As part of your project management you will have tracked the progress of your implementation against your Plan. At a suitable point, perhaps at 3 months, you should aim to do a formal review to understand whether you have derived the benefits from BIM that you originally intended. You then may need to amend your plan, determining next steps in light of this review.
1. If you provided geometric objects it is important to determine what the specifier of your digital content experienced when they used your objects:-
These types of questions, and others, will help you understand the extent to which your objects are satisfying the needs and expectations of specifiers. Don’t be surprised if you receive a range of responses as specifiers often work in very individual ways so one person could be an enthusiast whereas someone else involved in a similar project may not.
And of course you can also ask how well your objects compare to those available from your competition. It’s easier to borrow someone else’s success than to identify your own through trial and error!
2. How do you determine user experience? There are a number of ways to do this, and we recommend that you pursue at least one of the following routes to engage with the user
Be careful not to skew the results of this activity by only seeking the views of specifiers you already know. It is probable they will have a more polarised view of your objects being either good or bad based upon their relationship with you, rather than on the quality of your objects.
BIM survey outline suggestion
An example of some questions to ask from a market research or on-line survey perspective, that could prove insightful.
Section 1 general context questions
vi. What job role do you have and what does this mean you are responsible for?
vii. How many years professional experience do you have?
viii. What % of projects that you work on are public sector vs private sector?
ix. In what % of your projects is structured data about products required?
x. Is this for a few, half, most or all products used in these projects?
xi. In which of the following ways have you used BIM objects?
xii. Where do you download BIM objects from?
xiii. Which BIM authoring software do you use?
xiv. Would you prefer to download just the structured data as an Excel file, as individual BIM objects, or as material layer sets (only ask where appropriate)?
xv. At the start of your BIM model development do you prefer to use generic objects or product specific objects?
xvi. If you start with generic objects at what point do you incorporate product specific objects?
Company specific questions
i. For what purpose have you downloaded our objects?
ii. What was the reason you have used our objects?
iii. On a scale of 1-7 (where 7 is highly satisfied, and 1 is very unsatisfied) how satisfied are you with our objects?
iv. How did this experience compare with objects you have downloaded from other product manufacturers?
v. Please rate your agreement / disagreement ( 1-7 again) with the following opinions
vi. Do you have any suggestions that would help improve our BIM objects from your perspective?
A review should consider what you would now do differently in the light of what you now know.
An in-depth review of the above may result in the need to refine of your plan and create a set of next steps that will need to be implemented.
Unless in your initial project you developed digital content for your whole portfolio, now is the time to apply what you’ve learned and consider how to progress to a whole portfolio solution.
You will also now need to think about how to deal with the ongoing maintenance and management of your digital content. There will be changes to your product range and information about your products; potential changes to objects as new sofware versions are released; changes shaped by feedback from users of your objects; changes driven by increased data demands from Clients and Contractors; changes forced by new standards emerging on BIM (most European countries seem to want to create their own individual standards!); changes required because your competitors are out-doing you by offering better/ more attractive digital content. There’s a lot to keep an eye on!