Andy Boutle, Head of BIM at Kier shares his expert career advice
Andy is the Head of BIM at Kier (Regional Building) and the Engagement Co-Lead at UK BIM Alliance. He has over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry. Starting out as a Mechanical Engineer and Technician, Andy has progressed through the ranks gaining the broad experience necessary to become a highly regarded industry wide BIM ambassador and driver of best practice – not just with Kier but also more recently in his appointment to the UK BIM Alliance executive team.
TIP 1: COMMUNICATION
We talk about collaboration going hand in hand with the BIM process, but often overlook improving and driving better communication. Communication is fundamental to collaboration at a project level, but also within your business with your peers and leaders. Good communicators gain influence and respect, so this is always something important to keep focused on and is critical for any change management programme such as BIM.
TIP 2: PLAIN LANGUAGE
It’s very easy to overuse technical jargon when referencing information management standards, using acronyms and initialisms that can alienate and disengage people who don’t have the same level of understanding. Always try to use language that is common to your audience, applying theory to practice wherever possible.
TIP 3: BUILD NETWORKS
While networking and attending industry events isn’t everyone’s ‘cup of Tea’, personally I’ve found this invaluable to connect with industry peers to build up a network of like-minded people who you can call on for advice and support when required, and also provide the same back. No matter how experienced you are, there is always someone out there who may have more experience or specialist knowledge in a specific area.
TIP 4: KEEP YOUR HAND IN
If you are in more of a management position and not working with tools and processes you expect your teams to regularly, make sure you put aside some time to stay up to speed and in the detail even if it’s just a bit of testing and trialling.
TIP 5: RESILIENCE
If you’re working in digital / BIM role, you will regularly face disappointment and frustration with the lack of uptake or backing of individuals you work with. This really is typically ‘par for the course’ and its important not to take things personally. While we expect cultural change to happen faster than it does in construction, the reality is it’s a very slow process. Focus on the little wins and celebrate them whilst brushing aside the frustrations.