequate tools not only limit production but also play a major factor in staff moral. Technology plays an important role in any organisation. Consider future expansion while measuring against the immediate needs. Balance the need verses associated costs, review accessibility and affordability of upgrading necessary hardware and upgrades to software and network systems.
Phase 4: Implementing and Monitoring
Once a certain level of comfort is reached, the capabilities and process should be assessed and reviewed through developing metrics for benchmarking project outcomes and assessing the capabilities of individuals, organisations and teams.
The team should not only have a process to follow but also have available to them the resources to be efficient in their tasks. Having unreliable resources, or worse yet resources your team are unable to find, gives them permission to create their own content, essentially disregarding any quality control and duplicating work already completed.
Invest in the time to fully evaluate your existing processes, what works, what doesn’t work and where gaps appear in the processes. Through a thorough review of an existing process you will be able to clearly define the flow of operations and the impact BIM has to all aspects of business. Review your own processes with fresh eyes to see where you can make improvements, look at it from the standpoint of production and what resources you would need to efficiently complete the task at hand.
Measurement & Optimization
- Make the process easy to follow, keep it clear and easily understood, don’t make a process too constraining or onerous or you’ll find that no one will follow it.
- Make your process flexible to accommodate a variety of situations or your staff’s needs.
- Provide information on the process in a variety of formats, such as online, printed booklet form, pdf etc. Make it readily accessible to everyone in formats they can relate to, too encourages adoption.
- Having management promote and endorse the process is the key to a successful adoption.
Adoption of a new process takes time, continual promotion through encouraging awareness and engagement of the processes until it becomes part of the culture. Monitor your team, provide constant reminders that that will encourage the development of a culture that follows the processes.
Finally, be patient and flexible. You’ll need both to successfully implement change.