Tipster Danny Korem shares his philosophy for the systems he has in place to coordinate various CAD and BIM (building information modeling) systems in the design process.
"In my everyday life, I switch between two hats several times a day. As an architect, I'm busy creating and modifying plans, sections, elevations, and schedules (architectural bill of materials); I'm deeply involved in electromechanical building systems coordination (including electrical, HVAC, structural, etc.). As a CAD/BIM manager, I'm busy with data creation, data editing, data re-use, and data backup and restoration, in addition to enhancing the CAD users' skills, creating procedures, and dealing with standards and enforcement.
"As architects, my fellow workers under constant pressure, and their dual (disciplinary and CAD/BIM) comfort zones are not always in harmony. Since professional life creates stress, timetables are always impossible, and responsibility is huge, sometimes the CAD/BIM comfort zone conflict may compel the operator to keep doing things in a proven old way instead of the most productive and efficient one, neglecting standard procedures.
"For more than 25 years I've been dealing with this magic combination, and in the past few years I focused on corporate culture. Every Thursday we have a happy-hour meeting, during which I conduct a brief training. I also created a VOD library of short training sessions. Other folks publish professional newsletters for internal use. To make a long story short, I’d like to say that those efforts are worth it. The best example is that a new project or a new file will never start with Save As. Leaning on a robust prototyping system is always more effective, and saves both time and human error.
"All files contain predefined page setups with their specific output devices. Several projects are organized with sheet sets. All data to be counted are treated by data extraction, and so on. One might think that what i describe here is paradise; well, sorry to disappoint, this is an ongoing, never-ending story. It's all about humans, and it fascinates me."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: The tipster is right. How do you create an efficient and productive design department? Effort. Work. Discussion. Training. Establishing and enforcing procedures designed to ensure proper design.