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Diffusion of Innovation and a Beautiful Piece of Art


It has been argued since long that diffusion of innovation takes time and typically follows a curve as shown below.


Same is the case with BIM at the present times. Experts employ different tactics to make transition more smooth and make people more conformable with the new ways of doing things or new thinking for instance (ex. lean management in construction). They share stories, create games and do all sorts of things to make learning and transition, from traditional practices to new, more fun and easier for early adopters.
Making something fun is a work of art and it requires creativity. So this makes one point clear that managers have to be artists at some point of time.
I came across this wonderful piece of art, a story, by James salmon that clearly identifies and highlights the importance of BIM and common standards for delivering a BIM to the owner - a BIM that owner can use for facility management. The story is so compelling that I was lured to share it with you.
The story of "Katy's Birthday"
Katy is Daddy's little princess and she wanted a Castle for her birthday. Daddy told her, "Honey, you cannot have a real Castle," and she cried. So Daddy rented an inflatable Castle, which was better than nothing and Katy was still upset. So Mommy invited Katy's friends to bring their wooden toy blocks to the party and build her a real Castle.
Johnny brought BIM blocks by Revit, Sally brought Bentley BIM blocks, little Susie brought BIM blocks produced by Tekla, and half a dozen other children brought special BIM blocks built with their favorite software application. The children built a beautiful Castle and Katy loved it.
As the party was winding down Johnny's Mom said, "Grab your blocks Johnny, and let's go." Johnny ran to the table and began grabbing his blocks, causing Katy's Castle to collapse! Katy began to cry, upset at the sight of the collapsed Castle. The parents gathered in the corner whispering, and the decision was made to leave all the blocks with Katy.
All the blocks were placed in a single box, Revit Blocks, Bentley Blocks, Tekla Blocks and half a dozen other brightly colored BIM blocks. Smiling, Johnny handed Katy the box, saying, "Here's your Castle Katy!" Katy stared sourly at the box and mumbled. "Thanks" in a very ungrateful tone of voice.
Katy retreated to her room and sat staring at the box of blocks, trying to remember how the beautiful Castle fit together, but she was unable to rebuild it by herself. Her departed friends were the only ones who knew the secret of how the Revit, Bentley and Tekla blocks fit together. Almost none of her friends knew how the special notches in the remaining half dozen blocks fit together. Katy could never rebuild the Castle.
Owners face Katy's dilemma at the end of every project. They are handed a "box" of BIM blocks that don't fit together and the owner has now idea how to put the Castle together again. Of course, those are the sophisticated owners who know enough to demand BIM in the first place. Most owners allow the Castle builders to walk away with the BIM blocks and are left with nothing.
Ultimately, owners need As-BUILT-BIM with flexible mechanisms for managing the vast amount of information contained therein, connecting that information to and leveraging it over the Web and treating the information like the valuable digital asset it is. New entrepreneurial business processes will emerge as owners and others leverage these new digital assets to add value to the underlying business purposes the facilities / infrastructure were constructed to fulfill. When owners learn to leverage these new digital assets real demand for true As-BUILT-BIM will skyrocket.

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