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.