Can there be life without Internet Explorer?

computer_security_101

There’s no easy answer.

Warnings regarding vulnerability CVE-2014-1776 have been issued for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6 through 11 (which is to say, virtually all versions in operation today). The Department of Homeland Security has recommended users avoid running Internet Explorer until an effective patch is fixed.

But, is it that simple?

IE is embedded into and is the default browsing application for all Microsoft Operating Systems. I’d wager the vast majority of users never change that. Cases may remain (eg. Spell checking in Office, launching Help files, etc.) in which the user has no choice.

And, of course, this isn’t limited to desktops and laptops – there are tablets and smartphones with the same vulnerability.

Back when browsers used to cost money (remember?) and had varying propensities for crashing computers, this was a conscious choice. Now, its click (or touch) a hyperlink and launch IE without a second thought…for most people.

I’ve utilized Google Chrome for the majority of browsing activities since its release, but the way a user now logs into all of Google instead of just Gmail (and is, therefore, less private) has me reluctant to use it across the board. I’ve also witnessed some CPU run-away from Chrome sessions – especially with the recently bloated Google Maps.

Mozilla Firefox is a capable browser and will, at least for the time being, replace IE for my non-Chrome tasks. That said, it’s a bit like attempting to write with one’s opposite hand.

Opera has been o.k., except for the interface minimizations found in recent versions. Developers, please – if you’re going to “simplify” an interface, provide a quick and easy way to access the same level of control as previous versions.

My only Safari experience is with my wife’s iPad. Don’t think I’ll be installing the Windows version just yet.

The manner, scope and speed with which Microsoft resolves this issue will speak volumes to its commitment to its customers’ security.

Patches should be retroactive to Windows XP, in spite of the expired support deadline. To deny those users a fix would seem mercenary.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who fought the “browser wars” – whether for noble or selfish reasons – and to those who champion Open Source, Net Neutrality and otherwise tilt at windmills. Because of them, we have options today.

Will I return to Internet Explorer? Well, yes, whenever I need to retrieve a bookmark and in case any site absolutely refuses to work with any other browser.

Dave

Disclaimer: All trademarks remain property of their respective holders, and are used only to directly describe the products being discussed. Their use in no way indicates any relationship between BIM-Ready and the holders of said trademarks.

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Obsolescence Creep

It might run in Compatibility Mode, but should we?

pong_screenshot

Having been in an AEC environment for many years, I know how fervently some Engineering types can cling to their favorite tools. Human nature, I guess. Stick with the known versus the potentially frightening unknown (or something that causes us to reevaluate our Processes).

What this means, in my experience, is undue pressure upon the Technology folks in a Firm to maintain obsolete versions of applications long after their expiration date.

In the past, I may have been guilty of enabling this behavior. Now, I understand the importance of a certain level of “tough love” when it comes to embracing Change.

I’m the last guy to jump on Technology for Technology’s sake and am a firm believer in the “if it ain’t broke…” philosophy but, there comes a time – and, often it creeps for ages until a tipping point is suddenly reached – when work formerly accomplished using obsolete programs must be brought into the Present.

The longer the creep continues, the more painful this transition can be.

I get it – “newer” doesn’t automatically mean “better” and almost inevitably, new versions of programs seem to require one or more extra clicks to perform the same task as the previous one. Still, each version we fall behind makes the ice beneath our feet thinner.

AEC firms are, by no means, the only perpetrators of this procrastination. At the time of this writing, it’s been 15 days since Microsoft’s support for the Windows XP operating system ended. Yet, 3 days ago, as I sat at an airport gate, I couldn’t help but notice that the Delta terminal was running XP. Granted, some large Enterprises have contracted continued XP support but, why do this rather than upgrade their applications to, presumably, make them more efficient and, more importantly, more secure?

And, again, this isn’t to single out Delta (‘cause I truly do appreciate those Medallion upgrades and hope they keep coming… 😉 ). One of our local TV stations, when in their “Storm Mode Control Center”, clearly displays the XP desktop on several computers. The list goes on.

So, what to do?

I propose that we treat Obsolescence Creep like a Police Officer pulling someone over for an inoperable tail light. Acknowledge that it’s an “unsafe” condition and should be remedied as soon as possible. Every time we drop back a version, we should issue a “Warning” and commit to a timeframe to resolve the issue. Keep in mind the timeframe will vary in each case.

Set up an internal Upgrade Committee, outsource to Consultants or ask your Resellers for assistance in modernizing your Firm’s collective toolbox. Realize that your Firm is not saving money by failing to upgrade Processes, it’s falling behind the competition.

Face it, even if there is a way to run Lotus 1-2-3 or WordPerfect for DOS on a Windows 8.1 machine, it’s just not a good idea.

Pong, anyone?

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Response to fostering the “Next Big Thing”

Re: http://bimcompletethought.blogspot.com/2014/02/creating-next-big-thing.html

In the interesting article linked above, Brad Hardin poses the following question:

“So how do we create this atmosphere of wow and early adoption?” [in the AEC Industry]

I started composing a comment to his post, but realized it was quickly approaching Manifesto-type length and that this might be a better forum for its content. Hope that’s o.k. with you, Brad!

Now, back to your question:

“So how do we create this atmosphere of wow and early adoption?”

I believe this very atmosphere may be an unintended consequence of the severe “correction” our Industry has just endured.

Many capable people were jettisoned by Companies attempting to cut costs and survive the downturn. These refugees are more likely to band together with former associates – both local and otherwise – in purpose-built Teams.

Such Teams are ideal platforms for deploying new Technology (especially if that Technology is affordable).

They’re agile, they’re unencumbered by legacy Solutions, they’re highly motivated. They carry sole responsibility for the success of the Project. The Buck stops there.

No disrespect, but the Mega-firms have so much inertia resisting Change that they’re pretty much stuck with the incremental “improvements” upon existing Solutions to which Brad alludes in his blog.

I’ve had conversations with several Start-ups along these lines. Sure, it takes more leg work to land sufficient Small and Midsize AEC firms, but those are the firms that will provide timely and useful feedback which will improve the Product and are most likely to result in marketable Success Stories.

So, I humbly submit that, rather than pursuing 1,000 user increments – Solution Providers would be better served by deploying more 10 user installations and honing their product before scaling it up. Besides, once it’s proven, they may even be able to convince those Mega-firms to pay for it, rather than getting severely discounted….or even comp’d.

I also submit that Brad’s “Next Big Thing” will not be created by the AEC Industry but, rather adapted to/by it.

After all, AEC didn’t create the Pencil – it commandeered it. AEC didn’t invent the Personal Computer – it adapted it. AEC didn’t develop the Database, it just accesses it with a different Front End.

The “Next Big Thing” may already be out there – albeit in disparate pieces.

Often times, it’s the combination of existing elements that results in a new Productivity Tool we wondered how we ever lived without (think glue+paper=PostIt™ ).

Therefore, I don’t think it’s necessarily critical to encourage brilliant developers to write code specific to the AEC Industry. While that’d be great, let’s face it – we’re a relatively small market. Better to encourage development of “building blocks” that could be stacked in such a way as to improve AEC processes. Note that connecting the dots, as it were, could take place externally or internally – as long as the readily available blocks play nice with each other.

One very important piece of the puzzle keeping us from deploying more spontaneous, universal Solutions is proprietary File Format.

Granted, Autodesk (for example) has opened the Revit API to outside developers. But, Revit still writes to an .rvt by default and exporting to other formats can result in loss of information.

I rather doubt that, left to its own devices, Autodesk will voluntarily publish Revit in a robust open source File Format. This is where we, in the AEC Industry, bear the responsibility to voice that need (over and over, again). Be an agitator for Progress. OCE still hasn’t changed the color of their plotters from that sickly green to anything else, but that doesn’t mean I don’t ask for it every time I speak with them. If you don’t ask for it, it’ll never happen. If you do, it might. If you ever happen to see an OCE in a new color; you’re welcome!

This isn’t intended to pick on Autodesk, as Bentley, Trimble, et al are “guilty” in varying degrees.

Back to an earlier point;

Are the Mega-firms doomed to lumber along until someone even larger gobbles them up and dictates a change in their Processes?

No, certainly not. From my perspective, Mega-firms would be well served by creating “Rapid Response Teams” that try anything and everything to improve existing Processes. Who is better suited to absorb the costs of “kissing a lot of frogs to eventually find a Prince” than they? Make sure the Team Members are geographically dispersed to replicate real-world challenges. Include Members who do NOT think alike. Free them of daily Production obligations and give them Executive attention so they understand the importance of their mission.

When the “Next Big Thing” has been identified and completed its Proof of Concept / Pilot Project, the Rapid Response Team can move to deploy it Company-wide. Affecting Cultural Change in a large organization is a topic for another day.

So, to recap “How do we…?”:

1) Look to small, agile, forward thinking firms as early adopters and development Partners
2) Be aware of existing Solutions or Modules that could be repurposed for AEC
3) Harass all Industry Vendors to write to 100% neutral and robust File Formats
4) Think and act like a Start-up – regardless of firm size

That’s just my brief take on the topic 😉 .

By the way, if your Small or Mid Size (or even MEGA) firm might benefit from a fresh perspective, drop me a line!

Dave

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The Artist formerly known as “Dave360”

Is 360 degrees is better than 0?

Is 360 degrees is better than 0?

The Artist formerly known as “Dave360”

Have you noticed lately how many products are appearing with the “360” suffix? Apparently, “360” is supposed to imply a “full circle” awareness of whatever prefix it’s appended. But, doesn’t traveling 360 degrees really bring us back to where we started?

Guess “Brand_Zero” doesn’t carry the same impact. Or does it?

The quickness with which Marketing Departments leap on trendy titles never ceases to amaze me. Stick around long enough (as I’ve been fortunate enough to do) and you’ll spot the pattern:

First, an Early Influencer emerges with a new style of name that evokes a vision of a hot technology or trend.

Next, entities obtained through Mergers and Acquisitions will be rebranded with “me, too” titles.

Then, Industry Stalwarts will be convinced to tag something to their established Brands in hopes of convincing some untapped demographic that they’re as timely as anyone.

Finally, a new round of Early Influencers emerges, setting the new trend and instantly making the former tagalongs appear stodgy and dated.

The way I figure it, the only people benefiting from such rebrandings are the Logo Design folks and Business Card Printers…

It also seems to me that modifying a Brand to capture a trend only guarantees the process will have to be repeated again and again, as each respective trend falls out of style.

But, I’m not a Marketing Consultant – just a casual observer.

Let’s look back for a minute and consider a scenario in which personal names are similarly modified to reflect past business fads:

Born: Dave Pluke (yawn)

DavePC (‘cause the full name was just too long and PC’s are selling like hotcakes)

AutoDave (who doesn’t like automation?)

WinDave (peacefully coexisting with the latest Operating System)

Dave Pluke .com (jumping on the Dot Com bandwagon – just in time for the bubble to burst)

eDave (proving I’m eCommerce friendly)

Dave_i (now, with full Internet capability)

Dave98 (Dave-for-Workgroups just didn’t roll off the tongue)

Dave 2000 or Pluke, Millennium Edition (ready to transition y2k without crashing)

Dave Pluke 2001 (whew! We really did make it!)

Davester (pick your proper name or noun – add “ster” – it’s fun!)

myDave (Social Media influence creeping in)

YouDave (less ego-centric than the previous incarnation)

faceDave (PLEASE “Like” me…I need to be liked)

mDave (the Dave Pluke Mobile App you can take anywhere)

iDave (a stylish, but proprietary, version – priced accordingly)

dp (much easier to Tweet)

angryDave (not an industry trend – just me after a Green Bay Packers loss)

DaveCloud (now, distributed and fault-tolerant)

DaveP (a nod to mixed case SaaS conventions)

DavePluke360 (well rounded)

And, finally (until next time):
DavePluke365 (‘cause Microsoft thinks Days per Year trump Degrees in a Circle)

On second thought, you can just call me “Dave”.

If I’ve missed any, please let me know.

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Windows 8 has (not yet) Changed my Life!

About one month ago, I took the bait on the very attractively priced (at Microcenter) Windows 8 Pro Upgrade on its first day of release. My “lab rat” for this experiment was a Core2Duo desktop with 3GB of RAM and a Radeon Pro graphics card, which had been running (don’t laugh) Vista Ultimate.

Metrics and deep-dive feature reviews have been covered by those more versed than I.

What I really want out of an Operating System is Speed and Stability (which implies Security).

I appreciate there are different priorities for Personal and Professional use – and I fall into one or the other category at any given time. Based on the above, here are some of my observations:

While I applaud Microsoft for making the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade available so affordably, I was not impressed that I was unable to apply the 64-bit upgrade to my existing 32-bit installation. Granted, a drive reformat would have been necessary, but I think that should be an advertised option. Since this DVD was specifically tagged as an Upgrade package, I was reluctant to attempt installation on freshly formatted media (with no existing instance of Windows). Has anyone been successful with this approach?

The Windows 8 installation did speed up this system’s performance, but I suspect any fresh registry (even reinstalling Vista Ultimate) would have pepped things up. Most applications launch much faster than before. I’ll let you know if that changes as the registry expands.

Lacking touch screen capability, the initial Windows 8 “live tile” interface is of little use. Just give me the desktop upon login, please.

IF one does have a touch screen, I can see a benefit to running Windows 8.

And, when funds permit, the next tool in my belt will be a Convertible Ultrabook, running Win 8 Pro.

The 11th hour decision to pull the Media Pack features out of Win 8 Pro was ill advised. I’m assuming, from the Product Matrix, that Microsoft wanted to simplify their offerings, when compared to Windows 7, but this simply reverts to the “Home / Home Premium / Pro / Ultimate” nonsense. The only good news is the Media functionality is currently available for free download. But, c’mon Microsoft – bundle it with the Pro install and call it a day.

I’ve been using IE9 for quite awhile now (though I do most browsing via Chrome). Didn’t quite understand the recent, giant Marketing campaign for that year-old browser – especially when there’s no product to buy (it’s a free download). But, that’s probably why I’m not a Marketing Mogul at Microsoft. The fact that each Tab has its own history, cookies and resources can be both a good and a bad thing. In general, though, I see no reason not to use IE9 over previous versions.

IE10, as it was released with Win 8 Pro, is of limited use for me (i.e. non-touch screen). Its minimalistic interface poses the classic challenge of “Where’s my stuff?”. I really like to know what a browser is doing – or, more particularly, sharing. As such, I prefer certain Settings and Features to be readily available, rather than buried deep within submenus.

The general tile-ization / ribbon-ization of applications inevitably results in more clicks to accomplish my tasks. Your mileage may vary.

But, I digress. We’ll see how IE10 matures as it’s rolled out for more users.

So far, I haven’t run into any Driver incompatibilities. Good news for folks (like me) who don’t change out all their peripherals with every OS upgrade.

Corporate environments would probably be wise to buy Windows 8 Pro “with downgrade rights” and run Windows 7 Pro for the time being. As is historically the case, Domain Controllers need to be running current versions before newly added Group Policy options become available. That means the upgrading of all DC’s to Windows Server 2012 should be complete before introducing Windows 8 clients.

So, to recap:

Provided Microsoft keeps the feature set high and the cost of entry low, there should be little resistance to Windows 8 adoption.

Upgrading to Windows 8 Pro did result in performance improvement, but it has not (yet) changed my life.

Heading off to Autodesk University ( #AU2012 ) soon. Hope to see you there.

Dave

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…and I approved this message

Voting - both a right and an obligation in a democracy

Voting – both a right and an obligation in a democracy

Life in “THE” Swing State

In years past, up dere in MeenahSOHta, I’d thought we’d endured some contentious elections.

Those pale in comparison to this year’s Presidential race as it impacts Southwestern Ohio.

Week after week, the Cincinnati TV market has been in the top 10 “spends” of both campaigns and the Super PACs that do their dirty work.

Keeping political preferences out of it, the overall tenor of these ads is simply discouraging. It’s non-stop whiplash between “He said this” and “No he didn’t”; “You’d do this” followed by “Oh, yeah? Well, you’d do THAT” in 30 second doses. The choice is yours; Doom or Gloom!

It’s difficult to believe that these ads are going to do anything for the elusive “undecided voters” other than perpetuate their malaise. Still, the ads just keep on coming.

I never thought I’d long for a local Car Dealership or Roofing Company commercial, complete with their cheesy jingles and obnoxious kids – but, I do. Those of you living in non-battleground States, count your lucky stars (be they red or be they blue).

During these next two weeks, my closest friend will be the “Mute” button.

Dave

P.S. Remember to VOTE on (or before) November 6th!

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#AU2012 – Autodesk University 2012 courses

I'm a speaker @AU2012

I’m a speaker @AU2012

Earlybird registration opened today! For those who are interested, these are my sessions at #AU2012 :

AB3466-R – You Want to Change What? A Discussion of Critical Path Decisions in the BIM Workflow – Tuesday, November 27, 2012 – 10:30am – Noon (Roundtable discussion)

CM3421 – Get IT Approved! How to Persuade Upper Management to Open the Checkbook – Thursday, November 29, 2012 – 8:00am – 9:30am (Pace yourself at Wednesday night’s #AUGI Beer Bust!)

I’ll also be a Lab Assistant for Dave Espinosa-Aguilar’s two part Fundamentals of AutoLISP Labs:

CP3403-L – Tuesday, November 27, 2012 – 3:30pm – 5:00pm
CP3412-L – Tuesday, November 27, 2012 – 5:30pm – 7:00pm

If you haven’t attended one of Dave’s sessions before, I strongly recommend doing so. Not only can he present complex topics in easily absorbable ways, but Dave’s enthusiasm is infectious. I had the pleasure of assisting one of his Labs in 2010 and am very much looking forward to doing so again.

Hope to see you at Autodesk University!

Dave

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So secure, users can’t log in!

Oh, by the way, your password has expired.

Oh, by the way, your password has expired.

 

Microsoft Office 365 misses the mark with auto-expiring passwords.

I have been impressed with the way Microsoft Office 365 is working on my wife’s computer.  Outlook synchronizes nicely with her Android phone and, until that incident with a loosely capped water bottle, with her iPad.

That changed last week, when she was traveling and unable to connect to Office 365’s Exchange Server to Send and Receive emails.

We tried resolving the connection issue, first via cell phone, then with gmailed links to some knowledgebase articles and, finally, with a LogMeIn session.  Nothing was successful in connecting to Exchange.

Once I had her computer in front of me – and had time to do a little research – I discovered the culprit:

Microsoft’s default setting is to expire Office 365 user passwords after 90 days.

Now, I’ve been in IT long enough to know that users don’t always tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  With nearly 27 years of marriage in the balance, I tactfully inquired if she had been presented any warnings regarding mandatory password changes.   She swears she was not and I accepted that answer (and remain happily married to this day!).

I’m a vocal proponent of strong security, but not to the point of locking out users without warning.

I’ve also been in IT long enough to understand there’s a fine line between adequate and overbearing security.  The best way to assure a potential password breach is to force users to periodically change them.  Human nature will almost guarantee new passwords will be written on Post-It™ notes and stuck to Monitors or under Keyboards.  Unless there are compelling reasons to do otherwise, I don’t force password changes on users.

With the culprit identified, I set about finding a way to change Microsoft’s default setting.  The resolution required downloading and installing some special PowerShell tools and executing some lengthy command line instructions.  Given that one of Office 365’s purported advantages is to firms that don’t have in-house IT support, who do they expect is going to dig that deep behind the curtain?  Rhetorical question, of course.  It probably never dawned on them.

I’ve busted Microsoft’s chops before for too lax of defaults (primarily, in Internet Explorer), so I won’t go so far as to say they should loosen their security in this case.  I will; however, make the following suggestions:

IF you are going to expire passwords after 90 days by default:

1)       ANNOUNCE that at the time an Office 365 account is created, and

2)      REMIND users, multiple times, in advance, and

3)      PROVIDE a method through the Admin Portal to easily override that setting.

We’ll know in 90 days, if my PowerShell commands achieved the desired effect.

Dave

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What screws up the BIM process?

Summary of “What screws up the BIM process?” discussion
Cincinnati BIM User Group meeting 16 August, 2012
Facilitator: Dave Pluke

In attendance were representatives of Educators, Owners, General Contractors, Mechanical & Electrical Contractors, Electrical, Plumbing and Structural Design Engineers and Architects. No one identified themselves as a Civil Engineer, Facilities Manager or Developer.

The following is a list of items discussed, in no particular order:

Contractors expressed disappointment that some Design Teams remain unwilling to share BIM. An acknowledgement was made of potential Liability and Intellectual Property issues, but it was suggested agreements could be enacted to minimize exposure. Contractors have committed to work in BIM. If Design Models are not shared, Owners ultimately incur the additional costs of redundant efforts.

Along those lines: the only good information is current information. Some attendees reported difficulty in receiving updated Models from fellow Teammates. Such behavior is anti-BIM. While there are logistical issues involved, technologies exist to facilitate timely updates.

Architects mentioned BIM is a front-loaded process and that traditional phase-based fee structures no longer reflect percentage of work completed.

Everyone felt it is important that all BIM consumers know which content is Preliminary and which is Final (i.e. can be relied upon). It was stated that the BIM process works better when all players are at the same Level of Development at any given time.

A discussion of BIM Content resulted in no clear direction. Free Content may not be worth the price. Vendor/Manufacturer-supplied Content is often too detailed (i.e. bloated) and, in some cases, inaccurate. Some manipulation of available Content is still necessary for many firms. Should Content have Level of Development toggles/variations? Can our software vendors help us?

Some Owners are struggling with how much Data should be contained in BIM. The pros and cons of a unified/global Model versus separately developed, linked files were discussed. Technology imposes certain restrictions today, but it was pointed out that we shouldn’t allow that to limit our goals.

The group was in general agreement that well-informed Owners with defined and realistic expectations could be BIM’s best friends. How do we spread the word among Owners?

Changes in object Naming Conventions create hardships for downstream users. The example given was of the Estimating process, in which extraction templates failed to recognize items whose tags changed from “DD” to “CD” during the design process.

A need exists for better coordination between Fabrication (i.e. actual) geometry and Design BIM. Case in point being floor or roof Trusses. Design BIM may picture diagonal and vertical elements in a certain configuration, while the Truss Fabrication software yields a different arrangement. Trades placing Ducts, Pipes and Conduits through the trusses need to work with actual conditions. A better integration of Design and Fabrication tools would be beneficial.

A non-BIM-enabled firm places additional burden on the rest of a BIM Design Team. File translations (eg. Revit to AutoCAD) are stop-gap measures, unsustainable over the long term. Files should be exchanged in Native format, leaving non-BIM members responsible for un-productive time and any risk of information loss resulting from translation.

There is room for improvement in area of Clash Detection / Trade Coordination. An example of a bathroom wall, with common Plumbing, Electrical and HVAC elements was cited. Items which may be considered “too small to model” can still clash.

Does BIM represent a De Facto Project Specification? If substituting an existing element for one from a different manufacturer causes re-work for others, can this be weighted into any cost calculations? In other words, does a lower unit cost of an “approved equivalent”, on a BIM project, actually save money or cost money?

Summary, Conclusion, Musings:

By way of summary, I see some global themes emerging from the conversation. Three “Big Picture” items impacting BIM progress are:

TRUST

AWARENESS

COMMUNICATION

By signing onto the BIM process, we are implying – and relying upon – a higher level of Trust with all other parties. This can create some apprehension. Kind of like being told the invisible fence has been turned off, but remaining reluctant to test it. If Trust is allowed to erode, we risk sliding back into our old bunker mentality and the BIM process suffers.

BIM was supposed to break down the individual silos we’ve historically operated within. We need to gain and maintain an Awareness of how our actions impact fellow Teammates. Such Awareness can us help identify actions that represent a net benefit to the BIM Project.

Without Communication, we’re all stumbling around in the dark. Today’s budgets do not allow for games of “Where’s Waldo?”. Don’t make your Teammates hunt for clues – Communicate what may be changing BEFORE it changes! Share information and discuss the overall impact of changes before acting (Awareness, remember?). And, don’t get hung up on style points. Sometimes, a simple phone call is better than all the other Technology in the world. Most people aren’t telepathic. We all need to Communicate!

Thanks to all attendees for an open and objective exchange.

Dave

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Removing “BIMpediments” (remember, you heard it here first!)

BIMpediment - a word to add, an item to remove

BIMpediment – a word to add, an item to remove

Trademark & Copyright 2012 by Dave Pluke, all rights reserved – send royalties directly to one of my Swiss Bank Accounts!

Permit me to submit the following addition to our A/E/C vocabulary:

BIM·ped·i·ment / BIMˈpedəmənt/

Noun:
  1.    A hindrance or obstruction to the fulfillment of the promise of BIM: “a BIMpediment to progress”.

This expression popped into my head as I was driving to a Cincinnati BIM User Group meeting last week. At the meeting, I facilitated a roundtable discussion dedicated to uncovering – in the Group’s words – things that “screw up the process”.

At Autodesk University 2012, I’ll be facilitating a roundtable with a slightly more politically-correct title of “You want to change WHAT? A Discussion of Critical Path Decisions in the BIM Workflow” (session AB3466-R – AU2012 registration opens soon!).

Each such discussion raises unique items as well as some universal themes.

One thing that became obvious after presenting ACEC BIM Workshops across the nation is that BIM adoption varies – sometimes, dramatically – by region. Certain regions have embraced BIM, others haven’t felt the urgency to change their traditional ways. Even in “pro-BIM” regions, some firms/teams excel while others lag behind.

On one hand, it’s easy to get discouraged by all of this. To those of us who have consumed the Kool-Aid™, BIM seems a “no-brainer”. BIM can make us better at our jobs. BIM can make our work product better. I’m not alone in predicting that BIM will soon become the “Standard of Care”, leaving 2D CAD design processes indefensible in Errors and Omissions disputes.

So, what’s to be done?

A wise man once told me; “Never eat anything bigger than your head.”.

In other words, start with bit-sized chunks.

My focus at the moment is to identify and remove BIMpediments that derail the BIM process. It is my firm belief that many occur unintentionally and can be eliminated without great inconvenience.

While I’m gathering information, why don’t you take some time to reflect on any BIMpediment you have encountered and what might have been done to avoid it? If you send me your thoughts, I’ll add it to my list.

Now that we’ve added BIMpediment©™ to our vocabularies, let’s see if we can make it obsolete!

Dave

 

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