Two Perspectives & One Report on Return on Innovation Investment

A few years ago, I co-chaired a building industry conference on ROI2 (Return on Innovation Investment). We really wanted a conference with answers: what is the ROI of innovation - specifically Building Information Modeling (BIM)? How do you calculate it? But, like any good conference, I left with more questions than answers. (Which, as an aside, is one of the reasons I adored the recent World Domination Summit.)

At this point, I somehow manage to concurrently hold two dueling perspectives on calculating ROI2:

Should This Project Be a "BIM Project"?

Last week, in a conversation with a newer BIM Manager, we ended up discussing a question that seems to always come up during a firm's first few years of BIM adoption. In his case, the question was worded:
How can I convince my leadership team that a project is a good fit for BIM?
It is really a variation on a question Harvard University asked the Tocci team to address - should this project be a "BIM project"? How do we decide which projects are good candidates for BIM? My team and I came up with the BIM Decision Matrix - an algorithm that calculates which projects are candidates for BIM to add value.

You don't need an algorithm to think about whether or not you should implement BIM on a project. I would recommend considering the following project characteristics, based on the best available information.

Training on the Most Important Aspect of Communicating Complex Content

Think about the work you've done for the past few days. Did you do any of it without communicating with anyone else? Probably not.

This makes communication (and training on communication) important. While this is true for most, it is even more important for individuals with highly technical backgrounds with complex content and awkward stereotypes. (Have you heard the one about the extroverted engineer? When she talks to you, she looks at your shoes instead of her own.)

A Little Inspiration from The Lego Movie's Ordinary Protagonist

I have a confession. I'm Emmet Brickowski.
Last week, Darren Rowse concluded a one-day ProBlogger course with that disclosure and reference to The Lego Movie's protagonist. Why does Darren identify with the Lego everyman? Because of this speech to the council of the remaining Master Builders
I may not have a lot of experience fighting or leading or coming up with plans. Or having ideas in general. In fact, I'm not all that smart. I'm not, what you would call, a creative type. Plus, generally unskilled. Also, scared and cowardly. I know what you are thinking: he is the least qualified person to lead us. And you are right.

The Construction Industry is 54% Reliable. Last Week, I was 81% Reliable. How About You?

Some weeks, I'm more reliable than others...
Last year's BIMForum study on team performance highlighted shared accountability as a tenet of high performing teams using BIM - with especially strong correlation between accountability and schedule or cost performance.

4 Strategies for Lessons Learned That Won't Monopolize Your Time

Picture from a solo delta/plus session. A little lonely, but effective!
It's so interesting that when we focus on a specific topic, we start to see it and hear it everywhere. A few months ago, Tocci's virtual design & construction (VDC) department decided we needed a more systematic way tof collect, share, and implement 'lessons learned'. And since then, I have noticed a variety of ideas, strategies, and tools. 

It is important to gather lessons learned on all types of projects, initiatives, and programs. It is especially important when using new processes - so perhaps, use of disruptive technology and processes! At the same time, it is really hard to do consistently, since we are all so busy doing the work of the project.

Given that, I thought I would share some of the strategies I've used or recently heard:

Are You Being Pigeon-Holed? Learn (and then Do) Something New

Photo Credit: nic_r via Compfight cc
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with David Barista, BD+C Editor-in-Chief, at the BIMForum conference reception. He relayed an anecdote from a junior architect at a small firm. This junior architect was frustrated that his technical skills had him "stuck" as the BIM person in the office. Interestingly enough, I heard similar thoughts during the BIMForum conference and afterwards: