The Vico Grader Series
Like a lot of people in the Vico Community, I spend most mornings on the treadmill watching CNBC or Bloomberg. My focus this quarter is improving my speed (and trying to grow my investments). It’s a little challenging working on speed with the heat and humidity of Summer, but who doesn’t like a good challenge? I’m competing in a Speed Series in which you can only advance to the next race if your pace improves from the previous race. Sure, I could have sandbagged the first couple of races, but that defeats the purpose of working hard to improve. After all, you have to define the measurement, practice, and test – that’s how you judge performance improvement. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re participating in or what goal you’re trying to achieve.
We use the same discipline at Vico with our approach to 5D BIM. We wanted a way to measure progress and improvement when it comes to our Community adopting 5D BIM software, methodology, and best practices. So we created an integrated array of “Grader” programs – ways to define the measurement, practice these new skills, and test for competency.
Step 1: The BIM Checklist
For GCs and Owners just learning about BIM, we wanted to provide a roster of capabilities to consider. These items on the Checklist are pieces of functionality that are available today. For GCs, use it to inventory the skills and capabilities you have in-house and then make a plan to acquire any missing components. Then, be honest, and consider which boxes your competition would check on the list. For Owners, use the list to consider what practices you want to include on your next project and specify these requirements in your RFP or contract language. (If any of the terms on the checklist are unfamiliar to you, use our handy BIM Glossary.)
Step 2: Calculate Your BIM Score
If your firm already has a BIM Department in place and are offering a host of Virtual Construction services to Owners, consider taking this online quiz to see how you stack up. The questionnaire consists of 27 questions which cover the gamut of 7 interrelated BIM disciplines. We recommend that you gather key people from each department (precon, ops, field, and experts from estimating and scheduling) in your conference room and project the quiz on a screen and run through the questions together. When we get your submission, we run it through a couple macros to identify areas for improvement as well as your overall BIM Score. Then it is up to you to decide if you want to move the needle…and how far and how fast.
Step 3: The Structured Evaluation
I would say 80-90% of the firms that calculate their BIM Score want to take their practice to the next level because they understand that there is so much more to BIM than simply making models and doing clash detection. So they form a core team to commit to our 30-day Structured Evaluation. This isn’t your father’s software trial. This is a disciplined and structured approach to understanding and using an integrated application for 3D-4D-5D BIM. There are weekly training sessions, exercises, and even homework, but at the end of the thirty days everyone has experienced how the model geometry drives the quantities which power the schedule, the estimate, and the production control on the jobsite. At the end of the process, the team takes their BIM Score again. The improvements are dramatic, to say the least.
Step 4: The Customer Success Plan
Bringing 5D BIM capabilities in-house doesn’t mean unwrapping a box of software and sliding in a disc. In fact, it requires change: management change, culture change, workflow change. But it’s not insurmountable. We break the process down into manageable segments and deliberately and diligently work through the steps one by one. We provide the roadmap, the training structure, and the coaching, you provide the people, the discipline, and the courage to change. The Customer Success Plan is a one-year commitment from Vico to you and from your firm to Vico that you will become experts in delivering 5D BIM to your clients. Experts. It’s a disciplined system of software training, executive workshops, peer review, and support that delivers substantial results – we didn’t call it a Success Plan for nothing.
My racing goal is simple: I want to win a 5 mile race in under 40 minutes. What’s your goal for 5D BIM? As soon as you state your goal we can start measuring, practicing, and testing. See you on the treadmill.
Caption: Just as Supers or PEs track actual progress on the jobsite and analyze trends in Production Controller, we too can analyze our progress towards 5D BIM. Set a goal, establish milestones, and practice the skills.