Monday, November 8, 2010

What comes first...the services or the software?

Just like the old saying, "what comes first, the chicken or the egg?" the same can be said about services and software. When it comes to the AEC community, the software is the tool that will assist in attaining the end goal; the people and workflow is what is going to make the end goal result in the most efficient manner. But there are so many companies that purchase Revit, or even the vertical AutoCAD platforms, for that matter, and then expect their users to pick it up like they did AutoCAD...but it really doesn't work that way...

Even if a company is embedded in the AutoCAD workflow, working in Revit is completely different. Even if you are not ready to embark into full out training, you should always work with your reseller to put together a plan of attack. Implementing Revit is a process, and requires planning. The question comes to whether you plan first, then buy the software, or buy the software then create a plan. Many buy the software first, then decide what do to...but is that the best plan? In my opinion, no.

Revit itself may not necessarily be the only software you need. If you are an engineer, 3DS Max may be a good add for lighting calculations. If you are an architect, Ecotect may be a good add for lighting simulation. If you are a contractor, NavisWorks may be the way to go. You won't know until you speak to your reseller and decide what your end goal is. Then put together a plan of how you are going to get there...this plan typically will have multiple parts, from start, to first project, to analysis and beyond...however...

...without training, here is my 2 cents, from my experience:

1) Practice, practice, practice...whether it be tutorials or working on a project you have already done in AutoCAD, then recreating it in Revit...or watching uTube videos...anything to learn will benefit you in the end.

2) Use your reseller for their experience. They have done this many times. Specific topics can be taught in a few hours, if not less. Make sure you are equipped with the knowledge to begin a project (creating a Central File, working with Worksets). Will you be working with multiple consultants? Make sure you are setting up your Coordinate System and your consultants know how to mirror them. There is so many ways your reseller can help you; utilize their abilities.

3) Will your Construction Documents be ready to go out when you need them to? Is the Font correct? Line Weights? Fill (Hatch) Patterns? You don't want to spend the time you normally go through coordinating your Construction Documents (which you no longer have to do), perfecting your deliverable.

4) What is the first phase of your new workflow? Are you simply looking to use Revit for the single file benefits and getting your Construction Documents out the door? That's okay...but make sure you are taking the steps to do that efficiently. A plan is the best way. Whether with your reseller, or within your firm, begin to plan your future as a BIM company.

This is just the beginning...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn, rather interesting article. How can I get that RSS?

Whitny Flouee
bug sweeper

R. Chisholm said...

Transitioning from AutoCAD to Revit has been interesting at my company. We are a manufacturer that has embraced the BIM movement. Why do you believe other manufacturers are lagging?

http://blog.spacesaver.com/blog-0/bid/45068/BIM-Boosts-the-Bottom-Line-with-Bankable-Benefits

Adrianna Slusarenko said...

Whitney: I will figure out how to provide that...

R. Chislholm: I think the biggests issue is that many manufacturers already have a lot of in-house processes between Sales and Production that will have to change, and they are reluctant to changing it. Incorporating Revit has to be planned and I have found those that have started using it successfully are using it as an additional service, not necessarily replacing AutoCAD with it. However, many Manufaccturing Sales people that work with Building Product Manufacturers are no equipt with the knowledge to assist them.