When I graduated with my Civil Engineering degree, I always wanted to make an impact on the construction world. Little did I know my career journey would take me from buildings and blueprints to a world of technology and innovation called Building Information Modelling (BIM).
In this blog post, I’ll share how I transitioned from a graduate Civil Engineer to BIM Manager and the challenges 😅 and successes 🥳 along the way.
1) Finding a Position as a BIM Manager
As soon as I finished my Civil Engineering degree, I knew I wanted to work in construction. I had always been fascinated by designing and building structures, and I was eager to put my knowledge to the test in the real world.
So, when I saw an opening for a BIM Manager at a local construction firm, I knew I had to apply.
Despite my lack of experience in the field, I was confident that my education and passion for the industry would make me a strong candidate.
After a few rounds of interviews (3 interviews and one phone call!), I was offered the job and couldn’t wait to get started.
2) My New Career
On my first day, I was introduced to the rest of the team and shown around the office. I was immediately struck by the advanced BIM technology and tools that the company used, and I knew that this was going to be an excellent opportunity for me to learn and grow as an engineer.
Over the next few months, I worked closely with the project manager and the rest of the team to develop and implement BIM models for various construction projects.
It was a steep learning curve, but I was up for the challenge 💪
As I gained more experience and familiarity with the software and processes being used, I began to take on more responsibilities and lead my own projects.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to apply my education and skills in a real-world setting, and I was grateful for the support and guidance of my amazing colleagues.
3) My Experiences As a BIM Manager
I began leading meetings with the project team, coordinating with subcontractors, and presenting updates to clients.
One of my proudest moments came when I was asked to lead the BIM coordination for a large commercial building project.
It was a complex project with a tight timeline, and I knew it would be challenging. But I was up for it, and I worked closely with the project manager (who was a complete hardass) to develop a detailed BIM plan to ensure that the project stayed on track.
Through hard work and careful planning, we were able to complete the project on time and well within budget (thanks to David’s strict management style! 💪).
It was a massive accomplishment for the whole team and a testament to the skills and knowledge I had gained in my short time as a BIM Manager.
As I continued to grow and learn in my role over the last five years, I also took the opportunity to mentor some of the younger engineers on the team. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge and helping them develop their skills; it was gratifying to see them succeed.
Looking back on my time as a BIM Manager, I can’t believe how far I’ve come since those early days. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work in such a challenging and rewarding field, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.
4) Finding Plannerly
As a BIM Manager, I was always on the lookout for ways to streamline my processes and make my job easier.
That’s why I was intrigued when I heard about Plannerly, a new BIM management platform.
I had heard from some of my colleagues that Plannerly was a game-changer in managing BIM projects.
It promised to simplify BIM planning, improve communication, and reduce errors, all of which were challenges I had been struggling with.
Despite my skepticism, I decided to give Plannerly a try on a small project to see if it lived up to the hype.
When I started using it, I knew this was something special.
The Plannerly platform was instantly intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy for me to keep track of all the different systems and elements of my project. I could see exactly what each team member was working on and communicate with them in real-time through the platform.
But the real “game-changer” (I hate that word 😆) for me was the ability to visualize the project requirements against the 3D model. With Plannerly, I could automatically see exactly if my BIM information requirements had been met by the teams delivering BIM models to our company.
With Plannerly, I could automatically see exactly if my BIM information requirements had been met by the teams delivering BIM models to our company.Nick 😃
As I continued to use Plannerly on my projects, I found that it solved many of the challenges I had faced as a BIM Manager. It made it easier for me to coordinate with the team, reduce errors, and meet deadlines, and it was a valuable tool that I would continue to use throughout my career.
Throughout my experience as a BIM Manager, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and skills, from learning how to use advanced BIM software and tools to coordinating big BIM models with teams and managing projects; I have developed a strong foundation that will serve me well in my future career.
Looking back, I am proud of the progress I have made and the projects I have been a part of, and I am super grateful for the opportunity to work in such a challenging and rewarding field with people like David.
Also, my experience with Plannerly has been nothing short of transformative. It is an invaluable tool that I would recommend to any BIM manager looking to streamline their processes and make their job easier.
While I can’t speak for everyone, I believe that all BIM managers should at least try the free version of Plannerly to see how it can benefit their work. It’s user-friendly, powerful, and could solve many of the challenges you face as a BIM manager. Give it a try and see for yourself how it can help you succeed in your role.
As I move forward in my career, I am considering a few different options. One possibility is to continue working as a BIM Manager and take on larger, more complex projects. Another option is to explore other areas of the construction industry, such as project management or design.
Regardless of which path I choose, I am confident that my experiences as a BIM Manager have prepared me for whatever challenges lie ahead. I am excited to continue learning and growing in my career and am eager to see what the future holds!
Did you know that Plannerly (The BIM Management Platform) is FREE TO JOIN?
Did you sign up yet?:
Three Bonus BIM Resources 😃
1. Other Interesting BIM Reads ⤵
- BIM PROJECT CASE STUDY EXPLAINED (15 VIDEOS) – SAVING AN AMAZING €4M
- 10 REASONS WHY BEING A BIM MANAGER IS THE BEST JOB EVER!
- MY TOP 10 BEST BIM SOFTWARE PROGRAMS
2. The Complete BIM Management Workflow [VIDEO] 😍
Here’s a video that I think you’ll find valuable 👍 – it covers the complete BIM management workflow:
3. Answers to some related BIM questions that I often get asked 😃
I’ve also tried to summarize below some answers to the most common questions that I get asked about this subject – I hope you can use them too:
How do I ensure successful BIM management?
The most important part of my BIM management success is ensuring my team has a successful BIM Execution Plan (BEP). BEPs can be overwhelming and time-consuming to create, but doing so is essential for project success. Leveraging technology like Plannerly can help streamline the BEP process and provide transparency in BIM management activities. An effective BEP highlights key milestones that enable teams not only to plan better but also to develop detailed strategies to maximize efficiency throughout the entire project lifecycle.
What qualifications do I need to become a BIM Manager?
Becoming a BIM Manager requires a robust skill set that combines project management expertise with technical mastery of BIM software. To become a BIM Manager, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in architecture or engineering. A degree in a related field, such as civil engineering, architecture, or construction management, can be helpful. To be a BIM Manager, you need to have experience working on BIM projects. You should also be able to work with different types of teams and have a good understanding of construction technologies. To do well in this job, you need to keep learning about new trends and tools in the industry, such as Plannerly. To be a top-notch BIM Manager, you must understand budgets, deadlines, and current BEP methodologies. Certification or specialized training can also help you stand out from other applicants.
What are some common BIM management mistakes?
Without careful attention, BIM projects can end up way over budget due to lousy software purchases, lack of evidence-based decision-making, or unnecessary duplication of work. It is also essential to prioritize team collaboration and communication throughout a project, as I have seen first-hand where underperforming teams have led to a string of costly missteps. With experience and sufficient planning, these common BIM management mistakes can be largely avoided.
How can I avoid scope creep in BIM projects?
BIM projects can rapidly go off course if scope creep isn’t managed. Level of Information Need (LOIN) is a highly effective framework that allows BIM teams to define clear requirements, maintain focus, and keep projects on track. Utilizing LOIN to identify the ideal level of geometry detail, reliability, information, documentation, etc., throughout the project helps set expectations and ensure stakeholders agree on what the project outcome should look like. Aiding rapid decision-making, Level of Information Need enables efficient problem solving, reducing wasted effort when circumstances unexpectedly change. With its simple yet powerful framework, Level of Information Need is invaluable in avoiding costly mistakes from scope creep within BIM projects.
What are some best practices for BIM change management?
Change management is critical to successful Building Information Modeling (BIM) projects. Level of Information Need (LOIN) can effectively guide in responding to change and developing a BIM protocol. LOIN is the concept that stakeholders need various levels of data to accommodate different requirements based on their purpose or role in the project lifecycle. Plannerly, an application developed to aid professionals in implementing LOIN, enables users to quickly evaluate changes made throughout the life cycle. Using Plannerly and its Level of Information Need framework, teams can optimize communication, become more productive, minimize rework and reduce project costs.
I blog for the Five BIM Bloggers series.
Every week we share different perspectives on important BIM topics!