Saturday, April 5, 2014

How we drown in stylistic audacity

Change the Common Ground

It's April...and a young BIMmer's heart turns towards new software releases.

I find this time of year amusing...or anytime any new software comes out from any vendor.  The "Woot!" 's , the "Oh, darn!" 's , the "There's nothing in this!"...

I love to watch the stamping of the feet and hemming and hawing, and then...nothing.  The loudest of voices are usually the most passionate, and the ones most firmly entrenched.

In my last post, I challenged you to get out off your comfort zone.  I'll go you one more...if you are so mad at whatever someone did or did not do to your software, why not look elsewhere?  Even if it's for hedging your bet or for the sake of learning and you have no intention of changing...

Every good business in their business plan has diversification.  I was at an meeting a few years ago with many leaders from various AEC firms, and one vendor challenged them to diversify their BIM technology..."Put 10% of your projects in a different platform." they challenged.   Most won't (due to cost, or because they just don't want to, don't see a need, whatever), but look at what happened in 2008 when many single-business line AEC firms went diversification.

Side note:
Personally, and my pal Rob Jackson at Bond Bryan can back me up on this term...I am "Agnostic, with Preference."  I really don't care what technology or process you use, nor should you care which ones I use.  From an RFP or Requirements standpoint, I will do whatever is required (of course, "delivery of" and "using" are two different things.)  BUT if you give me a choice, and it fits the bill for the project, I'll choose what I am most familiar will you, and probably a good choice.

My point:  stop complaining if you aren't going to do something about it, and consider BIM Diversity.

(OK, slings and arrows time for those who will argue "We need Cross Platform BIM Interoperability so I don't need BIM Diversity" point is various technologies have various process and capabilities that you won't know about if you aren't aware.)


So, while others have been writing about Revit 2015 features, and ArchiCAD features...I'll do the AECOsim side of the house here.

Now, if you go to  you'll find the main list of the items that will be released in the AECOsim Building Design SELECT Series 5...and there may not seem to be a lot here:

Building Platform:

  • Windows 8.1 Compatibility 
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Compatibility 
  • RFA Interpreter 
  • Reporting Enhancements 
  • Replicate Drawing Option 
  • IFC Export Enhancements 
  • Create Plan View(s) Tool Enhancement 
  • Label Coordinate Annotation Tool 
  • Sneak Preview of Future Enhancements 

o Mechanical:

  • Duct Sizer (New and Improved) 
  • New Mechanical Content 
  • Drawing Enhancements 

o Structural:

  • Steel Deck Enhancements 
But I want to focus on one in particular:  RFA Interpreter.


Make once, use many

Many who I have talked about has asked:  why would Bentley create an RFA Interpreter...does that mean they are giving up on making content?  I don't think so, but you can't deny the wave that is Revit, and you can't deny that many manufacturers are creating their content in RFA (Revit Family).  

Would you want to recreate all that content, or just come up with a way to use it?  Ding, work smarter, not harder.

The RFA Interpreter reads the RFA file, and retains the geometry and parametric controls that are defined in the original RFA but behaves like native components in AECOsim.  The properties and parameters of the RFA are listed out so you can map them to their Datagroup counterparts in your Workspace (or just accept the defaults).    The parametrics are retained, the business intelligence is retained...

You can do import one at a time for placement as a massing-type object and just "place it", you can import one at a time and map the parameters to Datagroups, or you can batch convert bunches at a time for your use.

I'm not going to rehash what is in the Help File above...but I want to focus on one thing here...and I'm not sure people are seeing it.  There's no IFC here, there's no DWG, there's no "translation" per se...AECOSim is READING the RFA File and making it available for use OUTSIDE OF REVIT.

Think about that for a second...really think about it.  Do you see what I see?  Let me know if you see what I see in the comments below.

I'll most likely focus on two more items in coming posts: the IFC enhancements and the Reporting enhancements.

Enjoy the day!

Blog Title comes from the Yes song "Hold On" from 90125

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

If you're tired of the same old story...turn some pages

The familiar is...well....familiar!  We all like the familiar.  We're happy with it, it's comfortable, it's easy.  We know it well, we withdraw to the familiar when things aren't going well.  We are drawn the familiar when we need comfort or affirmation.

And herein lies the problem.  How do you grow?  How do you get differing opinions if you aren't challenged?

Quote to think about
"If you're dumb, surround yourself with smart people.  If you're smart, surround yourself with smart people that disagree with you." -Isaac Jaffe, SportsNight.

Still The Same...
When I was a part of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Large Firm Round Table for CIO's, one of our members asked that we get involved in the recently (at the time) formed Association of General Contractors (AGC) BIM Forum.    The first one I went to was in North Carolina, and subsequent ones were in Florida, Tahoe, Kansas City, etc.  But after a while, I stopped going to the BIM Forum.  I wasn't getting anything out of it.   Why?

The same people saying the same thing.  I don't know if this was by design or not, but it was the by product of the group in my eyes.

Now, it's just an example.  So if you are from the BIM Forum, please don't take offense to my's just that: my opinion.  I could use one of a whole bunch of similar examples:  local user groups, industry groups, technology conferences that do the same.   There's always an 'alpha group' of the same people doing similar things.

It's easy to get into Groupthink...which is "a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences."

When you get into talking to the same people talking about the same thing in the same manner and the same context, one can get real stale real fast.  You can't grow.

Branching Out To a New Idea

Many years ago, I tried to commit myself to be more 'agnostic' with my approach to technology.  I wanted to be open to multiple ways of doing things in multiple technology platforms versus my 'old familiar.'  I grew up Bentley.  I know many right now are leaning or grew up Autodesk or other vendors when it comes to my AEC background, and that's fine.  I was also a Bentley (and Autodesk) reseller at one point in my life.  So, it's easy to fall into the evangelistic role  for a product, and it's easy to get into a "every problem is a nail when all you have is a hammer" approach.  When I moved into management, I made it a goal to step back, and be less "Bentley" and more holistic....look at it from another angle. 

So I went to...Autodesk University.   The differences in approach, in content, in speakers, in many things to what I was used to was very palpable.  Each vendor's conferences has their strengths and challenges.   But the fact that I was a staunch Bentley user going to Autodesk University is the key here....and what did I learn?

Well, I'll admit: I don't necessarily go to AU to learn keystrokes and function/features.  I go to learn other things.  Things like presentation styles, people skills,  networking, conference ideas, technology on the show room floor that may apply to me and my firm, global work-sharing ideas, and a host of things I may not have learned at my familiar conference with the same people.

I got out of my comfort zone, and went and looked around at what else was going on.  I chose to look at something different, and learn. 

This year, I am going to the Revit Technology Conference Design Technologists conference.  Now, I am no longer a primary Revit user (nor was I ever primarily a Revit user.)  But I'm going.  Why?  Get out of my comfort zone.  Go and get a different perspective.   See how others in other platforms deal with the same problem.  Will it change my mind to use Revit in my field?  No. probably not, as I am in the process piping world now.  I don't see Revit as a fit for what we do.  Is that OK?  Sure it is.  Not a fit for everyone...

But the RTC group has smart peers that have similar problems:  technology adoption, change management, chase the sun engineering or global work-share, and a host of other things.

Now, and please take this as constructive criticism and tongue-in-cheek ribbing, but I hope the RTC users will be the same in trying to get out of their comfort zone.  People who have passion for their way, their tech, their whatever....seem to trend towards "My way is best, why would you not do <insert "thing" here.>"  I used to be this preferred technology, all the way, 100%, nothing else matters, and you were dumb if you thought elsewhere.

Now, I call myself "agnostic, with preference."  And by going to other places that don't work around or with my preference, I am learning that many of our problems are similar, many of our solutions are similar, and we can learn from each other, no matter our preference.

Make the Change that you are on the Brink of

My challenge to you:  get out of your comfort zone.  Don't only go to your familiar...go to a conference or a user group that uses something you don't (or may never) use.  See what they do, see why they do it.  Don't go there to sell your way, or to be smug about your choice...go there in the spirit of learning.  We are all smart people, we all have our way, we all do things for reasons.  Instead of looking down, why not ask "why"?

Going solely to the same session at the same conference every year listening to the same people talk about the same or similar things is familiar, it's comfortable, it's also makes you stagnant.  

Get uncomfortable.  Go learn.  Go grow.

Song Lyric Referenced:
REO Speedwagon - Roll With the Changes

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I've got a secret and I can't explain...

So...I've seen a lot lately about conferences and BIM calls, and groups, and the same people getting up saying the same things.  And that's all fine and well, but it got me thinking about those who don't say anything, and are doing wonderful and amazing things...but you will never know.

There's a great movie / documentary called "Born Rich".  It was created by Jamie Johnson, who is an heir to the Johnson & Johsnon consumer good and pharmaceutical empire.  One of the best lines in the whole movie is by Johnson's father...and I'm paraphrasing, but he basically said "Those who have money don't talk about it. "

Now, how does that apply to BIM?  First and foremost, this is not a finger pointing exercise, so don't take it that way...but having said that, I have been to many a BIM conference or a BIM presentation in my time, and the presenter is presenting something that is "cutting edge" or the vendor is espousing "look how advanced 'this' is"...and you sit back and say "Huh?  ah, no."

In Februrary 2013, I tweeted this with @NigelPDavies from Evolve Consultancy.

I can tell you from experience:  I have three categories for some of the most advanced use of technology you'll never hear about:  government projects, EPCM projects, and "I don't want to brag" projects.

1) Government - while some of the projects the AEC community does are for "public
entities" like the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), or the Military Health Systems (MHS), or the Veteran's Administration (VA), many are not.  Many projects are done for either the Department of Energy on super secret sites, or for other organizations that can't be mentioned at this time.  In many of these cases, innovations are happening that you will never know about because the firm CAN'T talk about the project, let alone the innovations on the project.

2) EPCM - The very nature of Engineer, Procure, Construct Manage (EPCM) projects is "Black Box."  EPCM is very common in energy, mining, and large infrastructure projects. Lots of risk, lots of reward.  In many of these cases, the owner has little or no say in the means and methods the EPCM entity uses: all the owner wants and gets at the end of the contract is a turn-key deliverable (plant, building, whatever.)  To stay competitive, these EPCM entities have their own technology which is very sophisticated, and very proprietary.

These technologies are part of the individual differentitors the EPCM firms use to get the work...and you'll never know about them because those firms don't talk about them openly.

UPDATE 10/18/2014  - Full disclosure here:  I work for an EPCM firm.  I am absolutely OK with EPCM firms not sharing their means and methods.  It's our risk, it's our reward.  I think they should do more talking about their scope and deliverables.

3) I don't wanna brag -  There are a lot of AEC firms out there that will not share or talk about what they do.  They go to conferences, and presentations, write down notes, never say a word about their company...and then implement "Phase Next" of anything they see, because they've already been doing whatever they saw in the presentation.   I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just suggesting there's a lot of firms out there that that do that.  (I have friends that call these folks "information sucking leeches.")

UPDATE 10/18/2014:  Context.  I have been giving and going to presentations at AEC technology and Industry Group conferences since 1988.  The "ISL" (Information Sucking Leeches) comment comes from people I used to work with, and one particular person in particular (unfortunately, passed away) who noticed the same exact attendees to conference over the span of years who never got involved with the conference or the sponsoring group...even with the group was begging for involvement, new speakers, and volunteers. 

It's very frustrating when you put your time and effort into a cause or group, where many people benefit but few volunteer their time.

What does it all mean?  I'm not sure it means anything.  I will just say that there are a lot of cool things happening all around us that you will never know about.

UPDATE 10/18/2014:  as I said above in the update:  I'm very OK with AEC firms, especially EPCM firms, not sharing their means and methods.  Learning about scope and deliverable is always a good thing as firms and professionals can learn how to push themselves by seeing "Look 'they' are doing project work just like us, using processes, procedures, and technology similar or just like ours.

My point to all of this rambling is while there are many out there who share what they do in an open forum, there are just as many who don't...and just because they don't share doesn't mean they aren't being just means you don't know about it.

Song lyric:  "Secret" from Orchestral Manuevers in the Dark

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nowhere is the Dreamer or the Misfit so alone

I make Glass Tubes.

One of my favorite television shows is "Sports Night."  This Aaron Sorkin written show was the precursor of all the West Wing / Studio 60 /  Newsroom scenes that everyone fawns over (including myself), and is filled with little pearls of see one, hit up my Vizify account and see my quotes.

One of the best scenes ever is a scene where a ratings consultant discusses with the upper corporate management about how to get the best out of people, and how to assist the team as a whole.  He uses Glass Tubes as his mechanism.

You're saying to yourself:  " tubes?"

Design Technologist in my mind

I consider myself a "design technologist."  What does that mean? That means that I came from The Projects:  I know how projects work (from both a multi-discipline standpoint AND my primary discipline standpoint), and I know a lot about technology (design technology specifically, general IT as well) and how it affects project deliverables , production.  I believe in innovation, trying new things, and taking a risk to make the whole better.

But do I work on projects right now at my company?  From a direct production  But on the project, yes!  Absolutely.  Design Technologists provide guidance, oversight, mentoring, assistance to both management (strategic) and production (tactical.), amongst many other tasks (Go ask "X", he'll know!)   A rare breed.

Does this mean that those who work directly on projects with a similar technology flair or savoir-faire are not Design Technologists?  Of course not...but for right now, I'm taking it from my POV, which is oversight, guidance, etc....

Where does Glass Tubes fit in? If you know the story of Philo Farnsworth​ and Cliff Gardner you'd know....

Glass Tubes 

Philo invented "television" in a little house in Provo, Utah, at a time when the idea of transmitting moving pictures through the air would be like me saying I figured out a way to transfer matter across the universe...Philo was inventing the Cathode Receptor, which is the basis for the initial televisions.  His brother-in-law was Cliff Gardner...who didn't have Philo's capabilities for all things science, but wanted to be a part of what Philo was doing (plus they were in business together at one point in a radio repair business, and of course, Philo married Cliff's sister.)

Cliff figured out that Philo was going to need glass tubes in his process.  Cliff taught himself to be a glass blower (not like you could go down to Home Depot in the early 1900s and get a glass tube), and made all the tubes Philo needed.  That's pretty amazing if you ask me:  he looked at a situation, wanted to be a part of it. and jumped in to assist.

So how does this fit into Design Technology and how we do our business?

Where's the fit?

Traditional Design Technologists (that is, those who sit in a consultant capacity within the company but outside of the primary project) may not be designers or engineers on the project, but they've been there before and know what needs to be done...they can look at the process and identify technology that can help you on the way.  They can work with the teams on workflow, innovation, and new ways.  They can help you get the most of what you may be trying to accomplish...they can help!

They can make glass tubes.

Now, whether those Glass Tube makers should be folded into the project or be separate as a consultative group to help all is something for another discussion.

Song lyric referenced:
Subdivisions from Rush

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Time, can't afford no time...

Time..Can’t afford no time...Can’t afford the rhyme 

I'm starting to get my blog back on again.  I thought I would put my toe back in the pond by re-posting this item that I wrote a few years ago for Eat Your CAD (  While the example is geared towards implementation of new technologies in an environment, it can be  applied to almost any process where a different process is introduced and must be presented/sold to the staff. 


In a previous life, I was a Reseller.  As such, we were the vendor’s local sales and implementation arms. We had no problem getting selling base tools and introduction training classes.

Beyond that, it got difficult. How can you show a firm how important it is to buy into new technologies and stay competitive in a changing world?  How can you prove that these new technologies provide value? How do calculate soft-cost dollars lost by staying where you are and not moving ahead? More importantly, how do you determine how the people you are talking / marketing to perceive new technology, and its implementation within their firm?

In 1991, a gentleman named Geoffrey Moore came out with one of the answers, and it was called "Crossing the Chasm". "Crossing The Chasm" became the bible for bringing cutting-edge technologies into large markets.


Now before we go any further, you may be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with Process Improvement and Technology Management?” EVERYTHING! You, as a technology leader and Agent of Change in your company, must understand how to ‘sell’ new philosophies, technologies and workflows every single day, whether it’s a new toolset in an old solution (to an entire new way of doing business (like using a Building Information Modeling workflow).  Even professional development has to be “sold” to management. Understanding HOW your “market” (i.e. your office leaders, your users, etc) reacts and wants to implement technology can help you bring new ways of doing business into your life.

Life Cycle
Let’s start by defining something called “Technology Adoption Life Cycle”
The cycle is separated into five groups, each group presenting a set of people/users/buyers to whom a product is sold during its life cycle: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards.

Innovators are technology enthusiasts. These are the people at your office who live, breathe, eat, and sleep “the latest and greatest”. They probably have LINUX boxes at home, have had home media centers before they were cool, and are working on getting Google Glass.  They are always on board to try anything new, and they represent the smallest part of our cycle.

Early Adopters, also known as visionaries, are somewhat happy to try out new technologies. They represent a larger slice of the market. They aren’t necessarily technically-minded, but understand the value that technology brings. In most cases, they are the person who empowers the Innovator.

The Early Majority, sometimes called pragmatists, represent the large part of the market. They “keep up with the Jones” and only after they have witnessed outside successes and ensure there is a safety net in place, just in case. Securing the pragmatist, Moore states, is the most important marketing challenge.

The Late Majority, or conservatives, are also a very large portion of the market. They are extremely cautious. Unlike the Pragmatist, they want internal proof before they will accept a product's usefulness.

Laggards are skeptics who would prefer to avoid new technologies altogether. They will buy only if they really must. They are the ‘kicking and screaming” folks who say “We’ve always done it this way, why change?”  (I use the term "historical inertia")

When new products are released, they follow a buying / adoption trend called the Technology Adoption Life Cycle.

From left to right, you can see how the Innovators and Early Adopters are a small part of the cycle, getting on board very early in the cycle, with the Majority holding the biggest part, and the laggards to the end of the cycle.

Moore changes the graph slightly.

Moore teaches that the break that divides the Early Adopters from the Early Majority is actually a chasm. This chasm is significant enough to warrant a full-scale effort to pass a product across. He argues that many software vendors get so caught up in early market success that they don't anticipate the chasm, and their products then fail owing to an inability to traverse the gap.

Let’s look at this graph a little differently

The Enthusiasts and the Visionaries are getting the most value, but also spending more and have the most pain…but have the most to gain. They want performance, and love technology.

The Skeptics on the right have the least to gain, as they are waiting for the “latest” to become “tried and true”. They get on board at the very end. However, the least value is on the right, because the cycle then starts over.

Here’s where the ‘Chasm” challenge comes into play: the Early Majority want good references before getting into a new technology, but Early Adopters may not necessarily make good references. They talk about horror stories and wasted effort, lessons learned...but in most cases, Early Adopters have all concluded that it was the right road to take, and they would take it again.

Cross the Chasm – How?
Moore defines a four step approach to this. He calls entering this market “an act of aggression.” He cites Eisenhower’s assault on Normandy as the way to Cross the Chasm. He calls it “The D-Day approach” - 

• Target the point of attack
• Assemble the invasion force
• Define the battle
• Launch the invasion

Target the Point of Attack
For an Agent of Change in an office or a firm, targeting the point of attack means to understand the people in your office. Find out and rate each person's compelling reason to implement a new technology, based on what Moore calls a "must-have value proposition." The key to winning is to provide a solution that the pragmatist truly feels they need. This is why rating your folks is crucial. Once rated, you can prioritize what technology (or training, or whatever you want to implement) should come first.

Assemble the Invasion Force
Getting the "force" in place means that you need to show your office leaders "the whole product"…not just the tool set, but whole gamut, including supporting services, training, administration, vendor services (if needed), and possibly other tool sets that plug into what you are trying to get accomplished ("If we get 'A', we can also use data from 'B' "). Keep is simple, and have everything in place. Also, your "force" may include your competition, but friendly competition. Don't use the "keep up the Jones" theory, as we are going on value, but you can use your contacts in the industry to help you assemble information, success stories, lessons-learned case studies, etc.

Define the Battle
Moore believes that the key to defining the battle is to create the competition. As weird as this sounds, Moore takes this view from the pragmatist and believes that the pragmatist is more interested in how a product is positioned amongst other competitors. For an Agent of Change, this could mean showing a variety of different toolsets that could met your need. In a workflow situation, your competitor could be the "old way of doing things." In training, your competition may be Billable Time.

Don't exclude a reasonable competitor....this could blow up in your face, and alienate the pragmatist. Remember, he's looking at all things.

Launch the Invasion
In Moore's cases, he describes Launching the Invasion as obtaining access to a distribution channel that will attract the pragmatist, as well as pricing models. Moore also discusses Leadership Pricing, whereby you show value no matter where the competition is pricing their toolset.
In this case, I believe one has to Launch the Invasion based on ROI...or more commonly, So What?   What's in it for the firm? Pricing is important, and you need to include not just software, training and implementation costs, but opportunity/billable time costs. The real "pricing" for you can come from what benefits the pragmatist will receive by going this direction (no matter what you are marketing), and providing those benefits in both tangible and non-tangible format. Tangible meaning dollars to the firm, non-tangible meaning good will to the firm.

So what does this all mean?
Well, here are a few things to take from all of this:
  1. Learn the personalities of the people of your firm, and how the implementation of technology relates to them
  2. Learn what drives the decision makers
  3. If you want to really get high ROI from a new technology, get on the left hand side of the Chasm
  4. If you have pragmatists in your firm, D-Day them!
If you are looking for Geoffrey Moore’s book, Google “Crossing the Chasm” or go to this Link to Amazon for the book.

In a different post, we’ll go into Moore’s second book entitled “Inside the Tornado”. Basically, if you’ve crossed the chasm, what happens if the crossing becomes wildly successful, and how do you handle the onslaught? I’ll do my best to try to take the sales stuff out and put it into context for us.

Until next time….
Oh, the song is "Favourite Shirt" from Haircut 100.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Day For You...

While I can't sing as well as Basia, it is a new day for me.

Today, I sent out the "last day" email to my fellow and former colleagues at Jacobs Engineering.  I have been on Company Convenience Leave for the past 40+ days (which is basically an unpaid furlough in which the company hopes to bring you back), and just couldn't wait anymore to determine whether or not it was going to happen for me.

For those who didn't know, I worked in the Global Buildings portion of Jacobs... a business division of the giant Jacobs, but for all practical purposes, an A/E firm within a giant EPC firm.  I did many things, but mostly around BIM (Building Information Modeling), Multi Office and Multi Discpline project execution, and other Operations things.

It was a good gig, and I got to meet a lot of great people and work on a bunch of cool projects.  But life goes on, and I was put on "CCL".  There was no guarantee they would bring me back, so I decided upon a new route.

So, as of Monday, I will be working at...Black and Veatch!  I'll be working in the Energy Division of B&V right here in the Kansas City area  (a 15-20 minute commute for me from my home in Olathe to Overland Park.)

It's a lot of different things, but basically, they've been doing what I would call BIM or "Intelligent 3D Design" for years, and I'm going to come help out and do what I do (project delivery, mentoring) across all disciplines, not just buildings.

I hope to keep doing what I am doing with many of the friends and business colleagues I've met and worked with over the past few years...and of course I'll be on Twitter.

I do want to thank all of those who supported me in my quest to find a new situation, those who went out on a limb to get me on board with their firm, those who gave ideas, and all of those who provided encouragement.

It's a new day for me...

Monday, September 17, 2012

USACE BIM Requirements update

In 2006, I had the opportunity to be a founding member of the USACE BIM Advisory committee...a group of like-minded individuals working with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to put together a set of BIM Deliverable requirements.

This group, with folks with various capabilities and differing softwares used in a BIM process put together a progressive set of requirements and Contract Language commonly known as :  Attachment F.    AttF was one of the first public versions of a tight set of contract requirements and deliverables.

One major item was that the requirements were in a Narrative format...that is, the Corps said "model walls (or doors, or AHU, or equipment, or utilities...or..or...or...)   with the necessary intelligence  to do..."  well, whatever you need to do...produce documentation, provide visualization, get ready for O&M,

A Section of the Attachment F with the old Narrative Requirements in Section 4

And all was got into use and human nature intervened.  While most did their best, and many did what was intended, many folks tried to get around the requirements, or not deliver in the software format required, or argued the requirements, or said they weren't specific enough, or what defined "necessary intelligence", or..or..or..or..

Well, times, they are a'changing...

As the group continued to evolve, as the private sector's capabilities evolve,  and the needs of the Corps and their clients evolve, it was time to update the requirements...and make it less 'narrative'....tie it down better so the Corps gets useful information above and beyond the 3% of design time and 4% of construction time in an asset's life cycle.

So here it is:  The Minimum Modeling Matrix - Otherwise known as the "M3"

The M3 is a tool in spreadsheet format that Project Teams can use to understand what the Corps wants in a Model deliverable, no matter the format.  The idea is that you match your scope against this PRE-FILLED sheet.  I say "Pre-Filled" in Caps because you don't have to fill it out...the Corps is LAYING OUT what it wants and how it wants it.

Oh, and it's organized according to standard Classification systems, such as OmniClass, UniFormat, and everyone along the life cycle (the designer, the contractor, and the owner) can play in the pool.

A snip from the Instructions that lays out what the Matrix looks like and how to use is the link to the headline is the direct link to the announcement. is a link to the M3 itself.

First, read ALL the instructions.  Yes, there are instructions.  There is information there about Level of Development AND Element Grade.  AND an FAQ.

Second, understand while there are other efforts going on in the industry to do something like this, this effort was for the Corps, by the Corps, with Corps specific needs in mind...

Thirdly, it's not meant to be a "template" that you can use on any project anywhere....  It's meant for you to follow on USACE projects, and for you to use and make a deliverable...AND as a communication tool on your project team...AND..AND..AND.

Is it authoritative?  Is it "militaristic?"    Sure it's the Army!  They know what they want, so do it.

Anyway, check it out (use the PDF link first, read the stuff behind the why)...and we go from there.