Sunday, 12 April 2015

BIM Show Live: State of the nation

Here is the initial draft text from my state of the nation talk for BIM Show Live which was never delivered:

Good morning everyone and welcome back to BIM Show Live in Manchester.

This is show no 5. Bigger and better than ever. This year the quality of the classes is outstanding and just demonstrates how far we have come.

This year the strap line has been prove it. We have promised a lot and now we need to show the value of a digital approach.

Running BIM Show Live gives us a chance to reflect.

We started this journey back in November 2011. This was just after the May publication of the governments BIM Strategy document which legitimised a BIM approach.

The first event had 100 hard core BIMEers at the Business Drsign Centre.

We had a quick follow up event in April 2012 back at the Business Design Centre. Further growth but the venue was wrong for us.

In 2013 we went upmarket and moved to the Westminster Park Plaza. A great event and a total sell out! 

For 2014 we needed more space. We decided to move north to see if BIM could travel.

We grew again. This year we are back for the second year. We have approaching 800 in the room which is nearly capacity

Next year is 2016 which is supposed to be BIM Armageddon. Clearly it won't be. If you want my opinion I think there will be little change. We have done the hard work with the standards across our industry. What we have to do is ensure we maintain the momentum and make sure we fully digitalise the industry.

There are many who want us to fail. We have to prove them wrong.

We will be back in Manchester next year .


At every BIM Show live I have given my view of the state of the nation. Over the years I have offended most people but taken greatest pleasure in insulting Quantity Surveyors.

I feel now we are at a tipping point. There is a huge amount of acceptance of the benefits of three dimensional modelling software. But this is not BIM. It will deliver individual profession benefits but not wider project benefits.

There is a growing swell of people who don't want change. We have won the 3D battle but do they really want BIM. 

BIM is all about improvement. Improving  clarity, improving coordination, improving information, improving buildings in operation.

We are a selfish industry focussed on our own delivery, profession or activity.

Collaboration is an overused term. I do beleive however we need to understand what it means and make it happen. The dictionary definition is a shared project objective.

We seem accepting of the boom and bust cycle and the cyclical skills shortage. 

The UK Condtruction Industry is complacent. 

In the 1970s the UK car industry was complacent. We produced classics such as the Princess and Montego.

It wasn't long before the Japanese and Germans started to show up our industry with new thinking, cultures and technologies. Look at the UK car industry today. 

Look what BMW achieved with the Mini.

I have a plan...

I've called it Plan C. 

Why plan C, because not only did PLan A not work neither did Plan B.

Plan C has three parts

Culture, we need fundamental change. We need to trust and even like each other. Trust comes from openness and honesty which is sadly lacking.

Construction, there is no BIM in construction. What I mean here is we need to take a broader view than just BIM. It has been an excellent marketing tool to build momentum within digital construction but we need to look wider into all aspects of the industry.

Collaboration, an over used but little understood word. We need a shared project objective. Stop being selfish, work together for better project outcomes.

Over the last 4 years we have achieved so much with BIM Show Live. A small fringe conference is now mainstream. We need to take up the challenge to move beyond technology to build a sustainable and high performing industry which is recognised for its excellence globally.
We need more women in our industry, more young people with the right skills, less waste, better energy performance, less risk, lower costs and much much more.

See 2016 as the start of our next chapter not the end of one. 

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