BIMBeing: The Journey #15
#15 – Be organised…
Image by Pixabay from Pexels
Today’s offering is simple – ORGANISATION MATTERS. I cannot stress this point enough, being organised is absolutely fundamental; it’s an incredibly desirable trait, no matter your job role, but this does become even more crucial for those in a BIM environment.
BIM is all about the information and that information needs to be structured, it needs to be organised. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on whether or not you’ve lived with me), I have always been incredibly anal about organisation; as frustrating as this may be in the home environment it is something that has served me incredibly well from the very start of my career. Even basic organisation gives the impression to others that you’re in control of your tasks and your workload, you don’t let things slip through an untidy net and that makes you dependable. Dependability builds trust and trust paves the way to more responsibility. More responsibility, especially early in your career, is key to progression. All of this is vital to building a successful career and it emanates from good organisation – this is something that you need to get right.
Start basic, keep your workspace in check. An absolute minimum is to not have a desk covered in empty food packets and 2 weeks’ worth of dried out coffee cups; cleanliness is non-negotiable. Your desk should also not be covered in stacks of untidy papers, screwed up drawings or 1000 post-it notes stuck all around your screens – we’re all digital now anyway, so why all the paper? I’m a firm believer in “tidy space = tidy mind”. It will make the environment much more comfortable to work in and also make it far more inviting to others that may need to come over and speak with you.
Organising your time effectively, especially when it impacts others, is a must. Not attending meetings because you ‘forgot’ they were happening or not submitting a piece of work on time because you ‘thought the deadline was tomorrow’ are poor, juvenile excuses. You’re not at school anymore, these mistakes will make seem incompetent and it’s not a good look. Another thing, which happens to me a lot at the moment, is being told I should be attending a meeting that starts in 5 minutes time for which I was not invited; now I am unprepared and very possibly double booked. If you are organising a meeting with others: 1, ensure you give people ample notice and 2, ensure you invite everyone that is required – telling people moments before is very unprofessional. Make full use of the tools that are available for planning your diary, whether that be an Outlook Calendar, Gmail planner, the calendar on your phone or anything else you may use; we all have access to something.
Organising your workload is another key to being both efficient and reliable. Prioritise your work and where necessary agree those priorities with others. As I’ve said in previous posts you also need to be realistic about how much can be achieved in a given timeframe – don’t over-commit as you’ll only set yourself up to fail. Give yourself ample time to complete your tasks to a good standard and complete them in a logical order, this basic organisation will demonstrate your ability to self-manage. If you’re in a position to do so then you also need to support managing the workload of others. The same principals apply, prioritise the work and don’t set anybody up to fail.
The majority of people still get this wrong and for me it’s one of those things that hasn’t fully transitioned from paper to digital. Your digital ‘filing system’ needs to be well organised, especially when it’s on a shared environment such as a company server or project CDE. When everything was on paper it was glaringly obvious when things were in a mess; paper strewn everywhere and files not put back in the correct place. Now that all of this information is stored digitally people seem to think that they can get away with not putting everything where it needs to be and by simply closing Windows Explorer nobody will be any the wiser – wrong. All files and documents need naming correctly (there should be a company or project standard to follow as a minimum) and the storage environment (local server or EDMS for example) must be well structured. I’ve lost count of the number of times documents have been started from scratch because the original either couldn’t be found or was not known to exist. The problem gets worse when individuals leave a company or project and the unorganised filing means their information is effectively lost. Keep everything in order, it’s far more efficient and much less frustrating to use on a daily basis.
Models and Data
Getting much more specific now and really broaching onto a separating topic, but ill touch on it anyway. The environment in which your modelling must be organised, that includes everything in it. The naming of your views, schedules and sheets should be standardised and consistent. The organisation of the project browser should be clear and functional. The naming of families/objects/sub-categories/styles/attributes must all follow an agreed standard or structure. All of this matters and yet is so often overlooked, especially while rushing to get work out of the door. Being organised while working on your own is beneficial and efficient but when working in a team it is absolutely vital. Don’t underestimate how important this is, you’ll certainly realise it’s an issue when it all goes wrong.
Organisation then, just a few examples to show that it’s basic yet effective. It’s easy to get this right and therefore no excuse for not doing so. Do it for yourself, self-manage efficiently to ensure you’re being effective and this in turn will demonstrate to others that you are reliable.
Do you have any killer tips for organisation? Let me know in the comments below.