Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cloud Based Collaboration Platforms Maturing




At the ThinkBIM Blog the proprietor, Matt Rumbelow, published a handy summary of cloud based collaboration platforms available on the market Down Under.  But Oz isn't the only place purveyors of these new platforms compete. Cloud based collaboration platforms are being used all over the world. 

Aconex, which is on Matt's list, is being used on the massive Panama Canal Locks expansion project and MySmartPlans continues to deliver a unique service here in the US.  In the UK Docia Ltd, a Denmark based company, has moved into Asite's backyard. 

As purveyors of these cloud based collaboration platforms proliferate the built industry enjoys more options and fewer excuses when it comes to jumping on the cloud.  Of course, as the competition heats important questions arise. Whose cloud is it?  Can we share the same cloud?  Should you get off of my cloud?  

Hey_Hey



Clever hey?  Ok, ok, I totally ripped that image off.  Hell, my readers know I can barely post an image I steal from another site, much less create a cool graphic like that!

Matt Rumbelow actually created it and since you've seen it here you really have to click through to the ThinkBIM Blog to see the whole list.  Which is actually filled with tidbits about each of the cloud based platforms he lists.  Seriously. Read the whole thing at the link!


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is Imitation the Sincerest form of Flattery?


If so, I'm very flattered!  I've been advising participants in my live workshops to form integrated teams to build projects for charity as a means of learning BIM and IPD for years now.  Glad to see the architects acting in the UK acting on that advice!  Sadly, it's not surprising to see the architects involved in the project still operating in their silo.

UK property developers Cathedral Group asked twenty of the top contemporary designers and architects to design and build a dolls’ house straight out of the 21st Century for an exhibition called, A Doll’s House. Each house was required to feature at least one element that makes life a bit easier for a child with a disability. After being on display, the dolls’ houses were auctioned off in support of KIDS, a UK charity that supports disabled children, young people, and their families.

Now if they would just invite the rest of the integrated team to the table to build a real house, then we might be getting somewhere  Again, I've argued this is the best way for an integrated team to learn BIM and IPD for years now. 

Say, I wonder if an entity like Habitat for Humanity might be willing to let volunteers experiment with BIM and IPD? Hmmm.  Where have I heard THAT advice before.  Strange, I cannot seem to get this voice out of my head.  Very cool pics of the Doll Houses designed for charity at the link.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















A Glimmer of Hope - Inspectors on Construction Sites Using Tablets


Interesting.  Very interesting.  What are these "tablets" and how are they being used?

The article excerpted and linked below describes a grown trend in the construction industry that should bring cheer to the heart of any advocate of BIM and IPD.  Apparently, cue the band, independent inspectors on construction sites are now using computer tablets to record data during their inspections.  Holy cow!  Who'd ever think of something crazy like that? 

Now if we could just get banks and owners to request actual digital assets we could pass out tablets to the trade contractors, suppliers and others as well.  But a start is a start.

"If the data coming from the field through the tablets, could easily be integrated or combined with a BIM solution that would implement a “quality vocabulary” (attaching NCRs, ITPs, Audits and observations) it would probably provide the perfect solution for any Quality Professional in the industry."

You think?

Read the whole thing.  And watch the video! 


- See more at: http://www.qualityinconstruction.com/use-of-tablets-for-site-inspections/#!


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Friday, November 15, 2013

Ancient British Warship Captured... in 3D




Very interesting story with great video at the link below.  This is the future of virtual planning in the built industry.  3D scanners empower owners of complex facilities, infrastructure and even ancient warships, to capture and compare digital images over time.  Armed with information regarding the physical world within which the asset exists owners can make more intelligent decisions regarding operations and maintenance over time.

Importantly, 3D scanning enables us to digitize the existing build environment.  Meanwhile, in the sclerotic built industry we continue to create new facilities and infrastructure sans any functional digital assets.  Can enter the 21st Century please?  Those interested in doing so will want to participate in the Smart Built Culture series Collaborative Construction has on the drawing board.  More details regarding that series will be forthcoming soon.  Meanwhile, be sure to check out the story and the video linked below.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why (IPD)X is Different than Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)




Regular readers of the blog understand my unhealthy obsession with the use of algebraic equations to exponentially expand concepts of all kinds.  In the past the terms BIM, BUILT and CM all found themselves surrounded by parenthesis and then expanded exponentially by the x hanging over the last parenthesis.  Thus, at various times, I've defined (BIM)X, (BUILT)X and (CM)X exponentially, but resisted defining IPD in the same way.  

The time has come to define IPD in a similar manner.  In preparing presentations for the MSc BIM Strategy course offered by Middlesex University out of London and for students at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Calgary I found the task of explaining the use of IPD throughout the life cycle of a facility and supporting infrastructure much easier when I expanded the concept of IPD to span that entire life cycle as well.  In doing so I found the concept tied in neatly with my argument for a new generation legal framework that supports and enables BIM on the one hand and other innovative processes, like lean construction, cultural management and lean supply chain logistics etc. etc. on the other.

The image below is extracted from one of the early presentations where I defined IPD esponentially.  The meanings listed in this slide only begin to scratch the surface regarding the new term!



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Monday, November 11, 2013

Disruption in the Legal Industry is Good News for the Built Industry




I pursued a bit of free-lance work with Axiom Law when they first started and thought they had a great model in place.  There just weren't enough in house lawyers looking for help crafting, negotiating, executing and implementing integrated agreements in those early days so I soldiered on with Collaborative Construction.  It looks like Axiom, in the corporate world, and Collaborative Construction in the built industry, may be poised to break through at around the same time.

The article linked here, Is Axiom a Bell Weather for Disruption in the Legal Industry, and quoted below suggests sufficient innovation takes place within the legal industry to support the spread of disruptive innovations like BIM and IPD.  Everett Roger's Diffusion of Innovation Cart - quite familiar to advocates of the disruptive tools and processes associated with BIM and IPD - makes an appearance in the article where the author argues as follows:



Rogerdiffusioninnovationcurve

The problem here is not economics --  its human nature.  This may be hard for many lawyers to believe, but lawyers, including general counsel, are human beings.  And human beings are prone to a series of predictable reactions when presented with various stimuli, such as new ways to perform their work.  Rather than process the merits of the idea, many human beings, including lawyers, will instead gauge the reactions of the market leaders.  If the market leaders react with approbation, the early and late majority become willing to actually engage with the idea. 
What this means is that the merits of a good idea are not enough to ensure its success, at least immediately.  This is a key practical insight that the reformer/innovator class seldom grasps.  Without understanding Roger's Diffusion of Innovation curve, an innovator's success becomes a function of timing and luck -- that is the story of Bill James. 
But if you understand the diffusion process, it is possible to construct a filter that locates the innovator/early adopter class.  And if you study their beliefs and problems, you can more effectively tailor your pitch. This approach saves time and money and holds the team together in the belief that they will ultimately be successful.
The bottom line from Collaborative Construction's perspective is that Axiom's success selling innovative legal services in the corporate arena mirrors the success manifesting itself in the built industry vis-a-vi BIM and IPD.  We are well into the early adopter portion of the curve and more and more teams are looking for advise regarding the cultural and legal implications of BIM and IPD.  Collaborative construction can help with that so give us a call!
  
Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Friday, November 8, 2013

What's a Smart Built Culture?




One of the most exciting things about launching the Smart Built Culture series is being involved in redefining the culture in the built industry.  So what will a Smart Built Culture look like anyway?  Built industry professionals interested in the answer, or better yet interested in formulating the answer, need to support the Smart Built Culture series when it launches in 2014.  You can do so as an individual or you can encourage thought leaders within your organization to sponsor the series.

One thing I'd like to see in a Smart Built Culture is a willingness to adopt and embrace (SMART)X Game Changers, rather than smothering such changes in the crib like we do today.  My definition of a (SMART)X Game Changer is set forth below.


Join us as a participant and or a sponsor in of the Smart Built Culture series in 2014 to learn more!
 

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Thursday, November 7, 2013

Governance Mechanisms that Work in the Built Environment




In preparing materials for the Smart Built Culture Series - keep an eye on the blog for big developments regarding the series soon - I delved deeply into the issue of public and private governance mechanisms that support and enable, or, as is too often the case, tear down and destroy, the working relationships required to successfully deliver a complex construction project.  As built industry professionals realize BIM and IPD require more hard work than Pixie Dust the question of how to develop quality trust based business relationships comes sharply into focus.  

So the question becomes, how do we build trust based relationships that enable us to effectively leverage these innovative new tools and processes?

Historically, open and honest communication builds trust faster and more effectively than any other process. So when, where and how do we engage in open and honest communication in the built industry?  We don't. And THAT is one of our biggest problems.  Why don't we engage in open and honest communication?  Because, by nature, we'd rather engage in dishonest and secretive negotiations.  As Hamilton famously said:  "Men are ambitious, vindictive and rapacious."  Federalist No. 6. Humanity is inherently flawed; not inherently good.  And people operating in the built industry are no different than the rest.

Thus, we must deploy governance mechanisms that take this reality into account.  Which brings us to the concept of integrated agreements.  Integrated agreements are not the product of Kumba Ya sessions. Integrated agreements are the product of hard nosed negotiations among peers, forced by economic reality to engage in open and honest communications.  In other words, effective integrated agreements are a powerful, balanced governance mechanism designed to keep the "ambitious, vindictive and rapacious" nature of the people who negotiate them in check.

Based on the  foregoing I've come to view effective collaborative workshops in the built industry as Constitutional framing parties.  The balance of power achieved in a good integrated agreement looks a lot like the balance of power achieved by the framers of the US Constitution.  The underlying motives are similar too.

Remember Machiavelli's famous statement about governing a Republic?  He said: “It is necessary to whoever arranges to found a Republic and establish laws in it, to presuppose that all men are bad and that they will use their malignity of mind every time they have the opportunity.”

I submit a similar view is warranted in negotiating any legal agreement; even a warm fuzzy integrated agreement among "friends".  Reagan's famous admonition that we should "Trust but verify" is another sound piece of advise.

I suggest we keep the foregoing thoughts close when we negotiate integrated agreements.  Readers interested in the topic may want to read the piece quoted and linked below.  From which, by the way, I lifted the quotes by Hamilton and Machiavelli!

Universal human depravity thus precluded any simple form of government whether democratic, monarchical, or aristocratic. The solution of the framers was the mixed government in which the democratic House of Representatives, the aristocratic Senate, (chosen by the state legislatures), and the monarchical president (chosen by the Electoral College) would along with the judiciary divide the powers and functions of government and thus check and balance the tendency of each branch to maximize its power at the expense of the people’s freedom. As James Madison explained in Federalist 51, the “separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government” would allow each branch “to resist the encroachment of the others,” for “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”

Equally important was the principle of federalism, the protection of the power of the states evident in giving state legislatures the responsibility for selecting Senators and the presidential electors. Given the variety of conflicting interests among the states, Madison wrote in Federalist 10, there will be a “greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest,” and “greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority.” Any selfish interest or violent passion “will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other states,” and “the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it [the nation] must secure the national Councils against any danger from that source.” Just as the variety of interests and passions among the people will check and balance each other, so too will the variety of state interests check and balance the power of the federal government.




James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Sunday, November 3, 2013

Integrated Procurement Laws




As regular readers know I've been retained by Middlesex University out of London to deliver content related to the new MCs in BIM Management and Strategy offered by MDX. The course explores BIM from three primary perspectives, technology, management and strategy.  Those who succeed in completing the course expect to gain skills relevant to adopting, adapting and deploying in accordance with the mandate, by the UK government, that BIM be utilized on the vast majority of future government projects.

My contribution constitutes a series of lectures that focus on the cultural and legal impacts of BIM and IPD and the lectures tie directly to the Smart Built Culture series that will be launched in 2014.  This blog will serve as sounding board relative to the series and the MDX course.  The essay below tackles the issue of procurement laws and regulations, an area where culture and law swirl in a toxic brew.  In my estimation, the built industry can do better.  But will we?  Please reach out if you and your organization want to be part of the solution.

Are Integrated Procurement Laws the Real Keystone?

In the procurement world building information modeling (BIM) enabled infrastructure requires support in much the same way integrated project delivery (IPD) requires support in the construction world. Procurement of BIM enabled infrastructure is actually more complex and more difficult to achieve than procurement of planning, design and construction services in an IPD environment.  BIM, when deployed effectively, over time and across disciplines, "Googlizes" information related to the facilities / projects / infrastructure created in a fully integrated BIM environment. Unfortunately, few owners demand, or even understand, the full potential of "Googlized BIM" and instead insert BIM requirements in traditional tenders / requests for proposals that lack clarity and fail to provide planners, designers or constructors any real guidance. 

BIM enabled infrastructure, i.e. infrastructure planned, designed, constructed, commissioned, operated, managed and maintained while utilizing fully functional digital assets informed, supported and leveraged by an array of effective BIM tools, is almost impossible to create under existing procurement protocols.  This is especially true in the public sector. 

Sophisticated military weapons systems are "Googlized" in this manner on secure networks. BIM originated with defense contractors tasked with prototyping weapons systems. The software and hardware that enabled those early pioneers to virtually test a fighter jet now enable the built industry to do the same with a factory, hospital, office building, schools and other facilities. 

Public and private sector consumers of planning, design and construction services must rethink the mechanisms whereby they procure those services if BIM enabled infrastructure is the end goal. New generation procurement laws, regulations and legal instruments that support BIM enabled design and construction on the one hand and BIM enabled operations and maintenance on the other are required. 

Legal agreements dictate the rights, duties and responsibilities of those involved in complex commercial transactions. In other words, legal agreements control our legal relationships. The formation and successful deployment of an effective BIM enabled team of built professionals capable of delivering BIM enabled infrastructure should be controlled by an integrated legal framework.

Instead, most owners - in the public and private sector - utilize antiquated procurement programs dependent on a bid / tender system that splinters planners, designers, constructors and trade contractors from the start, forcing each entity to operate in a legal silo. Reforming these antiquated procurement laws must top the agenda if we ever hope to procure BIM enabled infrastructure and facilities. Current procurement laws REQUIRE designers submit 2D drawings of the building to the owner who tosses the drawings over the wall to construction community for bids / tenders. We need procurement laws that enabled integrated teams to build virtually FIRST and then build in the real world. 

A few institutional owners are beginning to think this through. When change comes it will be very fast. Firms need to be prepared. Is your firm ready?

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website


Friday, November 1, 2013

Sovereign Power And the Built Environment



As mandates for the use of BIM proliferate long term advocates of BIM – yours truly included – tend to cheer.  But let's not get too drunk on our own whiskey.  Mandates limit choices – as rubes, aka Obama voters and the “Marks” in the Orwellian named “Affordable Care Act” scheme are learning  - and limits in the market place tend to drive up costs.  Thought leaders in the built industry must tread carefully in the realm of mandates.


Many advocates of BIM, consumed by their own hubris, mistakenly believe BIM – or as I define it (BIM)X – serves as a magic elixir, healing ills of all kinds in the built environment.  But sellers of Snake Oil rely on gullibility and the market.  They never pinch their clients' noses and force feed them the Snake Oil.  Only governments do that.

Which brings me to the title of this post.  Where does sovereign power lie in the built industry?  How about on a specific project?  In other words, who controls your destiny on a construction project?

Too often it's the government.  Design-Bid-Build, the broken Frankenstein of delivery models, is mandated by statutes, rules and regulations on public projects all over the world.  And too often, sheep-like owners in the private sector adopt those same procurement rules and regulations as their own.  When the legal framework within which you must operate shackles you from the outset all the (BIM)X Pixie Dust in the world won't save a project.  

Until owners are free to select, train and deploy integrated (BIM)X and (IPD)X enabled teams, the full capabilities of BIM and IPD will not be realized.  Meanwhile, government mandates will continue and the unintended consequences of those mandates will continue to manifest themselves.  Let's hope BIM mandates don't become as big a debacle as the ACA.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website