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Rise Of The BIM Manager

Rise of the BIM Manager

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 317).

We live in interesting times. It is the best of times if you are multi-skilled and digital first, but it is the worst of times, if you have an analogue, single skill set.

I am on projects in the UK again for the first time in over 10 years and I have noticed some profound changes.

  1. London looks great. It is full of new leading edge, high performance, signature buildings.
  2. There is a high level of talent in the building design & construction human capital pool.
  3. The once nerdy BIM, REVIT, CAD, Digital design & construction technicians are now powerful company gate keepers.

Maybe it is because I have been away from the UK for a long time that I missed this phenomenon. But, the last time I as here, BIM, REVIT, CAD, Digital design & construction technicians were a minority cult that occupied a quite corner in the office and operated more like a necessary support function. Now I notice they have powerful job titles such as:

  • Head of Digital Construction
  • Director of BIM & Design
  • Lead for Digital Transformation

Yes, these are real job titles I have met with. When I discussed this observation with a “Head of Digital Construction”, he called it, the revenge of the nerds! Which I thought was hilarious.

To miss-quote Steve Burrows CBE, “it is the best time ever to be working in building design and constriction”. I have to agree, particularly if you are digitally literate and skilled. However, let’s be clear, you need to be highly skilled to thrive in a digital first environment.

BIM manager, digital design & construction lead, implementing building digital twins are challenging roles. They are challenging because, despite the “digital” job titles they are not solely technology oriented roles. They operate at the intersection of:

  1. People
  2. Process
  3. Technology

My takeaway from this is that the days of “single skilled” people are coming to an end. To thrive in the property industry going forwards you will need, fundamental engineering skills, plus digital competence, plus soft skills. College and university systems have yet to catch up to this reality IMHO.

It is on individuals to read the work place environment and prepare themselves accordingly. For those that do, an exciting, lucrative career awaits.

Twitter: @BLDWhisperer

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