This article was originally published by ConTech Bâtiment.
Too often, in a digital transition, the effort is put solely on the technological aspects. According to this vision, implementing BIM would simply mean upgrading IT, buying licenses and training staff. This is the most common strategic mistake we can see. To counteract this tendency, we often refer to the separate fields of BIM that are processes, governance and technologies.
You cannot build a successful, profitable, longterm BIM implementation without this global approach. To illustrate, we will be sharing five organizational and human challenges, accompanied by solutions, which we often encounter in our work with organizations of all sizes.
Challenge # 1 - In-depth knowledge of your organization
The ultimate goal of any transition must always be to improve ways of doing things. It is therefore essential to engage in introspective work (interviews, process mapping, etc.) in order to develop a realistic, critical and objective look at the organization. With this solid foundation, it becomes easier to identify and prioritize relevant innovations. In addition, those involved in this self-assessment process will see the need to evolve and take an active part in the change rather than simply being affected by the change.
Challenge # 2 - Inclusion of all stakeholders
A successful transition is everyone's business! Start by clarifying the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder. Prioritize those who are key change agents, such as the "godfather" of the transition with decision-making power, the BIM manager and any other member of the deployment team (technical experts, current standards managers, etc.). However, whether through information sessions, informal discussions or others methods, consider integrating everyone according to their levels of involvement, including the most refractory!
Challenge # 3 - Dissemination of Good Knowledge
To elaborate on the previous point, expertise n BIM must never rest on one and only one person. Avoid growing the Hero Syndrome and encourage the progressive autonomy of all of your team members. To create a redundancy in internal knowledge, it is essential to organize the means and channels of knowledge dissemination early in the process. In addition, make sure you have the skills you need internally to develop the best strategies and methods. Remember that being the best of the group is not always enough to guarantee the overall level of expertise. In the end, regardless of the form, the protocols, guidelines, procedures, recommendations, etc., must be clearly endorsed by management in order to encourage their adoption by all.
Challenge # 4 - Staff Retention
It's no secret that scarcity creates value! In this transition period across the construction industry, qualified personnel is a rare and sought after commodity. Pay close attention to your key resources in order to build a team over the long term. To do this, compensation is a major retention factor, but it is not the only one. Internal and external recognition, esteem, attribution of responsibilities, strategic involvement, intellectual stimulation, autonomy and trust are also to be considered. They are potentially just as rewarding and decisive for these often passionate and motivated people.
Challenge # 5 - Maintenance of Momentum
By definition, a transition does not happen overnight. Plan strategically and appropriately to structure and prioritize the actions to be implemented without overburdening or creating dead periods. Good planning supports the achievement of regular and recurring successes to maintain the enthusiasm and support of all during this evolution. Change management teaches us, among other things, that it is important to recognize, celebrate and build on its success. This is an excellent way to initiate a culture of change and to create a dynamic of continuous improvement, essential to the agility that organizations must have in the face of the rapid technological evolution of our time.
Given this non-exhaustive list of challenges, limiting oneself to technological aspects alone is far from sufficient to make a successful digital transition. Technological innovations can therefore be seen as opportunities to (discover, analyze and) grasp, but to achieve them fully and in the long term, the human retains a central and primordial role.
We hope that by highlighting the organizational and human issues, these recommendations will allow you to be better equipped to better deploy BIM in your organizations!