David Philp, Global BIM Consultancy Director at AECOM offers his expert career tips
David has a global reputation as a Digital Engineering thought leader. He has been one of the pioneers at the forefront of UK Government’s drive for better outcomes and BIM adoption from the earliest days in the UK BIM Task Group. His vision of the future and experience of the past is in demand around the world.
TIP 1: CLEAR PURPOSE
Our industry is changing rapidly with ever decreasing delivery timescales and increasing complexity in what we produce. Probably the biggest tip I can offer is to think about clear purpose in what you do – when you understand the desired outcome [as opposed to output] you have a real chance of making positive change. Make sure that there is a unified effort and your team are all pulling in the same direction as you. Really collaborate and articulate your outcomes, strategy and delivery plan [where you can use sprint techniques].
TIP 2: GO BEYOND THE TECHNOLOGY
BIM and any wider digital transformation take time and indeed perseverance. Whilst the technology is important, you need to really think about how, what you are proposing or doing will have real business impact. Thinking like a business leader is therefore important, understand the corporate goals and processes and how digital pathways and better information exchanges can help realise and optimise these.
TIP 3: COMMUNICATION
Being able to appropriately communicate with the numerous built environment stakeholders and actors is vitally important to BIM and wider digital transformation. Developing communication skills is therefore crucial. Think about how you would message a C-suite leader about a new initiative versus a Construction Manager on a site. Make a plan and ensure that the message will be understandable and relevant to their personas – keep language simple and avoid BIM acronyms.
TIP 4: GET TO UNDERSTAND THOSE AROUND YOU AND WHAT THEY DO
It is all too easy to get stranded on our own little island of BIM! It is important to get to know those upstream and downstream of you, especially the end user teams. Understand their objectives and data needs – data continuity is key and we cannot afford to disconnect data from one phase to the next.
TIP 5: HEAD SPACE
We all typically work at 100mph between milestones. Take time at the start of a new mission or task to properly understand and or develop the outcomes, deliverables and your strategy to deliver these. In most cases it has been done before, research and learn lessons, speak with colleagues and make a smart plan. Time to think is really important!