BIM Manager - What's the Deal?

A term that's appearing a lot these days in the design world is BIM Manager.
How is that different from a CAD Manager? How vital is the role that they play? How much money can they expect to earn?

Well, as we all know... information is only as important as what you do with it.
Do you keep it up to date?
Can everyone find it?
Is it accurate?
Is it being passed along to everyone who needs it in a usable form?

Check out the following commentary and see what others have to say (and, I have to admit, it's difficult to find BIM Management articles, since when you google... you mostly find job advertisements for this in-demand hot job)...

The Importance of a BIM Manager in a Firm - Architectural Graphics Standards Blog
The New 'Must Have' - The BIM Manager - Dominic Gallello (via AECBytes)

Mark Kiker announced on the CADD Manager blog that he requested teach a course on Defining a BIM Manager and their duties at AU2008.

Read the BIM Manager Blog by David Kingham.

Job Descriptions:
If you really want to know what BIM Managers are doing, check out the job advertisements, Indeed.com alone shows over 260 active advertisements at the time of my search.

You can also check out the estimated salary here (around $80,000 usd).

According to the 109 BIM Managers who took part in the AUGI Salary Survey in 2007, their average wages were about $62,000usd (this survey is worldwide, whereas Indeed.com's only refers to positions posted in the US)
We're running this anonymous survey again next month, please take part (June 1st - 31st, 2008).


FMDesktop Pilot Program Status

Hi there, fellow FM'ers. I just wanted to give you folks an update on how my project has been going.

I started out about a year ago with FMDesktop 7.0 (FM, FL, FW) and cross-graded to ACA08 (for the SpaceAutoGenerate feature), which then made me update to FMD7.1 (because the older one didn't work with anything newer than 2007, also remember that 2009 will not work with 7.1, so I hope you've got FMD subscription for when the development team adds that ).

Anyway, both programs were a slight learning curve for me. I've been on the discussion groups and at AU pumping everyone I could find for guidance on FMDesktop for the past couple of years. I made a few mistakes (accidentally deleted one field which undid a couple of weeks of work, there's the drawback of working in a database, there's no 'undo' button). But, it was quicker redoing the information since I'd already done it once before (if we push this live, I'll set up automatic nightly backups to a portable hard drive, IT does this, but, it's a big hassle to just look for and restore one file or folder on a system as large as ours).

The space creation and cleanup took about two weeks for one floor of my campus (big campus), the export to DWF went okay (once I realized I had to save in the current file format... we're saving down to an older one to accommodate older seats), import into Facility Manager was totally painless.

I found it really simple and easy to start clicking and picking to assign departments, room usage and other data. I imported a bunch of plans with my MEP info to show how easy that was, and I created queries for the information I added during my pilot (asbestos locations, plumbing shutoff valves, which air handling unit serves each area) and liked the out of the box reports (although, if you've used Access before, you know these are pretty easy to modify with some practice).

So, I'm in the second year of my pilot as we speak, but, the BIG thing in this project was the presentation I just made a couple of weeks ago.

Every year my department hosts a planning and education conference for all of our facilities group (managers and supervisors), some of our corporate folks and even some facilities people from the system's other facilities. We present on various projects we've done or wish to do and get feedback from our experienced coworkers.

I put together a presentation (I only had an hour) and had to remember that these folks were engineers, project managers, skilled mechanic managers and nontechnical administrators; NOT software or computer technicians. That's a challenge for a dork like me who is surrounded by other nerds like me all the time, they sometimes tell me I speak a different language.

But, we did just practice effective speaking and did test presentations in a course I just took in my studies at Saint Louis University, so that allowed me to hear some good tips and feedback from the professors and other students.

I reminded them of the definition and the purpose of CAFM, gave some examples of other facilities who utilize such systems and reminded them of pitches we'd been given in the past by software vendors.
Then I told the positives of FMD over others (cheaper startup cost, ease of modification, no need for a web server so we can just use our existing file server, ability to expand to include a work order system [ours is a bit outdated]), informed them of the information I put in this pilot and walked them through how it can be accessed and easily modified, suggested either having our space management firm adopt this or bring a portion of it back in house, queried for the office and associated equipment of our director as a sample and finally showed them a brainstormed list we'd put together years ago with the type of information we might choose to include with a full rollout.

I ended by telling them where they can watch a video I made (I love CAMTASIA!) walking through how easy it is to use the program to make changes (they've all seen me polyline spaces in AutoCAD before when I first did some of these plans and know it takes awhile).

Of course, I also revealed to them how many staff I thought we'd need and was grilled on that a bit, which gave me an opportunity for my long-standing justifications.

Anywho, wish me luck. This lives or dies by the reactions to that presentation. I was told by my Manager and Director that I'd presented well and they were re-convinced (believe me, it took a lot of talking to get the ten grand I needed to just get this far).

It seemed to be well-received and I got a lot of good questions from the audience (about 45 people), and even managed to mention BIM (which our corporate overlords kept mentioning during their presentations because they're starting to require it... I'm trying to make the point that I need to be more involved in that, because their current open standards will not help me much from a long-term system management position, although it's been proven to streamline the design process).

All I can do now is... wait.

Wish me luck.


Stray Rescue of St. Louis Wins $1M

Congratulations to Randy Grim, Stray Rescue and the St. Louis community for winning a recent contest that earned them one million dollars for a shelter makeover.

ZooToo sponsored this makeover contest and searched the country looking for the most worthy program and gave financial gifts to the top three.
This looks like a really great resource site, which was founded by the former CEO of Meow Mix (Richard Thomas).

A.G. Edwards has apparently donated a warehouse to Stray Rescue which will house them and other services including Pound Pals (Randy's ultimate goal is for them to be able to offer 5,000 free or low-cost spay/neuter services to the poor each year to help reduce the number of strays who need rescuing).

With this contest combined with funds they've set aside, they've got roughly half of what they'll need to fit out this new space for occupation and use. So, as they enter into the Design and Development phase, I wish them luck toward the successful completion of this project.

~a round of applause~ Great job and keep up the good work!

AutoCAD 2009 - All the rest

I went over some of the highlights of the my initial product review of the AutoCAD 2009 release in this article back in February.

In April, AUGI HotNews published my TipNiques column on the Interface changes with ACAD09.

And in May, I did a follow up (AutoCAD 2009: Odds and Ends) listing all of the little changes, enhancements and new features that I'd come across.

In June, Brian Benton is scheduled to round out this series with a good walk through on the Action Recorder, so be sure to check it out.

There have also been some articles in AUGIWorld and in other HotNews columns about making the most of new features.

And, please note, if you want the menu bar back and things to look more traditional, just switch to the Classic Workspace.

Of course, if you're not quite ready and willing to upgrade, feel free to refresh yourself and make sure you're taking advantage of the AutoCAD 2008 features!

TIPniques: Dashboard Customization
TIPniques: Using Referenced Files
TIPniques: AutoCAD 2008 Odds and Ends


My Status Update

Alright, I've been a little busy lately.

Okay, a lot busy.

Since it's new product time, I'd finished up my work for Ellen on the 2009 AutoCAD and LT Bible, then started on a couple of articles for AUGI HotNews TipNique's column (April and May 2008).

I returned to college as a student of St. Louis University's School of Professional Studies to resume my Bachelor's degree.

Then my husband and I found out that we were expecting offspring #2... so I've been having to spend an awful lot of time napping because I'm EXHAUSTED.

Also, the Gateway AUG had their Spring Quarterly meeting. I presented on AutoCAD 2009 and Haden Smith presented on workflow with BIM. It was a pretty good meeting with a lot of great commentary by the members in attendance. We do apologize for going out of character and gathering on a Friday night rather than during the middle of the week, but, we had multiple scheduling conflicts that necessitated our departure from that norm.

During the meeting, I announced to the group that because of my schooling and impending bundle of joy, I would be resigning as President and would be replaced by Nicholas Iyadurai.
I'll still be serving on the board as a Member at Large, promoting and attending the meetings, probably presenting on occasion as needed. But, I'll no longer perform emailing or treasurer duties, as I have since the group's inception.
So, since then, past-President Brian Myers and I have been meeting with Nicholas and Chris VonFeldt about procedures, history and the new website revisions (Chris has been working hard to tidy up our site, lots more to come!). Also thanks to members Elle and Rich for their review of the site and additional ideas and to Rudy for helping to arrange our meeting space.
Our members are why we can do what we do.

As for why I asked Nicholas to step into my shoes... well, his company does a lot of work for mine, and I've always been pleased with his professionalism, enthusiasm and skills, and he was ready and willing. So, many thanks to him for agreeing to take on this laborious yet rewarding task!

Last week I had my final for my first college course in over five years. Whew! That's a lot of pressure. But, I read and studied the book and lecture notes and paid attention to the comments my classmates made in our online arena (which was hard in a night class considering I've given up almost all caffeine)... and surprisingly did really well and feel a lot better now than I did at the beginning of the class. So, I'm off for a couple of weeks before my next class starts.

I was a bit disappointed that the Industry Advisory Board for Vatterott's CAD program was scheduled for the same time as my final, as I do normally enjoy those quite a bit. I did ask my husband to go in my stead and he really thought it was a pleasant and productive evening as well.

AS IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH! Last week I also had a BIG presentation to give at work. As I've mentioned, I've been piloting the FMDesktop CAFM suite over about the past year. I've been trying to get enough support for a CAFM implementation campus-wide for almost as long as I've been here. FMD was finally cheap enough for me to push through a test, thanks to the support of my Manager and Director.

Every year we (the Engineering group) host an Education and Planning conference for our hospital, but, we also invite the pertinent corporate overlords, as well as FM leaders from some of the health system's smaller hospitals. We all present on various projects we've completed or would like to tackle, and it's a great time to get feedback, garner support and share our opinions with one another.

Well, since I'm the only nerd left in the department, I had the distinct pleasure of arranging the setup of the presentations and the A/V needs. I don't know just how many ways there are to break or choke up a Powerpoint file, but, I'll bet that I saw at least a half a dozen different methods early last week (although the deadline for submissions was the previous week).

So, everything ran smoothly technically as the two day conference went along, and last Friday I had made my presentation to the group (next to last, THAT really helped my nerves).

It was really very well received. I think we're getting to the point where we're willing to embrace technologies out of our traditional MEP engineering realm. There were some GREAT questions from the other Managers and the Supervisors. My boss and the director told me that it came off really well and they thought I'd done great.

I only hope that I did the possibilities the justice that they deserve. There's so much we could do better. We're already good at what we do, but, we can always improve things.
Wish me luck.

I'll be starting my next class soon, and I'm in the process of making my annual revisions to the AUGI CAD/Design Salary Survey. YES! You heard that right, ALREADY! We're going to run it in the summer so that we can publish it in the fall in time for year-end reviews. I don't know why we didn't think of this sooner.

Whew. Now I remember why I'm so tired.

Oh, and my office move that was scheduled for the 8th of May has been pushed back until the end of the month. Boy, oh boy. I can't wait. (rolling eyes)