Good habits and good processes serve us well, both in our personal and professional lives. A personal good habit I endorse is 30 – 60 minutes of exercise every day. This became habit for me when I played organized football. I learned that weight training and long distance running to support my participation in sports elevated my heart rate and generated endorphins which made me feel good for the remainder of the day. Also during long cardio sessions my mind would wander and work on problems that I hadn’t solved yet and frequently I’d have a creative idea or a “eureka moment” where I’d realize something important.
Now with hundreds of emails per day and a torrent of information competing for my attention each work day I start my day here. In addition to the equipment you see below I have a 60 inch 4K TV with Apple TV connected to keep me informed.
Another good habit is learning something new each day or learning more about something that can impact your personal or professional live. So each day I start off with a TED Talk or a presentation from the internet where I can learn something. Last Tuesday while working out I watched a Ted talk by Dan Bricklin, the inventor of the electronic spreadsheet called, “Meet the Inventor of the Electronic Spreadsheet.” While watching that I couldn’t help imagine that 40 years ago when he invented the spreadsheet there were many professionals saying that they’d never switch to a computer and instead would prefer their hand written ledgers. Ludicrous, right? In looking at the old accounting sheets that were in the Ted Talk I realized that they reminded me of “take off sheets” I have seen described by construction estimators to organize estimates. Now, does anyone today say that the spreadsheet is a bad idea, or that they don’t trust it? Of course not, it is one of the most powerful computer applications used today for any purpose!
So let’s learn from the past and agree that when Estimating departments say they cannot use 3D BIM models because they don’t trust the data are similar to the accountants who said they’d never accept spreadsheets. While there are some issues with 3D models today that are done for design purposes there is no doubt that in 10 years we will all be using 3D/BIM for almost everything. My point is let’s not repeat the mistakes of not believing that technology is going to make major impacts on the business of construction.
Let’s all agree that when available 3D BIM gives us better visualization of our projects, that the data can be verified, conditioned, and made available for estimating. Instead of fearing the change let’s embrace it as many leading construction companies have, let’s figure out the best process to make it valuable, and let’s all support the efficient data flow that models provide a foundation for.
Don Henrich is an accomplished technology veteran in both the MCAD and the AEC industries. As President and CEO of Assemble he brings an distinguished track record of innovation, winning strategies, team building, and the ability to quickly grow revenue and market share. Don and his wife Noel have three children, reside in Marblehead, MA and spend as much time as possible sailing on Massachusetts Bay.
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