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11 Aug 2015
As Building Information Modeling (BIM) continues to reveal opportunities for revolutionizing the engineering and design industry, we are still seeing challenges around adoption. Many organizations have managed to sort out ways to leverage BIM in pockets such as 3D- and 4D- visualizations, conflict detection in multi-discipline design, or even augmented reality in construction. But the capability of the technology today is already so far beyond that. So why is there a lag?
The design and construction industry has historically been slow to exploit new technology. Perhaps there is a lack of know-how, or far more likely, a bit of fear around change and how it (and we) fit in. The recent Harvard Business Review article, Beyond Automation—which discusses how to protect your career from the growing threat of computer automation—got me thinking more about the gap between today’s reality and tomorrow’s potential.
“Automation starts with a baseline of what people do in a given job and subtracts from that. It deploys computers to chip away at the tasks humans perform as soon as those tasks can be codified … Augmentation, in contrast, means starting with what humans do today and figuring out how that work could be deepened rather than diminished by a greater use of machines.”
– Thomas Davenport and Julia Kirby, Harvard Business Review
The article struck me as a means to generate a roadmap and illustrate “how” to engage with BIM from wherever you sit within an organization. It correlates to how we can drive a view of BIM as an augmentation to the traditional mindset. We should partner with technology to drive new methods, approaches and, of course, solutions. And only when all stakeholder groups engage will we achieve the full potential of BIM and its underlying technologies. So I’ve adapted the Harvard Business Review authors’ original 5 paths to the following:
People have alternatives for how they’ll work with BIM:
So where do you fit in and what steps can you take? How can the use of this technology deepen our abilities rather than diminish us? How can it make the big thinkers think bigger, the supporting services better support, the doer’s better do, the niche developers find their niche, and the innovators find new ideas? I’m looking forward to finding out together.
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