Industry Spotlight: Revit A Real Team Player
I have always been good as a standalone Revit operator, but in a team setting this took some time to master. In the beginning I had to figure out which direction I wanted to take. I fell back on the knowledge I picked up working at old firms. I had to start to figure out how my old firms did it and became good at what they did. A few firms I worked at used the "CAD and manpower idea"; Throw 10 Just AutoCAD guys at one project have a few project managers and/or a few red liners to get the job done. This works ok but the issue was always coordination and man-hours are not cheap. They spent more time in coordination mode then I think drafting mode which in turn cost the project dearly in my opinion. Not to mention the personal conflicts that ever large manpower firm has. I knew that was not the road for me. If I was to take off on my own I would not go down this road. I need to find another solution to make a smaller leaner practice work and be competitive.
I was using Revit at the time while these firms were trying to see if it would take hold. I would usually finish my work faster and more complete on Revit as a standalone user. But some of the “old timers” did not want to change because that were stuck in there ways. No thought or vision for new technologies even though I could get the job done faster. They saw it as a bother to train up. I thought it was a mistake so I left those two firms. I knew Revit was what I wanted to use from here on out with minimal AutoCAD influences. I knew I could make Revit shine but had no idea how to work with it in a team setting.
The next firm I worked at used the small concentrated team of Revit trained personal (no more than three or four) to work on the projects. Like the CAD teams, we had a red-liner or project manager heading up the team that did not know Revit and did not understated how to use this software, but that team member relied on his team to push out the work under his guidance. This presented some really good outcomes. This type of team was highly efficient and could achieve a quality product fairly quickly without a huge amount of issues. Because of Revit this company could create the entitlement model for the project using only 1 or 2 of their team then take that model and to right on in to construction documentation without skipping a beat. “This was great” I thought finally a way of learning how to applied Revit to a team to do bigger project. We were pushing project out fast and with a good deal of coordination. Our team got better as time when on refining our skills. We took on large project and small projects both with their own set of issues. We were cranking out more work in a month than the other firm would knock out in 4 months and they had twice the manpower. With the use of Revit and work sharing I could be working on floor plans while someone else is working on the elevation or site plans or schedules. And as they were done it would save and update to make sure we were coordinated as we went. With more people working on the same project you can digitally prototype your model better and that cut down on coordination and working drawing time, huge advantage!
So I arrived at the deamination that Revit is not only faster pound for pound as a single user but as a team use as well. I found with the work sharing applied you can create a work flow with multi users that out shines the old CAD & manpower mentality. Combined that with the fact that Revit has a lot better control over graphic controls of the drawing where the end user does not need to worry about like weights colors or text size of ever sheet. The end user can focused on the design rather than the proper line weights Revit wins hands down.
I keep an open mind to the future now though. With the reminder that one day I will be the “old timer stuck in his way.” We are always looking for ways to improve at this time Add-ins are the big thing but in the years to come who knows. I know my firm is small but not complacent in its ways.
I get in to the debate time and time again about Revit vs cad for my business and why I chose Revit for my small company. Revit’s pros always out weight the cons. I have a small practice out of Chino Ca, where I work from my home and satellite offices. My project range from groceries stores to large retail to housing to large structural projects. Because of Revit I have done just about it all. One of struggle I face how to guy business to the next level. I am not a big firm. I am not set up like a huge design firms. Don’t have the means to hire high-end project managers to look after the project as I know they should be. I need to rely on myself and small team to do the job of a big team. Small but mighty. I have learned to operate lean and mobile with low overhead to get the edge and meet our clients need. This principle of being mobile and work from anywhere has really kept me afloat for the last 2 years. I had to come up with a new way of working if I wanted to compete with in this field. I could not do this without Revit as my tool of choice. With an ever growing technology field with ever greater computer mobility the days of having huge offices and teams to draft up projects may soon be at an end. More and more I see Architect and draftsmen in the field working as a team with the use of remote clouds , remote desktops and very nifty servers the “where” of where you work will become obsolete.