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3 Do’s and 1 Don’t When It Comes to BIM Training

Many companies and teams understand the importance of BIM training, but often develop unsuccessful training programs and standards. Why is that? Often, there is a misconception about what BIM training is and can do for your team. Here, we share three do’s and one don’t for understanding the value of BIM training.

DO understand that BIM training is about people and processes, not software.

Fundamentally, it’s easy to understand why BIM training should be about the user. However, too often, companies fixate on the BIM software. While tools like Revit help create the deliverable, the person sitting in the chair and their relevant experience are the more powerful aspects of the BIM equation.

As Stephen Griffin, director at Allies and Morrison, states in this article from, “[A company’s] biggest investment is not going to be the BIM technologies themselves, but the change management that…will have to be put into effect throughout [the] organization. BIM is about a process and that’s where the real cost will be. There’s really only one way of benefiting from the process and that’s to have a fully integrated internal and external team.”

DO set goals that are unique to your team.

You, the BIM Managers, and the executive team know what you want to be able to do with BIM. However, in order to get there, you need to first understand where you are. First, understand your current situation. Then, use this information to help shape your goals and curriculum.

As this Line Shape Space article points out, each organization is different and your goals, situation, and processes will differ as well: “Do you want total expertise, possibly with the end effect of eliminating the need for pure drafters? Are you looking for only a basic understanding, so the designers can hold their own in client meetings? Maybe you want moderate proficiency, so your designers can comfortably navigate a model and do basic modeling and annotation.”

DO customize topics to your users.

Again, this goes back to the fact that all organizations are unique. So, the mix of users, level of expertise, and knowledge will likely be unique as well.

Users also want flexibility. The traditional classroom training style works well for one or two days of intensive study, but over two weeks? That’s why companies now supplement classroom training with on-demand online training, short seminars, and roundtable discussions. Mixing up the delivery method not only appeals to different learning styles, but can also be more financially savvy.

DON’T “set it and forget it”—training is ongoing.

BIM professionals and users are humans, and like most humans, we don’t retain 100% of what we see, hear, and learn. In addition, BIM technology and mandates are rapidly changing and evolving. That’s why ongoing training is needed. That doesn’t mean you need to invest in a weekly live, formal BIM training class; attending a user group or a free webinar are all ways to get additional training at low to no cost for both the user and the company.

We’re sharing our picks for best free resources for BIM training and education next week. Have one you would like to suggest? Let us know in the comments, and see your suggestion in our list!

Additional Resources

Here are two great articles, which we referenced throughout this post, that discuss how to get to BIM and establish a training procedure for your office.

All Aboard! 8 BIM Training Tips to Design a Program for Everyone in Your Office

The route to BIM in 10 steps

BIM training is a worthwhile investment to help grow your company, team, and capabilities. Getting started means more than just a financial investment; it’s a process change that must be adopted throughout the organization. We hope this quick list provides a starting point for considering your future BIM training opportunities.