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:

1. You can't manage what you can't measure. Management Adage 
2. Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Albert Einstein 
There are times when it is easier to calculate ROI2 - especially at the beginning of a transformation. However, as process innovation integrates further into our day-to-day, it is difficult to isolate those activities and deliverables. Lack of transparent data doesn't make it any easier. However, that doesn't eliminate the need for calculating ROI2.

Which is why I was excited to read through a recent report from Mortenson Construction on the ROI of their innovation investment: VDC-Driven Outcomes: The Importance of Virtual Design & Construction. While I wish they had shared more detail on how they calculated their results, I strongly recommend this document for anyone in the building industry looking at calculating ROI2. It will definitely give you an idea of the types of metrics to track and also which BIM Uses will have the best impact on schedule, productivity, and cost.

You can download their report here.

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