7 Mistakes BIM Managers Should Avoid When Collaborating on a Project 

“Many hands make light work.” 

Or do they?  

Most of the time, sure, that is likely the case. But when it comes to a BIM project, BIM managers could make mistakes that turn that collaboration to chaos. In this article, we are sharing seven major mistakes you could make when collaborating on a project. But don’t worry, we aren’t all doom and gloom; we also share our favorite tips to avoid those pitfalls and make collaboration a success. 

Mistake #1: Lack of Clarity on Company Standards  

When collaborating with others, you want to make sure that they have a clear understanding of your company’s workflow and content standards. Otherwise, they may unintentionally disrupt your company workflow and wreak havoc on your content organization. 

Solution 

To fix this, make sure that outsiders understand how your company handles content requests and content uploads. You’ll also want them to know and follow company standards. In addition to any training documents you may provide, you can also equip them with a BIM Execution Plan to help them understand content standards such as wall types and best practices when it comes to understanding file size and file performance.  

Mistake #2: Sharing Outdated Content 

One of the most painful mistakes you can make when collaborating on a project is sharing outdated content. This could happen when you share initial content at the beginning of the project, but as the project progresses, the content is updated multiple times or even replaced. Collaborators need to know that the piece of content that they are using is the correct and most up to date one for their project. 

Solution 

To prevent collaborators from using outdated content, you could share a project-specific library through a content management platform. This is particularly helpful for Owners and Clients, as this results in the Owner’s content being used in the project with the Architect of Record rather than the AOR’s standard.  

UNIFI simplifies the shared library process by allowing you to set a pinned library in Project Analytics.  This feature lets users search certain libraries connected with a project when that project is open in Revit. This ensures that the owner’s standard is used. 

Mistake #3: Not Ensuring Project Security 

Another major mistake that BIM managers could make when collaborating is not ensuring project security. For example, you could share content that you purchased, but someone could reuse that content without licensed permission. Without proper security on a project, private information could be released without permission. This leads to a lack of trust and confidence in your firm. 

Solution 

To ensure project security, you could utilize a tool such as BIM 360, which offers granular permissions when it comes to viewing, downloading, and editing content and project files. 

Mistake #4: Not Customizing the Level of Access Outsiders Can Have 

In sharing secure content, it’s helpful to be able to customize user access to your materials, or you could end up with undesirable content changes. For example, if you are an owner sharing content with multiple Architects of Record (AOR’s) and they can make changes to the content that other AOR’s are accessing, then suddenly you may have multiple projects with updates. This can cause some serious problems.  

Here’s another example: if you are working collaboratively on a project and all users are iterating the same content, then the project could end up with different versions of the same piece of content if collaborators don’t have permission to make updates. 

Solution 

When customizing access to content, you’ll want to consider whether you want collaborators to have admin capabilities (approve/reject uploaded content, submit content requests, etc.) or if you simply want them to be able to access content from a protected library that requires Company Admin approval for any updated content. Using a cloud-based BIM management platform that allows you to customize user access is vital to protecting your content.

Mistake #5: Making It Difficult for Collaborators to Find Content


You never want your collaborators to feel like you dropped them in the middle of a maze with no map to guide them out. And that is exactly how they’d feel if your content is not structured intuitively and is not searchable.
Instead, you want the content to be easy for users to find. This reduces miscommunication, saves time, and increases the overall quality of your project since team members can find exactly what they are looking for.

Solution

If you are using a content management platform, such as UNIFI, you could create saved searches, tag content specific to a project, or even create a library or private channel that includes only content that collaborators would need.

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Mistake #6: Not Having an Easy Way to View Revision History

Whenever you are collaborating with others on a project, you want to make sure that you have a simple method for viewing project history. This comes in handy in circumstances when you might have to troubleshoot. For example, if a project is running slow, you need to be able to identify who may have made a significant revision that spiked the file size. This can be difficult to do if you have a large team of collaborators.

Solution

UNIFI’s Project Analytics can help you find this information quickly by allowing you to view file size and specific changes that have been made. As an Admin, you’d be able to quickly identify who did which revisions and make any necessary adjustments.

UNIFI’s Content Request system is another way to provide a clear revision history. Revision notes are automatically generated when content is updated with this system in UNIFI. It’s also a fantastic way to encourage feedback on content that may not be built appropriately.

Mistake #7: Allowing Duplicate Content to Be Added to Your Content Management Platform


If users can add duplicate content to your content management platform, it can cause chaos. Soon multiple pieces of the same content are floating around, and no one knows which one to use.

Solution


To avoid BIM content chaos during collaboration, it is vital that users be unable to upload duplicate versions of content. We recommend that you use a BIM Content Management platform that automatically updates previous content to the newly updated piece of content but that also allows you to access previous versions, as well as future-proof content and legacy content.

 

Conclusion

Don’t worry, we still believe in working together. But it’s vital that BIM managers avoid these common mistakes so that a project runs smoothly. UNIFI’s secure platform simplifies this management process, allowing managers to customize permissions, manage revisions, and more.

Ready for your collaborative projects to run more smoothly?  Click here to get started and book your live demo today.     

The 7 Biggest Time Wasters Every BIM Manager Should Avoid 

Are you trying to work more efficiently as a BIM manager? Perhaps you’ve found yourself frustrated with lagging Revit models or maddening project delays. 

We’ve put together the biggest time wasters that every BIM manager should avoid, and we provide you with helpful tips to avoid them.   

Time Waster #1: Revit-Slowing Content 

One of the biggest time wasters a BIM Manager faces is when Revit is running slow. All that time waiting for content and projects to load adds up. To fix this, make sure that you keep an eye on the following: 

– Team members using different versions of Revit 

– Overuse of in-place families 

– CAD imports 

– Improper import of images 

– Plan regions not created as dependent views 

– Minor Revit version corruption 

You can read more about why these cause issues and how to fix them in our article, What Happened and Who-dun-it. 

Time Waster #2: Content That Is Difficult to Find 

When team members can’t find content easily, then they can waste significant time searching for it. Ensure that you implement a BIM content management system that allows you to filter your search criteria, save searches, and tag content.  

Time Waster #3: Inefficient Content Request Workflow 

An inefficient system for handling content requests is another time suck for BIM managers. You want to make sure that team members can easily submit their requested content and indicate which project they need it for, the due date, priority, the library it needs to be added to, file type, name, and any additional instructions they may want to add.  

UNIFI streamlines this process through its content notification feature. Users can drag and drop design documents and receive notifications on the status of their requests.

Time Waster #4: Not Limiting User Access 

If you lack a system for managing who has access to what content, you could waste significant time for your firm. Users without proper authority could add content to incorrect locations. You and your team members may have to wade through content and content requests that aren’t relevant to you.  Or perhaps your team may not be able to include the BIM guru or team specialist to help create or manage a subset for content associated with special workflows. 

To prevent these setbacks, you’ll want to utilize a content management platform that allows you to manage users both individually and by groups. You’ll want to be able to assign both company admins (who can manage all libraries in a company) and library admins (who can only manage a specific library).  

Time Waster #5: Not Keeping Close Tabs on the Health of Projects 

Several problems could come up that impact a project. If you let these issues go, they could eventually become big problems. The key is to nip them in the bud. If you tend to them early on, the fix can be relatively easy and save you a significant amount of time. 

UNIFI’s Project Analytics shows you the overall health of a project and notifies you when certain issues come up. You can customize these according to what is important to you and your firm. These health indicators notify you of items that need attention before they become major problems. 

Time Waster #6: Answering the Same Question Over and Over Again

If you find yourself answering the same question repeatedly, this probably means that you don’t have easy-to-access onboarding videos and documents to get people started. It could also mean that there are workflows and technical issues that may need more exploration.

Having an easy-to-access BIM guide and technical workflow materials allows you to answer questions with consistency and increase the efficiency of your entire team.

Time Waster #7: Long Sync Times

Long sync times quickly zap the efficiency (and patience) of a firm.  However, with the right tool, it’s a relatively simple fix. Quite often it means that a particular user needs a better internet connection or computer.

UNIFI’s Project Analytics can help you pinpoint the specific user causing the spike in sync time so that you can contact them and notify them of the needed fix.

Once you identify and fix these lagging sync times, your company should see a considerable improvement in efficiency.

Conclusion

Your time is precious. Once you trim out these time wasters, you should experience a great sense of efficiency in your BIM management plan. Are there other time wasters you have found? Please comment below and let us know.

The Game-Changing Method for Future-Proofing Legacy Families 

We’ve talked before about the importance of avoiding chaos with your Revit content. One way that content could quickly turn to chaos is when different versions of Revit are being used for a particular family.

If someone is using a Revit family from an older version of Revit, it can wreak havoc on a project since users would have to maintain multiple versions of a piece of content or multiple libraries for content.

That’s why UNIFI’s automatic future-proofing of content is a game-changer for users.

How UNIFI Future-Proofs Content

UNIFI automatically future-proofs legacy families by pulling the version of content from the cloud that corresponds with the version of Revit that they are using. Let’s take a closer look at how it works:

In the base file chart section shown below, you’ll see that this family was built originally in 2015. As newer versions of Revit were released, UNIFI upgraded it automatically in the cloud.


Let’s say, for instance, that your team is using Revit 2017 for a project. In that case, UNIFI will pull that version from the cloud so that your team doesn’t have to manually upgrade the family. When this happens, UNIFI will then upgrade the 2019 base file for the latest Revit versions. What UNIFI did here was future-proof this family because now there is a second base file that will be used for future versions of Revit. That means that if any team member is using a more recent version of Revit, UNIFI will use the base file of that version, but UNIFI will still maintain these legacy versions for projects which are using earlier versions of Revit.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that this future-proofing of content is done automatically in UNIFI and you don’t have to lift a finger. This is one of the many ways that UNIFI makes it easy for you to streamline your BIM content management process to save your team time and money.

Interested in learning more?  Click here to get started and book your live demo today.      

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If Ted Lasso Were a BIM Manager (Top-Notch Content Management Strategies)

If Ted Lasso Were a BIM Manager

The tea-hating, rom-communism-loving, motivational coach, Ted Lasso, won over many of us. And we’d like to think that he’d make an amazing BIM Manager. In this article, we’ll share what we think Ted Lasso would do if he were a BIM manager. Our goal is to go all out like Willie Nelson on this one….on a high. 

He’d Make It Easy for Team Members to Work Together 

“I think that you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there, you’re just 1 of 11. And if you just figure out some way to turn that ‘me’ into ‘us’…the sky’s the limit for you.” 

Ted Lasso gets it: BIM management is a team effort. It’s important for team members to have a clear plan that shows who is responsible for which parts of a project. You don’t want team members siloed away from one another because that leads to miscommunication and frustration.  

Ted Lasso as a BIM Manager

He’d Have Clear Content Standards

“For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.” 

Ted Lasso would make sure content is performing at its absolute best no matter what project it’s used for. To do this, he’d implement clear content standards that take into account factors such as file size, nested families, parameters, content update processes, snap locations, and more. 

Ted Lasso as a BIM Manager Oh Snap

He’d also ensure that the team has a clear plan for reviewing and approving content. 

Ted Lasso as a BIM Manager Plan

He’d Use Sandbox Libraries to Test Content

“Your body is like day-old rice. If it ain’t warmed up properly, something real bad could happen.”  

Ted Lasso knows that sometimes things need to be warmed up a bit first. Same goes for BIM content. Having a Sandbox Library allows BIM managers to “warm up” (or, in this case test out) content before making it accessible to all team members.  This helps BIM managers sift through any possible issues that could come up with the content before it’s game-time. 

UNIFI makes it easy for BIM managers to create sandbox libraries by allowing them to limit user access to the content as it’s being tested. 

Ted Lasso as a BIM Manager Smells Like Potential

He’d Use Saved Searches 

You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a 10-second memory.” 

Saved Searches make it easy for a BIM manager to have a 10-second memory and be one happy goldfish. Rather than having to recall exactly which search criteria or file path is needed to get to a piece of content, a BIM manager can create a Saved Search. This saved search includes all of the filters and search criteria needed to find frequently used content. This also makes it easier for team members to find content. 

Ted Lasso as a BIM Manager Ooh I like this

He’d Know If a Project Is Having Issues before It Becomes a Crisis 

“There’s two buttons I never like to hit, alright? And that’s ‘panic’ and ‘snooze.’” 

Ted Lasso would not have to press a panic button when managing a project. Instead, he’d use a tool such as UNIFI’s Project Analytics to know when there’s a problem before it gets too crazy. He’d be able to see at a glance the health score on a project as well as which specific items need his attention. 

UNIFI Health Indicators for a BIM Manager

He’d Avoid Adding Content that Slows Down Revit 

“Well, as my doctor told me when I got addicted to fettuccine Alfredo, that’s a little rich for my blood.” 

Coach Lasso would limit items that are “too rich” for Revit and slow it down, such as in-place families, images, or CAD imports. He’d have a system for identifying these in a project and removing them. 

Ted Lasso Truth Bomb

He’d Make Revisioning Seamless 

“What I can tell you is that with the exception of the wit and wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes, not much lasts forever.” 

Ted Lasso understands that certain versions of families won’t last forever. Instead, he’d implement a seamless revision process for his team. 

A revision history should give information on who made changes and when. It also helps to use a BIM management platform that stores multiple revisions and allows team members to roll back to a previous revision.  

UNIFI Revision History

He’d Believe Organized BIM Content Management Is Possible 

“You say impossible, but all I hear is ‘I’m possible.’” 

Getting your BIM content organized seamlessly might seem impossible—but trust us, or trust Ted, it is absolutely possible. Tools such as UNIFI help streamline all of these processes, turning you into a winning coach BIM manager. 

Ted Lasso Believe

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