Three tips on how to improve collaboration in the construction industry

Hans Vogel
Leestijd, 4 min.  

Attracting new employees, changes in customer requirements and technological possibilities such as BIM Cloud Workspace: all these developments require a different way of working together in construction and installation companies.

Within TBI, we have already experienced the advantages of BIM Cloud Workspace and the ways that it can be used to improve internal and external cooperation. However, it is essential in this process to focus on three components: people, process and technology. These components must also be given equal attention; by only investing in one component, you will not achieve optimal collaboration. Here are three tips to help you on your way.

1. Change is more than just implementation

When implementing BIM Cloud Workspace, it is important to realise that there is more than merely setting up your cloud environment. It is easy enough to add your project members and within a matter of minutes create an online, shared environment where you can work on BIM models in real time.

However, this step is only the beginning. The implementation of such a solution will also affect the way that your employees work. For years, BIM modellers have been used to designing models at their local workplace and then sharing them with the other project members. To these people, it’s usually quite a change when they can no longer decide which information they share, but that all data within the project is always shared. This procedure certainly makes collaboration easier, but if you don’t get your employees on board, you will reduce your chances of success.

Another example is the IT department. This department has traditionally been accustomed to buying applications and regulating their BIM Cloud Workspace gives construction and installation companies much more graphics computing power. It makes it much easier to calculate and illustrate the effects of a particular choice on the end product. If it turns out that a concrete beam is in the way of hanging a structure, you can fix it immediately, right behind your computer. In the process, you will have to invest in end-user training, and encourage your employees to make use of the possibilities that a BIM Cloud Workspace has to offer. Otherwise, people will stick to their current ways of working, and the differences between reality and your drawings will only be discovered once on the building site – which would be a pity!use. With BIM Cloud Workspace, project members can apply for additional applications themselves via a self-service module and get to work with them directly. Approval by the IT department is now done afterwards. It is important to make your IT department understand that the introduction of a BIM Cloud Workspace speeds up project delivery, and BIM processes are no longer subject to unnecessary delays.

2. Explore the possibilities offered by your technical solution

BIM Cloud Workspace gives construction and installation companies much more graphics computing power. It makes it much easier to calculate and illustrate the effects of a particular choice on the end product. If it turns out that a concrete beam is in the way of hanging a structure, you can fix it immediately, right behind your computer. In the process, you will have to invest in end-user training, and encourage your employees to make use of the possibilities that a BIM Cloud Workspace has to offer. Otherwise, people will stick to their current ways of working, and the differences between reality and your drawings will only be discovered once on the building site – which would be a pity!

3. Look beyond the duration of the project

Within the construction industry, we are accustomed to moving from project to project, which means that agreements made between various companies often only apply to a single project. And with that, we limit ourselves in using all the possibilities that the BIM Cloud Workspace has to offer us, seeing as one of the benefits is determining how to grant access to subcontractors in general. Traditionally, people in the industry prefer to retain control as much as possible, however, this often prevents optimal collaboration from taking place. Being able to make agreements at a higher level between the various construction and installation companies will ultimately result in taking collaboration to the next level and improving teamwork in the long run.

Hence, if you want to collaborate more efficiently, BIM Cloud Workspace can help you to reach a new level of collaboration. However, this level can only be achieved if you also pay attention to the people who do the work and the underlying processes. If you’re curious how best to do so, download the whitepaper ‘New level of collaboration with BIM Cloud Workspace’.

Managing Director IT & Business Improvement Hans Vogel & Development Planner TBI KennisLAB Jeroen Pat

As launch customer, TBI has built up considerable experience of how BIM Cloud Workspace can promote cooperation. In addition to important components such as people and the innovative process, we believe that good use of technology can make an important contribution to achieving your goal (i.e. improved cooperation).

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