It is easy to answer a question briefly and succinctly with “yes” or “no”. To get a more detailed answer would be desirable in this case.
What, in the context of a BIM project, actually means productivity or increasing productivity?
Quote Wikipedia: Productivity is an economic-scientific measure that describes the relationship between produced goods/services and the production factors needed for them. The factor is determined by formulas:
• Work productivity = output/input
• Machine productivity = Output quantity/Machine hours used
• Material productivity = Deployment Quantity/Quantity
Now, when we look at a BIM project, we will encounter all three forms of productivity during the BIM process. In the development and planning phase, we focus on work productivity and in the construction phase with all three forms. But when we look at the BIM process, a statement about productivity is not superficially relevant. A process has a specific procedure to be followed. However, a selective deviation from the BIM process does not mean that the productivity will become worse automatically. As well, it can happen that productivity increases due to the deviation. Thus, a “no” answer to the input question is quite correct.
Nevertheless, it is worth considering whether and how one can achieve an increase in productivity in the individual phases of the BIM process. If you have successfully completed a BIM project, you assume that at the end of the project a building was created perfectly and that the BIM model has exactly the same content in digital form when handing over to the building management. Whether the time required, the machine effort and the material expenditure were appropriate, is not for discussion at first. But just about these factors we get a statement about productivity. Improving productivity means for me to turn in detail on these adjusting screws.
Work productivity cannot be increased if people work even faster and even more. Dissatisfied people are not becoming more productive. Rather the opposite will be the case.
However, work productivity can be improved throughout the BIM process. The methods Kanban, lean construction and Last Planner® have been available for a longer time. The use of the methodologies improves the productivity of the work. The BIM process requires a continuous digital working method. You need to use not only the methods mentioned, but also use them digitally in the BIM process. From digital to paper and then back from paper to digital is not purposeful. And if it’s digital, you should also consider reducing the number of emails and phone calls. This also increases productivity.
In the development and planning phase, your employees need sensible computers and software products that relieve and do not burden. Your IT must also provide appropriate servers and communication links. You’re doing the job. IT is your service provider.
During the construction phase, you must ensure that the necessary machines and tools are provided and ready for use in good time.
If all components have been correctly created and described in the planning phase, then they only have to be provided in the right place at the right time during the construction phase.
Perhaps it is also worthwhile for you to consider your consultants and their concepts in terms of productivity. Do your consultants know about Kanban, lean construction, Last Planner® and BIM? And if so, are you also proficient in digital implementation? Do the consultants only want to sell you software products, consultations and crash courses, or are they willing to be a coach in the entire implementation process or in increasing your productivity?
The introduction of BIM is a cultural change. The increase in productivity is also linked to cultural change. Are you as a manager willing to actively tackle and actively support this great cultural change?
For the attunement, crash courses or participation in a practical workshop are interesting, if there is not exactly the operation of a CAD software or the IFC data exchange in the foreground. But then to start a BIM project and then call for a consultant when the flood of the data’s hits you is not necessarily the right way.
As long as your BIM consultant understands nothing about lean construction and your lean construction consultant noting about BIM, and both don’t have sufficient IT skills, you actually need several consultants. This does not necessarily make it easier for you as a manager to take decisions. The introduction of BIM and lean construction cannot be started infinitely often in your company. Your teams will not be able to inspire endlessly.
Implementation of the increase in productivity
At present, people in the construction industry are busy in many countries. The order situation is good. With improved productivity, you could implement more projects. They are still pushing the introduction of BIM and new working methods. If the order situation is not so good, only the companies that know how to turn the adjustment screws of productivity and with lower margins can secure the survival of their company.