In my past role as a BIM manager, putting a team together is something I took very seriously. BIM is so new that there aren’t a lot of “set in stone” guidelines for recruiting, but there are qualities we looked for in people who can best leverage the tool set to provide information to project teams.
- Great Communicators. A recent customer made the observation that as BIM tools are rolled out across a company, the BIM team plays a role in every single department. For that reason, communication is a huge factor in creating an effective BIM team. You have to effectively communicate the data inside the system you’re in. When I interviewed BIM professionals, seeing that they can talk about something intelligently when they are not involved in it on a daily basis was a huge plus.
- Speaking the Languages. BIM tools are relatively new, so when a project executive asks you for something, they know they need something specific, but you have to be able to translate that request into the data you need. It’s not quite speaking two different languages, but being a good interpreter is essential. Team members who can read between the lines and translate those needs into data and back again are necessities.
- Believing in BIM. Guys like me are completely sold on the concept of what these tools provide. The process and technology are driving change in the industry and being leveraged from the beginning to the end of any project. But they aren’t being used as comprehensively as they could be, particularly with professionals who are 20 or 30 years into the business. There’s no reason for them to want to change because BIM has a learning curve, and it is easier to use comfortable process instead of trying something new. That’s why I sought after evangelists when it came to BIM – people who will preach the process to customers because it’s not only good for them, but also for the industry.
- The Sum of the Parts. BIM straddles aspects of design and construction. Sometimes you’re creating plans and designing the model, and other times you are just analyzing how to do it better with the tools that you have. You have to rely on the experience that each of your team members has. Diversity in experience opens up a lot of doors where you see contributions based on different ways of interpreting information. I came from a construction management program where I took classes in scheduling, estimating, and project management. There were a couple of people on my team that knew all about computer software and had a special emphasis on the applications for construction.
- Sharpen Your Tools. As I’ve said before, the tools and products we use are changing constantly, and it’s easy to get locked into a consistent process. What I really like seeing are people who are looking forward and thinking about what we can be doing differently. Ideally, managers are looking for people who have a deep understanding of all the tools so that when they have a new project with different requirements, they can instantly look it over, pick the right tools, and get to work.
The thing that spans all five of these traits is flexibility. Being able to interact with others, work effectively both in and out of the tool set, and continue to grow with the technology make for successful team members, impressive projects, and more satisfied customers.
This blog post is by Tim Kelly, Product Manager at Assemble Systems. If you enjoyed this post, please help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn.