How to communicate issues in the Digital World?

How to communicate issues in the Digital World?

"The software is not the important thing in the BIM methodology, the software is secondary". 

This phrase constituted the key idea of Architect Sebastian Sanabria, CEO at aXet, in the three days of consecutive conferences presented in the framework of the 4th National BIM Meeting, held on October 6, 7 and 8, 2020. In these he presented: How to communicate the incidences of the digital world? A tour of the alternatives used to communicate with architects and engineers who do not use BIM. 


"How to collaborate. How to coordinate. How do you communicate. How does the development team work collaboratively and provide key information at the right time, when a decision needs to be made."


Through the three conferences, participants were asked to discover how the flow of communications was achieved in Uruguay between those actors who use the BIM methodology and those who do not. The presentations are online and can be accessed through the official YouTube channel of the National Development Corporation. 


The idea that the title sentence is trying to convey is that the important thing is the methodology and not the software selected. How to collaborate. How it is coordinated. How you communicate. How the development team works collaboratively and provides the key information at the right time, when it is necessary to make a decision.


However, this does not mean that the software is not relevant; on the contrary, it is undoubtedly a component that has a great weight in the methodology. In a BIM implementation, software training will occupy 80% of the time, while what is really important and will generate the significant impact, which are the fundamentals and information management, occupy only 20% of the time, despite generating 80% of the results.


It may seem a somewhat romantic idea, but it is a very powerful one, especially when working in developing countries where standardization is generally scarce and each client or client and project presents us with a different challenge. 


"What is really important and what will generate the significant impact, which is the fundamentals and information management, occupy only 20% of the time, despite generating 80% of the results."


The vast majority of aXet's clients are looking for the same thing, in pursuit of higher quality, productivity and efficiency, a better use of resources that are usually limited. But not all of them can solve it in the same way, because the problems or ailments of each organization present themselves in different places. 


The teams, particularities and scenarios of each project will also be different.


In July 2018 in meeting with one of the first aXet clients in Uruguay, we exchanged about their problems and why they saw the need to implement BIM. The client was dealing with a project of more than 20 levels, where they were suffering several incidences. One of them was that a slab fire mullion pass had not been specified in any of the 20 levels. 


A cost per pass had been estimated at around US$100, so there was an approximate cost overrun of about US$2000, not counting delays, opportunity costs of resources, among others. The cost of aXet services for this project, for identifying and assisting in conflict resolution, in short, advising where there were going to be problems, would have been around US$4,000. In other words, just one of the incidents that occurred represented 50% of what the investment in the implementation of the methodology would have meant.


This example does not mean that the relationship between investment in BIM methodology and cost overruns is 1:2, but it does exemplify the positive impact of building before building. 


In the following videos of the three days of conferences, 4 concrete cases are analyzed, where the idea that software is not what is important to achieve the objectives is deepened. These cases are different from each other and have their own processes and strategies. Processes that have among one of their variables the decision of the software to be used, but it is not the only decision, nor are these the ones that define the strategies. On the contrary, the software is put at the disposal of the strategy to solve the particularities of the scenario. 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3



The methodology, flows and processes are developed to achieve the objectives of a project.  

To design these processes in aXet, 7 criteria are taken into account, which are evaluated and depending on the conditions, scope and particularities, they are discarded, filtered or new strategies are designed.


This is the first filter, since many clients decide not to invest in information management platforms for the time being. 


Production speed.
This refers to the time it takes for the production team to work on the process. This is an important criterion because sometimes the price of a platform is decisive, but in the end it takes the team more time to do the same work on another platform, and this ultimately translates into costs.


Ease of reading.
This is a criterion that fundamentally thinks about the actors who are not in the BIM world, sometimes engineers, sometimes construction managers, or others. Those who value the simplicity with which everything that happens in the digital world is transmitted to them.


The quantity and quality of the information.
Similar to the previous point, focused on senior management that seeks to have many metrics. On this point, for example, BIM 360 Design has a long way to go in terms of metrics. 


Information traceability.
This evaluates the ability of the process to track information throughout the project life cycle. At the moment, it is also a criterion that matters to senior management as it evaluates and compares performance and progress.


Real-time collaboration.
This is a very important criterion when stakeholders implement a work methodology, because it saves a lot of time and increases the reliability of the information.


3D visualization.
This point refers to the possibility of going through the model even if there is no knowledge of the modeling platforms. 


Below is a table prepared by Estudio ESE that evaluates the processes according to these 7 criteria and presents the cost of some of the available platforms*. 

But beyond this table, it is important to emphasize again the key idea of this article: "Software is not the important thing in BIM methodology. software is secondary".