A short interview has just been uploaded to my BIM book’s Amazon page and I’m reproducing it here for your convenience.
Responding to questions such as “Can you summarize your 270 page book in a sentence?” is a nerve-wracking but effective way to focus the mind – and to see if you can get at the heart of your massive undertaking in short order.
While short, I feel like this brief repartee captures the essence of what I was trying to achieve when first setting out to write BIM and Integrated Design.
Q: How would you summarize your book in a single sentence?
A: The focus throughout this book is on people and the strategies they use to manage and cope with the transition to the new digital technology and the collaborative work process it enables as they initially adopt and then take the technology and process to a higher plane.
Q: Why do we need a book like this now?
A: There’s a crisis not only in the economy but in the profession. Buildings are becoming more and more complex and the way we communicate knowledge to one another is changing. At the same time the construction world is going through enormous changes, so is our environment.
We’ll only be able to tackle today’s complex problems through collaboration, and that takes work and a prepared mindset. You have to be disciplined, can’t just show up and wing it. Your teams’ efforts have to be coordinated and integrated. I noticed that there is a gap in learning along these lines in the profession and industry and this book seeks to fill it.
Q: There are a number of books that cover the subject of BIM. How is this one different?
A: Most books on BIM cover the technology or business case while this one focuses on the process that enables the highest and best use of the technology. BIM and Integrated Design focuses on the people side of the change equation, addressing BIM as a social and firm culture process and does so in four distinctive ways:
- it addresses people problems, human issues, issues of communication and collaboration, firm-culture issues, issues of motivation and workflow related to working in BIM;
- it explores the most commonly encountered obstacles to successful collaboration, as well as the challenges this technology and process create for individuals and organizations in their labor toward a comprehensive, successful BIM adoption and implementation;
- it describes the social impacts and implications of working in BIM on individuals and firms, and how to overcome real and perceived barriers to its use; and
- it discusses challenges to BIM collaboration including interoperability, workflow, firm culture, education, technological challenges, working in teams, communication, trust, BIM etiquette, one model versus multiple models, cost, and issues concerning responsibility, insurance, and liability.
Q: What else led you to write this book?
A: There were two lingering questions that I had not been able to answer for myself and that I noticed many architectural firms were also asking: How can BIM advance the profession of architecture? And, how can collaboration assure the survival of the architect? As a result of my research for the book, I was able to uncover some surprising takeaways.
Q: What are a couple of these takeaways that readers would be surprised to find in your book?
A: I think many will be surprised to discover how the introduction of BIM into the workforce has significant HR implications – including education, recruitment, and training – and will welcome the book’s comprehensive review of the most effective ways to learn BIM, no matter where they fall on the learning continuum.
Additionally, readers get to hear arguments in favor of and against the return of the architect in the master builder role, as well as arguments for the virtual master builder and composite master builder or master builder team. Most of those interviewed for the book had a strong opinion on this subject and the result makes for some good reading.
Did you find this Q&A helpful? While I realize only by reading the book will I come to learn whether I achieved what I had set out to accomplish, let me know whether this post gives you a better understanding of what the book is about. Thanks!