Quo Vadis BIM Germany?

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After visiting the first BMVI-BIM-Congress in December 2015 in Berlin, I was able to write a report on my PC the next day. If you have been following my blog for some time, you may have read this report. After visiting the second BMVI-BIM-Congress a few days ago in Berlin, I did not really know what heading I should choose for my report. My impressions were different and complex.

„Where I go, you can not follow me now. But you will follow me later. „

The number of visitors was 425. It was higher than the first event. Numbers say something about the grown interest but not about the composition of the auditorium. On the one hand, I have seen the complete German leading BIM scene, the representatives of many large software companies, but also a large number of unknown management personalities from German planning offices and industrial companies. BIM experts and persons who know only the term „BIM“ and who are also interested to visit Berlin with their own hopes.

While the contributions of the first Congress have created a break-up mood, the contributions this year have not managed to build on. That is why I find it difficult to report. From my point of view, the lectures were understandable, complex, partly humorous and partly dry. But in terms of content, they have shown a good cross-section about the current status quo. The number of pilot projects increases exponentially. New constructive areas are conquered and experiences are collected. Experiences need not always be positive. But the basic tenet was that BIM is a sensible and indispensable method for digitizing the construction industry.

I used the day and talked with acquaintances and strangers. Part of the lectures was an update or a continuation of the presentations of the first BMVI-BIM-congresses. All participants in the first congress were able to follow the lectures and make a good overall impression. But for the absolute BIM beginners among the listeners these lectures were not suitable. The mood and disappointment of the people, which I could also see on the faces, was accordingly corresponding.

In recent years, there have been a variety of BIM events. As a rule, there are always the same protagonists there and report in the same way about BIM, about BIM projects and about the general development. The listeners and participants are given the same BIM daily in the day from BIM. The experiences of the users in the first BIM projects are more complex and do not always coincide with the content of the lectures. Germany and its leading BIM experts are very concerned about BIM technology. The desire for further development is not yet available or at least not yet recognizable. Since the viewer then asks the question: Do not they want or can not? Do they want to take me with or do tey find themself well in their role to be far ahead of me?

The people play the decisive role in the BIM processes and not the technology. People in companies need to change their way of working. It is a cultural change that takes place. People must be taken along the path to digitalization. The BIM technology, consisting of software, hardware, cloud, VDI guidelines, standards, contract content, laws, etc., is on the right track. Not everything is perfect or not yet perfect – it does not have to! But the people must not be forgotten. People wants to be involved in a transparent process and to decide when and how to enter.

At the beginning of February I start with a one-year online seminar. The title of the series is „Successfully implementing BIM in self-government in the planning office“. Step by step, I take people on the road to digitalization. I planned this seminar a year ago. I noticed that after the break-up mood a kind of stagnation occurred. BIM is a very good thing and is already practiced successfully in other countries. If, according to the BMVI, Germany already has the ambition to become the leading nation in BIM, then we have to do something for it. Only if we manage to take all people with us, we will do it.

BIM does not only consist of the components planning, building and management. It starts far earlier and stops later. The right thing is to develop, plan, build, manage and tear down. The entire process must be accompanied digitally. The majority of the experts are pushing their limits. The digitalization of creative processes also requires rethinking and extended thinking by experts. New methods, such as Lean Construction, will further advance the implementation of the BIM processes. I think there is currently also a little the difficulties in the formulation of the VDI 2552 Page 7 „Processes“ justified. Agile processes can not be clearly defined and fix. I can only make exemplary specifications and write in the guideline that the example processes in the project can be adapted individually according to the situation or even have to be adapted.

The learning of BIM should also be seen in the company as an agile and transparent process. As an aid, I use a software for Lean Construction in my seminar series. The introduction of a transparent and online documented introduction process for all employees will accelerate the entire company. Knowledge gaps are recognized more quickly and efficiently eliminated. The cultural change needed for BIM is not about being better than the other, but by strengthening the team and helping the most vulnerable. When I learn and introduce BIM, I will also tackle my first BIM projects as self-evident – transparent, open and efficient.

First, we have been working hard on BIM technology. Now it’s time to put people in the forefront in BIM. There were already the first approaches in the lectures that demand this. I would be delighted to hear the first positive reports on BIM and people at a possible third BMVI-BIM-Congress.

Best regards

Ulf-Günter Krause 

Ps: Software for Lean Construction with a graphical user interface and an online database, which is really suitable for the transparent introduction of BIM and later for use in BIM projects, there may be only three to four worldwide. The technology is new. It is not enough to extend existing technologies like Outlook. I wrote an article about the „Pothols in the digital BIM streets“ in the penultimate year. A little later, a software producer has contacted me. I am now active as a software evangelist for the product.

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