As a former trainer and now a technical sales representative, clients often ask me to define the role of a BIM Manager. Search the internet and you will find many job listings that list all the skills required, but most are technical. Many of my clients have hired a BIM Manager based on the listed criteria and end up no further than where they are today in improving efficiency with Revit or other BIM technologies.
I have customers that are moving to BIM for the first time and others that have been leveraging the technology and workflows for years.
For firms that are new to software such as Revit, the role of the BIM Manager for the first 1-2 years is to setup an efficient BIM environment. This means about 70% of their time is allocated to developing standards, templates and defined process. These are non-project billable hours that the firm is investing in now to speed up proficiency in the office. The remaining 30% is designated for working on BIM projects, including design and/or BIM coordination for each design team (depending on company structure) to stay current.
Firms that have been using Revit for years with in-place standards, templates and processes, the role of the BIM Manager differs. He/she works 70% on design and 30% is designated on bringing new hires up to speed for example. They also continue to maintain and update the standards/templates as the technology and approach to collaboration changes.
In either situation the BIM Manager does not have to be the most proficient Revit person. We commonly see the person in the office that is deemed the “Revit Guru” is chosen to be the BIM Manager. Yes, the role of the “Revit Guru” is essential in any firm because this is the person other Revit users can ask for advice on the software functionality. However, this person often lacks required the leadership skills which is crucial part of being a BIM Manager. Keep the Revit Guru working on your most important projects.
A BIM Manager relies on the Revit Guru for advice and verification that the application can produce the desired outcomes. But, the overall plan and strategy for an optimized implementation is the main role of the BIM Manager. They can also use the software, create content, modify templates and coordinate multiple models. He/she will define the project workflow based on their experience running other Revit and non-Revit based.
This person attends conferences like Autodesk University to network with other BIM Managers from around the world and attend information session to determine new approaches on using the software. The BIM Manager is also part of a local and international user groups to learn the same.
I know each firm has different needs when it comes to implementing BIM software, but choosing a software expert may not be the right choice for BIM Manager, but the person is still vital.