BIM Pros: Making Numbers Tell a Story

This post is about numbers and how we as virtual design and construction (VDC) practitioners can use them more effectively. If you're a BIM professional, imagine walking into your next annual review and saying a statement similar to one or more of the following:

·     "I was personally responsible for leading coordination of $45,201,030 of MEP systems on projects last year."

·     "I led VDC efforts on five potential projects, and of those projects we were awarded four of them."

·     "In the past year, I've produced 524 sheets of shop drawings in support of field crews. This work supported 10,233 man hours of field work."

·     "I modeled, detailed, and supported $25,250,450 worth of plumbing installation in the past year."

Let's think about why statements like these are important.

Numbers Tell a Story

Numbers, in this case, are like a picture – they're worth a thousand words. They give a quantifiable measure to what you're doing all day. Words are a poor substitute for a few good numbers.

Measurement Leads to Improvement

Peter Drucker was a well-regarded management visionary. He's credited with a famous management quote: "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." We talked previously about how there are challenges in the career progressions of BIM professionals. We pointed out that BIM skills are in demand and BIM staff members are hard to find. If we can quantify what we do in BIM, then we can improve.

Peter Drucker tells it like it is. (Source: LinkedIn)

Put another way, imagine your expectations for a raise aren't met and you used numbers in your review. At the next review, you can walk in with new numbers. "I increased my productivity compared to the same period last year by 19%." It's hard to argue with that type of logic.

Show Productivity Matters

If you're using numbers to tell your story, you're demonstrating that you care about productivity. Productivity is important for everything we do in construction, and BIM is no exception. By measuring what you do, you're helping to set standards for yourself and for others. This will set you up well for future management opportunities.

As 3D modelers working in BIM, we need to get better at benchmarking our individual performance. Using numbers to describe your activities tells a more vivid story. Measurement leads to improvement, which shows others that productivity is important to you.


Make sure to check out the work we’re doing in computational BIM and the automation of MEP modeling. BuildingSP is at the forefront of the application of generative design to AEC, and we look forward to better tools changing how we specify BIM on projects. You can contact us at 

Tags: BIM VDC Construction Productivity

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