Friday, December 21, 2012

5 ways to mitigate risk in building and infrastructure projects

How can technology reduce and resolve disputes in design and construction projects? We provide the normal way and a few more:

Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill1. Cover your rear. It’s not a pretty attitude, but when it comes to risk mitigation, some people still work in this model. Our enterprise software logs transactions automatically and indexes your network for Google-like searches, with the added capability to sort and filter results. And our cloud software maintains a project record that no one can argue with.

2. Prevent conflicts from arising in the first place. As BergerABAM President and Chief Executive Officer Arnie Rusten put it, “Often we can resolve a dispute simply by showing an email that documents our instructions. Newforma Project Center makes it easy, even if that email was generated by someone who’s no longer with the firm.”

3. Make sure everyone is working from current documents. Our software offers a few ways to make sure people are working with up-to-date files. The Newforma Project Cloud collaboration platform is one. Newforma-to-Newforma connectivity is another. Newforma Info Exchange Shared Folders is a third.

4. Work transparently. When everyone knows what everyone else is accountable for, what information they have, and when they got that information, it’s hard to shirk duties or point fingers. The technologies cited above all support transparent workflows.

5. Make more-informed decisions. Our financial and resource planning software enables project managers and senior executives to head off prospective problems by forecasting needs months into the future, instead of just weeks. And our soon-to-be released ability to publish 3D models in the cloud, where they can be viewed and navigated by non-Revit-using team members, will facilitate more-informed decision making, too.


Buster Keaton and the falling door frame

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Which is the better project information host: The enterprise? Or the cloud?

If you were hoping for a definitive answer, please accept our apologies, because the answer is, “It depends.”

PIM in the Cloud white paper summary

The optimal location for your project information depends on your business needs and the information being managed.

For example, because architecture, engineering, construction, and owner organizations maintain so much information on their networks, we offer software to manage all that data.

At the same time, because extended project teams – teams that span multiple companies – gain efficiencies by filing and managing project information in one place, we offer software to host it in the cloud and access it via the web, where everybody has equal access.

Note in the example above, the answer is not “either/or.” It’s “and.” So we’re doing that, too – linking enterprise-hosted information to cloud-hosted information. (If you’re acquainted with Newforma-to-Newforma connectivity, you know how we do it.)

To see the future of project information management, get the whole story from Newforma Chief Executive Officer Ian Howell’s newly revised white paper, “PIM in the Cloud.”

Request your copy here.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

BIM’s place in the project information life cycle

Following last week’s post that BIM is a subset of PIM, United Kingdom Direct Sales Manager Russ Monrose provided this diagram:

Newforma software manages the whole project life cycle

Thanks, Russ!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

BIM is a subset of PIM

The industry’s emphasis on building information modeling might lead us to believe that the model could or should contain all information about a project.BIM is a subset of PIM

In truth, critical data is being created and exchanged for weeks, perhaps months before a model reaches its first draft.

All of the emails, meeting minutes, Office files, sketches, markups and other documentation leading up to the creation of the model are valuable project information that needs to be captured and searchable for later reference.

And that information continues to develop throughout the design and construction phases of the project.

Yes, the model reflects these discussions. But it cannot manage them. Emails, specifications, RFIs and other forms of project information will never be model elements.

When we at Newforma talk about “project information,” we mean all of the technical information that goes into a successful project.

That’s why we have been expanding the reach of our project information management solution to include BIM, financial and resource data, and other forms of information that executives and PMs must manage if they are to please their clients and run successful business.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rules versus tools

Newforma representative Russ Monrose recently passed along the lament of a UK mechanical/electrical engineer, voicing his frustration over new software:

“We recently deployed a document control solution that’s frustrating me. After five months it’s still bedding in! I admit I’m having trouble changing the way I work.”

Bobby hatRuss said that in some firms he talks to, document management software is the stick that principals hold over the heads of the staff: “Follow the firm’s procedures for filing, recording and cross-referencing information, or we shall implement document management software that forces you to do so!”

A similar sentiment arose in a recent article in the UK’s AEC Magazine.

“Document and project management is traditionally seen as a necessary evil. The software developers’ usual answer is a system that requires data to be stored in a software ‘vault’, which imposes strict policy and regulation to all uses.”

The article’s author, Martyn Day, says people normally do not welcome new tools that enforce strict rules.

“It is relatively common for document management software to be imposed on project partners.” (Emphasis added.)

Carpentry tool montage-portraitWe heard these complaints against document management when we were first talking to architecture, engineering and construction companies about their project information management challenges. That’s why we designed our software to provide tools, not rules.

The idea is that you can go about your normal business, filing drawings where you normally keep them, using email and other files as you usually do, but when it comes time to mark them up, share them, assign them to others and perform all the other tasks you do with project information, you can turn to Newforma software to streamline those actions and automatically log them for an audit trail.

It’s a fundamental difference in philosophy that informs the design of the software.

Read Martyn Day’s AEC Magazine article on Newforma software here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Newforma sponsors the ROG Growth & Ownership Strategies Conference

Newforma is excited to be a sponsor for the Rusk O'Brien Gido+Partners Growth & Ownership Strategies Conference, held in Naples, Florida on November 7 - 9, 2012. This annual conference gathers together leaders of successful engineering, environmental consulting and architecture firms throughout the country with the goal of showcasing the best practices and most effective strategies for achieving growth, improving profitability, and building real and sustainable value.

Those attending the conference will hear from industry leaders on a number of important topics including:

• Economic and industry trends and how they will impact your firm
• The executive's role in developing and executing a growth strategy
• Success secrets of the industry's fastest growing and most profitable firms
• How to motivate and inspire your next generation of leaders
• Tools and tactics for effective strategic business planning
• Learn how firms are changing their approach to ownership plans
• Advice from the experts for executing successful mergers and acquisitions…and much, much more.

For more information on the event, please visit the ROG Growth & Ownership Strategies Conference website.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Misnomer Department: “File in Newforma”

It’s common to employ a phrase that misstates the way our software works. We at Newforma are as guilty as anyone.

File folders in colorsWhen you use Newforma software to file email  with other documents on your servers, you probably say, “I filed it in Newforma.”

The problem with “filing in Newforma” is that that phrasing suggests Newforma software is a database repository. Not so.

Newforma software does not change the way you store your documents. You file (or misfile) documents on your network, as always.

As for email, it may appear that you’re filing “in Newforma,” but in truth, you’re simply handing the email to Newforma to be filed on your network. It would be more accurate to say you are “filing it through Newforma,” “using Newforma” or “via Newforma.”

Regardless, the Newforma server indexes the contents of your network, just as Google indexes the World Wide Web, so that everything is easy to find.

So now you know the distinction. If you like, file it away for future reference.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Punch List Pictures – Old and New

Punch list detail - old wayA customer submitted this demonstration of the way they would point out problems in punch list items before they started using our Punch List tablet app.

Contrast that labor-intensive approach to the way we do it with the app, using built-in markup tools.

Newforma_Punch_List-iPad-fire_extinguisherGranted, the Newforma method is not as sociable. The person doing the walk-through can do it alone, without a companion. But aside from that minor drawback (and I’m kidding, of course), I suspect most people would rather use the markup tools.

Newforma Punch List tablet app - marked-up photo

The app’s integration with our enterprise software saves time managing the captured items, too. As Array HFS’s Jolene Worobetz tweeted, she was able to punch a job yesterday and issue the list to the contractor this morning!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Project Information Management Systems at Cross-Purposes

Newforma is reconciling two approaches to PIM. Consider:

Suboptimized PIM diagramThe purple, horizontal bar shows project information managed across the enterprise. This is a preferred method for design firms. Among other benefits, it permits you to tailor your processes to your organization.

By contrast, the green, vertical bar shows how project information managed across the project provides one PIM platform for the entire project team. This is a preferred method for construction companies. Its costs can be borne as part of the project.

How can you get these two approaches to work together?

Optimized PIM diagramThe Newforma solution is simple: Offer both systems, and allow the two systems to talk to each other. Newforma-to-Newforma connectivity is how we do it.

(Newforma to Newforma also permits multiple enterprise customers to share files as if the different companies were on the same network!)

For more information, read our Newforma to Newforma tech brief.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Newforma Project Cloud Webinar, October 12th

If you're interested in learning more about the latest addition to the Newforma product family, Newforma Project Cloud, you'll definitely want to check out our next live webinar being held on Friday, October 12th at 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (-4 UTC).

Scott Baldermann, LEED AP, Director of Cloud Solutions, will show you how every workflow related to construction administration, document approval, PDF markup and general communication can be automated to increase efficiency and improve collaboration.

Topics we'll cover in the webinar include:
  • Automate administration by removing manual processes
  • Reduce document redundancy
  • Eliminate need to download/upload documents for reviewing
  • Markup central documents via the web
  • Weekly email reminders for reviewers
  • Pre-define email distribution based on trades and disciplines

Event Date:  Friday, October 12 @12:00 PM EDT

Sign Up Online:  Click Here to Register

We look forward to seeing you at the webinar!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How the Action Items activity center tames email, keeps me current and prevents tasks from slipping through cracks

I wonder if your brain operates like mine?

1. Because my memory is poor, I make notes of what I need to do.

Sticky note man2. Because email is essentially a series of notes, I save them to recall what needs to be done.

3. To recall where I’ve saved emails, I put them in places designated for those purposes. (By whatever odd tweak of neurochemistry, I can remember places and spaces.)

Ergo, to know what needs to be done, I go to the places where I save things.

Why I love the Newforma Action Items activity center

The Action Items activity center provides me with an organized, convenient place to organize notes, emails and documents related to a given task.

Filing emails is easy. I click “Send and File in Project” to place emails in whichever Action Item is appropriate. Or I just drag them from Outlook and drop them in the activity center.

For example, I’m working on a new brochure for the Newforma Design Suite of products. Like most projects, it has proceeded in fits and starts. To see where I left off, all I need do is skim the most recent emails.

Never got a reply from my last request? Just send that email again, schedule a meeting, or phone to follow up.

Action Items markup

Everything related to the action item shows up in one place. Documents are filed where they belong, but they appear here!

Like the old days, only better

In the days of paper, I would file my notes and project information in folders. When I switched to Microsoft Office Outlook email, I took to making notes and copying emails in Outlook Tasks created for each project.

Newforma Action Items allow me to organize work the same way, only more easily.

And that’s how I’ve come to be such a good manager.  Winking smile

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Orange vests rule: Mashable covers Newforma Punch List tablet app

Most people are not aware that the design and construction industry has a quality control process. That novelty qualifies the Newforma Punch List tablet app for inclusion in an article that also covers tablet usage in garbage trucks, utility trucks and police cars!

02_PunchList_AddingContentIn “You Won’t Expect to Find Tablets in These 4 Workplaces,” freelance writer Rob Lammle outlines four orange-vest workplaces that contrast with the white-collar locations some hipsters may consider the appropriate settings for cool technology.

With the establishment of a dedicated web and mobile app development team, you can expect more such products from Newforma, too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Newforma Takes the Bull by the Horn at the Nugget 2012 User Conference

Nugget 2012 Attendees Download Mobile Apps
Day #2 at Newforma's User Conference, Nugget 2012, was not all work and no play.

Attendees took part in a full day of sessions involving five tracks that mirror Newforma’s focus on helping all members of AEC/O project teams connect and share information. The sessions provided valuable information on best practices in PIM from the unique perspective of each audience – architects and engineers involved in the design phase of a project; general contractors, construction managers, design-build companies, and specialty subcontractors involved in the construction phase; and owners managing new building construction.

In addition there is a technical track for Newforma administrators, a hands-on lab for those who prefer to learn by doing, and a usability lab where customers can test new mobility apps and product features.

Day # 2 also included an impressive line-up of speakers from AEC/O firms of every size including Affiliated Engineers, Inc., BOND, GSBS Architects, Grunley Construction, HTNB, Haskell, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, LMN Architects, LPA, John Moriarty & Associates, PageSoutherlandPage, Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, Inc., Perkins+Will, SHW Group, and Skender Construction, will present best practices for PIM and participate in panel discussions at the event.

As the sun set in the Texas sky and the sessions were over the fun got underway in Ft. Worth known as the "City of Cowboys and Culture." One hardy group of Newforma staff tried their skills at mechanical bull riding....we suggest that they stick to their day jobs!

Now on to the final day of Nugget 2012...let the learning and fun continue.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Everything's Big in Texas Including Newforma's User Conference Nugget 2012

Nugget 2012, Newforma's User Conference, is underway in Ft. Worth Texas and day one included eye opening presentations around Newforma's Grand Unification plan for AEC/O and exciting news about what's coming in the way of new technology.

Dan Conery, Newforma VP of Construction Solutions, opened the conference on Monday, September 17, 2012 by using Newforma's Field Notes app technology to quickly and easily text the audience and capture the entry highlighting the capabilities of one of two new mobile apps debuting at Nugget 2012.

Newforma CEO, Ian Howell, welcomed all the customers and partners to Texas, some of whom came to the event from as far away as Australia.  Ian shared all the exciting news since the last user conference including the launch of Newforma Project Cloud from the acquisition of Attolist, the licensing of the M-SIX VEO technology and our new mobile + web development team.

In keeping with the Texas theme Bob Batcheler, Executive VP of Strategy, donned a 10 gallon hat for his presentation. He proceeded to outline Newforma's grand unification plan for AEC/O.

Day # 2 is well underway with five separate tracks covering Newforma Project Center, Newforma Project Analyzer, Implementation and Configuration, Construction Solutions, and Hands-on and Usability Labs.

Nugget 2012 runs through Wednesday, September 19. Stay tuned for more updates from the frontline or watch Twitter with the #nugget2012 hashtag for the latest information.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Best Information Wins

In the event of a dispute in the course of a design and construction project, the organization with the best information usually comes out on top.

Indiana Jones warehouseNow, let’s say you have great information but you cannot get your hands on it. Where do you stand?

Now is a good time to revisit Batch’s Box Theory of Project Information and Knowledge Management and its corollary:

  • Theory: As the time and effort required to manage and find information goes up, the effective value of the information goes down.
  • Corollary: If you can’t find information when you need it, its value is zero.

Our job is to raise the value of your project information by making that information easy to manage and find.

Our job is to see to it that you win.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Web marketing: What the CE News story is missing

Client service. That’s the more powerful way a website builds your business. A good marketing-oriented website is important, but the real potential of a website is to lower the costs and raise the quality of service to existing clients.

Springfield Construction Project Home pageWeb marketing: What firms are missing,” in the July edition of CE News, does a good job of describing requirements for a marketing website, but it misses this idea that client service is what the web was made to provide.

Newforma Touch smartphone accessA client-service-oriented AEC website improves service and lowers costs as clients gain the ability to share files, track action items, view transmittal logs, manage submittals and more without tying up your personnel.

Take good care of clients and partners, and they’ll not only come back to you, but they’ll also refer new business your way. Now there’s a marketing website!

Client service is the more powerful way a website builds your business. And that’s just what your Newforma Info Exchange website does for your company.

P.S. Put that client service website on a smartphone, as Newforma Touch does, and prospective customers will really be impressed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What Are Your Top 3 Goals?

JM Coull -Our Focus- posterJM Coull reminds its people of their top three goals in signs the Boston-based construction manager and design builder displays in its offices and job trailers.

The JM Coull team has told us the strategic goals on their “Our Focus” sign, shown here, are the reasons they use Newforma software for project information management:

  1. Our PIM software makes it easy to get safety checklists and forms from the field into the office.
  2. Our products enable the responsiveness, transparency and accountability that make up exceptional client service and invite repeat business.
  3. Overall project quality rises as key project information is acted upon quickly, without items slipping through the cracks.

To help us improve our products further, JM Coull project managers, superintendents and an executive vice president recently sat with a team of Newforma product designers to validate the direction we’re taking with field apps now under development.

JM Coull blogged about the meeting and posted a picture of the participants. To read the post and see a picture of Newformants Justin Velgos, Michael DeSouza and Marge Hart with the JM Coull team, see the JM Coull blog post here.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

App Happy

Because you love smartphones and tablets, we're strengthening our ability to deliver great mobile and web apps.

Newforma Punch List tablet appAs detailed in this news release, Newforma recently hired a whole team of app and web developers. They had already been working together, so the ramp-up time is zero.

Good thing, too. The demand for new smartphone and tablet apps is urgent, based in part on the success of our tablet app for punch list management, shown here. (The people we hired developed this app, which is how we know they’re awesome.)

To show you how dedicated these guys are, check out these pictures. They're from a recent Newforma Engineering Team wiffleball game.

At bat, team leader Michael DeSouza prepares to crush his pitch. But look in the shadows and you’ll see web developer Jordan Sage doing homework. That’s dedication!

This week it’s phones, tablets and websites. Last week we announced new capabilities in the cloud. For a fuller discussion of why we accommodate so many technology platforms, see this blog post and the white paper it describes, “What’s the best technology platform for project management?”

Monday, August 6, 2012

VEO + Newforma Project Center = BIM + PIM

There has been some very positive feedback following the announcement last week of our licensing of the VEOTM 3D building model collaboration platform from M-SIX. Of course, lots of folks have lots of questions, so here is an attempt to answer at least a few of the most basic questions:

What did Newforma license?
Newforma licensed key elements of M-SIX’s VEO platform for 3D building model collaboration. This will allow Newforma to offer VEO’s model viewing and navigation capabilities, as well as the ability to associate items in Newforma Project Center, including project files and PIM objects, such as RFIs, Action Items and Submittals, with elements of the building information model, as an integrated part of our industry leading PIM solutions.

How does this fit with Newforma’s focus on Project Information Management (PIM)?
We believe that these capabilities open up a broad new range of possibilities for our customers in design and construction. For all of the promise and capabilities of Building Information Modeling (BIM), BIM itself has exponentially increased the challenges that PIM addresses. 

The flood of deliverables that are typically generated from the building information model, the explosion in the number of models developed for specific disciplines/trades, each in multiple versions as the design and construction process progresses, and providing access to information that was previously locked away inside the building model, are all challenges that PIM is capable of addressing. Integrating BIM with PIM has been a key objective of Newforma since its early days. This licensing arrangement moves us several steps ahead in fulfilling that objective.

Why VEO?
Simply put, we really liked the product, the people and the company, and saw a great win-win-win opportunity.  Based on the picture of Max, they seem to like us as well. :) 
By partnering with M-SIX, we saw an opportunity to accelerate our road map, and bring new capabilities to market sooner, benefitting Newforma, M-SIX and the AEC/O industry. 

Our Cloud, Your Cloud or Your Premise – Which is it?
VEO is designed to be a cloud-based, 3D building collaboration platform, but can be deployed in any of those three environments. Incorporating the VEO platform into our PIM solutions is just another step in the continuing evolution of our PIM solutions, driven by the needs of the AEC/O industry to deliver the right information to the right project team members, anytime, anywhere, on any device.

As detailed in the recent “PIM in the Cloud” whitepaper, our approach is to select the right platforms to meet customer business needs. There is no one platform that suits all; incorporating the VEO platform as a cloud-based service, fully integrated with our PIM solutions, is just one of a number of exciting announcements that we will be making over the next few months.

When can I get it?
We expect to incorporate elements of the VEO technology in the next major release of our flagship PIM solutions, expected to be released early next year.

How do I learn more?
Come to Nugget 2012, September 17 through 19, 2012, in Fort Worth, TX. For more information,visit the Nugget 2012 web site. I look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Newforma Delivers One-Two Punch to Competitors

Construction companies are always looking for ways to be lean, mean fightin' machines, and today's economic climate only reinforces that truth. And when a young tech company threatens to out-punch an established competitor, its customers stand to gain.

This is particularly evident when reviewing those companies who made the Constructech 50 list. According to Constructech editors, the list of influential technology providers in the construction arena is going through a transformation. Many who were once key placers are at risk of finding themselves replaced by some new kids on the block.

Constructech says, "The project management technology segment is a perfect example. Perseverance has paid off as the company (Newforma) makes its debut on this list, and might even begin to challenge some of the stalwarts in the project-management segment."

The reason Newforma is nipping at the heels of the established project management companies is because we help people manage project information as well as their projects. According to Constructech, "PIM relates to the management of not only project data, but supportive documentation and tasks that fall out of the normal range of IT systems." And this is where Newforma offers up a one-two punch: We offer project management plus information management - something the others do not.

Constructech concludes that, "As the market continues to shake out, only the strong are showing they can survive. It's not by coincidence the companies on the Constructech 50 represent the future of construction technology."

Newforma is strong and ready for the challenge!

Read the complete Constructech article on up-and-coming companies here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Latest Contract Administration Case Study Comes Directly from the Customer

A new @ARCarchitects' blog post describes how Architectural Resources Cambridge is working “smarter and more efficiently” thanks to Newforma software.

Newforma software lends real power to CAIn “CA, PIM and the Cloud,” Project Manager Ray Paradis, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, tells how Newforma software contributes to improved processes for design and construction administration.

Here’s one revealing excerpt:

Newforma allows ARC staff to track and organize all RFIs and Submittals into a report log. It assists with indexing RFIs and submittals and has the function to create a so-called “live log” of all current open items. I find this portion of the software to be invaluable as an audit against the Contractor’s Log of “Outstanding Items” owed by the Architect. When we forward an RFI and submittal for review by one of our consultants, we have the opportunity to attach a due date.  This function is especially helpful for those items deemed “hot” by the Contractor.

And the following excerpt illustrates how one function alone – Newforma Search – can come to the rescue when a consultant requested a year-old phased construction diagram and related correspondence:

I was able to quickly type the word “phasing” in the subject heading and instantly retrieved the email and the entire history including attachments. It was seamless and saved considerable time and effort.

Everyone benefits from reading Newforma case studiesWe recommend “CA, PIM and the Cloud,” and we welcome its author to a distinguished line of Newforma customers who have written about their CA practices:

  • Chris Weatherford, Perkins+Will, and Joseph Najera, Environmental Systems Design:

Converting to Electronic Submittals Management: A Case Study (Rush University Medical Center)

  • Tim Rice, AIA, and Art Haug, AIA, LMN Architects:

Managing Submittals at LMN Architects: Before Newforma Project Center and After

  • Chris Cornell, P.E., S.E., M.ASCE, BergerABAM:

PIM puts international project on firm footing

For these an other case studies, visit

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Funny about Our "Constructech 50" Listing

Ours is not collaboration software, as listed! Let us explain.

We’re among the companies listed in Constructech magazine’s ranking of the best technology vendors in the construction industry. It’s an honor and a privilege we’re proud to announce.

Constructech 50 2012 logo

That said, the good editors of Constructech must organize the companies somehow, and Newforma was included among those whose primary application is “Collaboration.”

The ironic thing is, in response to Constructech’s invitation to submit a Vendor Profile, we had submitted one titled “The Trouble with Collaboration Software.” In that summary, we explain how collaboration software typically makes internal operations less efficient by forcing you to duplicate data and effort.

Newforma approaches collaboration from the opposite perspective. Newforma software is built to manage project information internally, and to facilitate sharing for what it is—an extension of your internal workflows.

That’s why we call it software for project information management, or PIM, of which collaboration is one part.

Take a minute to read “The Trouble with Collaboration Software” and see if you don’t agree.

And to Constructech: Thanks for the opportunity!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Newforma Webinar: No More Flying Blind - 5 Steps to Improve Revenue Performance

Join us for a Live Webinar on June 28th, 1:00 PM EST

In this 30 minute webinar, you'll learn the 5 steps that architecture and engineering firms can take to improve revenue performance. No longer will you be "Flying Blind" when it comes to project management financials. Topics we'll cover in the webinar include:

•  Meet profitability and performance goals
•  Forecast more accurately, further into the future
•  Improve resource utilization
•  Improve performance monitoring and control
•  Standardize planning and reporting

Register Today

For more information or to schedule a personal presentation, please call +1.727.393.5405, email Julie Beck or visit our website.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Impressive Lineup of Speakers at Newforma User Conference

The Newforma international user conference, Nugget 2012, will not disappoint! We have an impressive lineup of topnotch speakers from major AEC/O firms, including HOK, Skender, HNTB, Haskell, Nibbi Brothers, BOND and many more scheduled to participate in over 55 sessions.

Nugget 2012, taking place September 17-19 in Fort Worth, Texas, is 2-1/2 days of valuable tips, training, and networking opportunities. We promise you will come away from this event with product knowledge and techniques that will make you more efficient with Newforma sofware.

Hear from Mike Tardif of Grunley Constuction on how they are successfully leveraging a virtual private cloud (VPC) to maximize Newforma Project Center performance and usage, or learn from Matt Bleidorn of Perkins+Will on how they are reaping the benefits of a paperless submittal review process.

Discover best practices from two Texas design firms, PageSoutherlandPage and Parkhill, Smith and Cooper, who set themselves up for success through the use of “expected submittals” management, Info Exchange user guides for contractors, and other best practices for RFIs and submittals.

And that's just a sampling of the presentations.... There are many, many more!

Nugget 2012 will not be "death by PowerPoint." Rather, sessions will offer outstanding opportunities for networking, interactive discussion and invaluable Q & A. Share best practices with industry leading AEC/O firms and interact with Newforma employees. Newforma staff members from all departments, including product development, training and support, leadership and more, will be on hand to hear your thoughts, experiences, and input on future directions of Newforma software.

Sign up today to attend Nugget 2012.... You will not be disappointed. Visit for complete details and to register.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Visit Newforma in Orlando at CFMA, June 23-27

We're headed to Orlando for the Construction Financial Management Association's annual conference at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, June 23-27. The theme of this year's event is 'Making Connections' and that's just what we intend to do with the more than 700 construction financial professionals in attendance.

If you plan to attend CFMA 2012 stop by the Newforma booth #914 and say hello. We think attendees will be excited to see what we have to offer construction financial management professionals.

The latest version of Newforma Project Center reduces risk and saves time in the management of email, searches, markups, meeting minutes, project files, record documents, images, file transfers, action items and more. New and improved features streamline access to information via the web and the publishing of handover and project closeout information.

This is all good news for builders everywhere who are under pressure to deliver increasingly complicated projects in ever-less time and Nibbi Brothers General Contractors is no exception.

To strengthen its ability to exceed expectations for budget, schedule, performance and quality, Nibbi Brothers implemented Newforma enterprise software for project information management.

According to Nibbi President Bob Nibbi, "We recognized that a complete construction management solutions would improve coordination. It would help us manage email, submittals and other project documents, as well as facilitate collaboration with external partners and Nibbi associates working in the field."

If CFMA 2012 is in your future be sure to stop by Newforma's booth #914 and see a demo, you won't be dissappointed.

Friday, June 8, 2012

What’s It Take to Bridge the Design-Build Divide?

A new ebook by our own Susan McDowell documents the way Newforma software won over both sides of a major D-B company.

imageMost project management software has been built for one side of the industry or another, the construction side or the architecture/engineering side. Perhaps that’s why Susan, as the technology application manager for a successful design-build company, was unable to get her 100 or so A/E colleagues to embrace the company’s old project management software. The construction staff readily embraced the old system, but the design side resisted. The software didn’t really work the way they did.

In “Bridging the Design-Build Divide,” Susan, who is now Newforma’s director of construction solutions, describes how Newforma software got the design and build sides of to work as a truly integrated team, in concert with external stakeholders.

imageSusan says Newforma software helped the D-B company chip away at the walls that divided the different facets of a project team: design and construction, internal and external, home office and field.

“Bridging the Design-Build Divide” is free and requires no registration to read; download the PDF here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

RTC North America June 28-30

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the Second North American Revit Technology Conference. It runs from Thursday, June 28, to Saturday the 30th, in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Register here.

RTC NA logo

You may ask, “What is a company that makes software for project information management doing at a conference focused on building information modeling?” The common element is the word “information.”

There’s a lot of project information in a Revit model that may be more easily managed in some other application. Space planning spreadsheets, for one. Lots of Newforma customers tell us they would rather manage space planning spreadsheets using Excel and Newforma Project Center, then import the data into the model.

Or there may be project information that pertains to the model without being part of it. Think of all those emails documenting design decisions: Wouldn’t it be great to tie those emails to that part of the model?

Newforma_Add-in_for_Revit-Synchronize_SheetsFor all these uses and more, Newforma created its add-in for Autodesk Revit. It facilitates the management of the “I” in BIM.

For a step-by-step tutorial on one aspect of the integration between Newforma PIM software and Revit BIM software, see an AECbytes “Tips and Tricks” column by Matt Tosto of Affiliated Engineers, Inc.

In “Managing Revit Drawing Revisions in Newforma Project Center,” Matt describes how AEI’s Newforma-driven process eliminates tedious manual spreadsheet updates and provides easy access to every current and previous revision of a drawing in a project.

For more demonstrations and conversations, visit the Newforma booth at RTC North America June 28 – 30!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Power of Progress

Sisyphus rolling boulder uphill

Legend has it that when Zeus wanted to punish a man — to really punish a man — the god made it impossible for the man to ever again feel the satisfaction of accomplishment.

We’ve all had those days. Late afternoon rolls around and you realize you have not accomplished any of the tasks you came to work to do that day.

But this post talks about the other side of the situation, when you enjoy tangible forward motion on your projects. The joy of progress: That’s the real pleasure of work!

Don’t take my word for it. That’s the finding documented in this Harvard Business Review article. In “What Really Motivates Workers,” Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer write:

On days when workers have the sense they’re making headway in their jobs, or when they receive support that helps them overcome obstacles, their emotions are most positive and their drive to succeed is at its peak.

I  believe Newforma’s success has resulted from delivering this feeling of overcoming obstacles and making progress in daily work:

  • Architects measure progress by how well they serve clients and deliver successful designs.
  • Engineers measure progress by how well they engineer solutions — and they like to engineer their businesses to operate more efficiently, too.
  • Contractors measure progress by how far they advance the schedule and coordinate their legions of subcontractors.
  • Owners measure progress by how well they understand and operate their facilities.

In each case above, Newforma software removes impediments to progress.

If you want to kill someone’s spirit, as Zeus did, Amabile and Kramer found that the Greek god-king knew what he was doing:

On days when [workers] feel they are spinning their wheels or encountering roadblocks to meaningful accomplishment, their moods and motivation are lowest.

But if you want to enjoy the satisfaction of achievement and help your colleagues do the same, we have some ideas of how you can make that happen. Write if you’d like to start a discussion!

Postscript video

Teresa Amabile, Harvard Business School professor and coauthor of The Progress Principle, explains the importance of wins at work:

The Power of Progress

Monday, May 14, 2012

What’s the best technology platform for project management?

Simple. It’s the one you use.

Trouble is, you use different platforms for different tasks.

Carpentry tool montageFor example, for communications and small file sharing, you probably use email.

For large file sharing, you may use a project extranet or file transfer protocol (FTP) — unless you’re a Newforma customer, in which case you use Newforma Info Exchange.

For file serving, you probably use your company network — unless you use the cloud.

And the machine you use depends on where you are. In the office, you use a computer. In the car, you use a smartphone. On the jobsite, you use a tablet.

At Newforma, our challenge has been to develop a software platform that either beats a platform you don’t like (such as FTP) or accommodates a platform you do like (such as email).

Newforma Chief Executive Officer Ian Howell addresses the reality of different platforms for different jobs in his new white paper, “PIM in the Cloud.” In it, Ian gives examples of ways that Newforma and Newforma customers approach the challenge of PIM — project information management — in a world that uses different technologies for different purposes.

To request a free copy of the “PIM in the Cloud” white paper, please complete and submit this form.

Friday, May 11, 2012

5 Reasons you should try Newforma’s Punch List App for iPad

Newforma recently released an iPad version of their Punch List App.  It provides all the capabilities available today on the Android version but its been optimized for the iPad environment.  Here are 5 of the top reasons you should give it a try.

1. Capture Photos, Videos and Sound Bites

imageUse the iPad’s built in media capabilities to capture pictures, videos and sound bites related to your punch list items. How does the old adage go, “A picture tells a thousands words?”   When it comes to punch list items being able to attach a picture or video is invaluable tool for describing what’s going on.

2. One tap Sync

The App wirelessly syncs with your Newforma Project Center hosted project.  You know you will always have the latest drawings, room datasheets and punch list data.  No connection.  No problem.  Just re-sync when you reestablish your connection.

3. Share with external team members

imageYour external team members can use the Newforma Punch List iPad App for free. They can see their assigned punch list items and provide status and updates. If they don’t have a tablet, Newforma Punch List can import and export information to Excel.

4. It integrates with Autodesk Revit

If you’re using Newforma® Add-In for Revit®, connect Revit rooms with the Newforma Spatial Index activity center to prepopulate your project spaces and help you locate each punch list item in the field.

5. It takes just a few taps to add an item

imageUsing predefined list of elements and descriptions, you can literally add a new punch list items in seconds.  After you’ve selected your space, just tap on add, tap on your element, tap on your description and optionally tap on your location.  One more Add tap and you have a punch list item.

So go ahead and give it a try.  Just tap on the App Store and search for Newforma Punch List. 

For more information and to see a video overview, visit the Newforma web site page for Newforma Punch List.