I’m was going to start off this years first weekly Roundup with 3 post all linked together about something I fight for every time I going into a Clients office for a BIM implementation meeting……..You will need a BIM Manager. However as I started working on it, I though this topic (and the 3 blog posts) really should have their own post, so that’s what I did.
The post that began it all was an article from Linked in by Mark Gibbons called “Yes, your firm needs a BIM Manager” that as you can guess is about why firms need a BIM Manger on staff. Or at least someone capable of doing what a BIM Manager would, even if its only part time. My favourite part of the article, which I 110% agree with is this: “Whether your firm has a full-time BIM Manager or someone within the firm capable of the role’s duties, ensuring the tasks are completed keep productivity up and frustrations low(er)”. followed closely by this gem: “To be effective and productive, one must know both HOW to draw and WHAT to draw.”
The first reply came from a blog that I post about here weekly, What Revit Wants called “Does your firm need an in-house BIM Manager? The answer may surprise you…” Luke basically brings up the 2 points, the first being that now a days the term “BIM Manager” is too generic and watered down, and perhaps shouldn’t even be a 1 person job anymore. The second point is that perhaps in some cases an inside (in-house) BIM Manger is not the answer, that an outside company could do a more effective job. My favourite part of this post, which I also completely agree with is: “I would like to put forward the argument that the position description “BIM Manager” is becoming too generic, too non-descript to actually be useful in evaluating or determining what a BIM person actually does.” While generally I’m in the camp for an in-house BIM Manager, and actually I prefer an in-house BIM Team (but that’s another post for another time) I do see the merit in Luke’s post. Realistically sometimes firms just can’t afford the cost of the overhead of a BIM Manager. There is also the cases in which a firm may want “professional” help on a temporary basis until they are in a better position to take on some or all of the role of BIM Manger in-house.
The next reply came from another blog I often post about The Revit Jedi called “Being a BIM Manager” In this blog post Scott talks about his experience as a BIM Manager and how it has changed and grown into more over the years. Scott also points out that being a BIM Manager is different than being a CAD Manager, which I also believe and reminded me of another great article (BIM is not CAD) from AEC Magazine along the same grounds. My Favourite part of this post is Scott’s conclusion where he is talking about how the constant evolution of what a BIM Manager is/does: “This evolution never occurred as a CAD Manager, I believe that the “BIM Manager” role is evolving still and will be a staple component to all projects.”
I personally enjoyed reading all 3 articles, and found them all to have great points that added to the others. What I really think comes out of all of this is that the role of a “BIM Manager” (which can be described by many different names, Manager, Specialist, Director, Technologist, etc) is an ever developing and changing one. While different people and firms will always have different views on how this role should be filled (and by who) the majority would still believe (as I do) that some version of the role will be required now and in the future to be successful in a BIM world.
For the purpose of full disclosure I do currently work for a company (IMAGINiT) that does offer both BIM Implementation services, as well as BIM Manager For Hire. During our BIM Implementation Services we offer the client the option to learn to fish (Hire or promote from with-in an in-house BIM Manager) or we can fish for them (perform the roll of BIM Manger as a service, either temperately or on a more regular basis). I have also in the past worked as a BIM Support Specialist at a large Architectural firm, a BIM Coordinator for a large General Contractor, and as a Revit Instructor at Community College.