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Today’s BIM champions are tomorrow’s construction CEOs By JASON RUDDLE, Chief Operating Officer, Elecosoft

[ DESPITE THE FACT that many companies today still see BIM as

an area involving ongoing effort, the digital future actually looks very bright for construction. The barriers to BIM and digital construction will melt away over time as more and more people increase their digital skills. Where today’s construction leaders are working to understand the potential of cloud, social media and big data, tomorrow’s construction companies will be digital to the core. There’s a new generation coming, which sees none of the fears or barriers to using digital technology or sharing information. They will look to disrupt construction with new business ideas that embrace technology to give them competitive advantage. Today’s CEO is fully capable of seeing opportunity and making strategic decisions that move the company towards a digital future, but it will be the challenger generation which will make it a universal reality. Tomorrow’s digital construction industry leaders may very well be today’s BIM champions. Many construction firms have found these champions from amongst the youngest of their professionals. As these mature and learn, and move higher up the organisation, they will increasingly direct and dictate the business strategies and the digital processes used in construction. This generation is more diverse in every sense, and willing to blend the old and new ways of doing things to create unpredictable and exciting results.

Every day digitally aware millennials will form a greater and greater proportion of the workforce: they are the generation who have grown up with digital and can most quickly adapt to a fast changing technology environment. At Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) the belief is that students on their construction management and civil engineering courses learn better and faster by simulating real-world work, enabling them to translate their academic studies into useful professional experience.

Students at LJMU are very confident in their use of technology, like most millennials, and this is harnessed to prepare them for the profound change that BIM and digital construction practices are bringing to the construction industry. Most importantly, they hone their digital construction skills in real life BIM environments using software such as ours. We provide our Asta Powerproject software free of charge to help students understand each stage of the construction process from design to delivery, so they are ready to hit the ground running when they start work. BIM requires a very specific mix of skills that span technologies, processes and people and the ability to collaborate across multiple teams and disciplines – the very attributes that make successful modern leaders. At LJMU students learn how to collaborate using Asta Powerproject’s BIM module – each one focusing on a different specialist aspect such as cost, structural design or construction, then they work together for a common goal. As senior lecturer John McLoughlin explains: “They learn the collaborative skills they will need in the real world at the same time. We find that people on different courses become pals too. In the real world it can be very ‘siloed’ but we hope to help change that.” There are other aspects of BIM that are vital lessons for future leaders like managing risk, being flexible and being able to respond to changing conditions, just as in any construction project. This goes beyond switching tracks and focussing on another part of a project when, for example, a delivery fails to arrive. Tomorrow’s leaders need to be agile and respond quickly to technological change, such as the increased openness that BIM brings as well as changing regulations, economic factors or even natural disasters. They also need to be good communicators, another aspect that sits at the heart of BIM and its inherent openness. Training the future generation and giving them digital skills and knowledge is the essential first step to prepare them for the top management positions in construction all the way up to CEO. It is why Elecosoft takes every opportunity to support the very institutions that are providing the training and shaping the construction professionals of tomorrow. This foundational support will help us in realising much, such as the ambitions of the government’s Digital Built Britain strategy in leading the world on global BIM standards. It also supports the idea of creating a knowledge economy for construction services leading to new employment opportunities that will attract a young, digitally prepared influx of new talent. On this foundation we have every chance of shaping the future construction CEOs that will help Britain become a global digital construction powerhouse. q • For further information visit www.astapowerproject.com. www.constructionnational.co.uk

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1CHK 2016 mag p1 108 online  

Construction London Build 2016 Scotland Build 2016 Zoos Land of the Lions London Zoo Brexit Working at Height NASC CISRS PASMA CPD MEWPs Roo...

1CHK 2016 mag p1 108 online  

Construction London Build 2016 Scotland Build 2016 Zoos Land of the Lions London Zoo Brexit Working at Height NASC CISRS PASMA CPD MEWPs Roo...