Solving issues in BIM models effectively - Cloud versus file

Solving issues in BIM models: cloud-based vs. file-based

An effective BIM process results in a higher quality BIM model that helps save time, cost and frustration during the design and construction phase. Part of the BIM process includes the communicating, coordinating and solving of issues that have emerged from model checking. There are two ways of doing that: file-based and cloud-based. But what are the differences? And why is cloud-based issue management the better choice?  

File-based versus cloud-based issue management.

There are two distinct ways of working in BIM issue management: file-based and cloud-based. Both use the BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) to create, share and adjust files. With this open format, you can easily work in a large variety of BIM tools. BCF indeed offers a lot of possibilities, but effective issue management is more than interchangeability. Processing the issue-files, working on the issues and sharing information requires a seamless workflow. Here, a cloud-based way of working offers numerous advantages over file-based. Let us explore why:

Managing file-based issues is challenging 

With file-based issue management, each team member creates separate (BCF) files for describing, communicating and resolving a set of issues. In fact, they create a file based on other files, that may contain existing and new issues, new comments or status changes. This holds several disadvantages: 

  • Keeping track of issues is hard: 
    With separate issue files, it is hard to keep track of what the status of each issue is. Has it been communicated? Are solutions being developed? Has it been resolved? If so, has that been communicated to the team? Can the issue be closed and archived? This is doable with only a dozen issues, but if the number of issues is growing into hundreds or thousands, which is common, an accurate administration of the files is required.  
  • Separate files lead to confusion
    Working with separate files can lead to confusion. Different team members create numerous files, duplicates and versions. This induces the risk of working with out-of-date information, incomplete information and conflicting versions, making the process of managing issues that much harder.   
  • No centrality 
    File-based methods do not sustain the categorization of issues. There is no central platform to manage issues by status, milestones or priority. This must be organized separately in project management software, spreadsheets or file-coding.  
  • File-based issue management causes delay.  
    Issues are addressed by only one or a few team members. The status, results and overlap between disciplines must be discussed in integral team meetings. This takes valuable time that could better be spent elsewhere. 

In general, we can conclude that as file-based issue management works with many separate files, it can result in ‘multiple truths’. This puts a huge pressure on the BIM Manager to provide closed-loop feedback, reliable file administration management and project management. It can be done, yet it is very challenging. That is why cloud-based issue management is the preferred choice.  

Cloud-based issue management: a single source of truth 

A cloud-based issue management and BIM collaboration tool such as BIMcollab Nexus offers many advantages compared to file-based. It is a single source of truth: a central location where all issues are collected and managed, enhancing collaboration throughout your projects. Let’s investigate that in more detail: 

  • All issues are in one place 
    In a cloud-based issue management tool you can create an issue, assign it to a responsible team member, manage it throughout time, and approve the resolution of the issue. It brings all issues into a central place and ensures everybody is always working on up-to-date files! 
  • All communication in one plac
    All actions and communication are stored in one place. Confusion about files, versions and actions is a thing of the past. Team members can even get notifications on changes and desired actions. Communication is simplified for the entire project team.  
  • All project management in one place 
    The central handling of issues allows for categorization. In BIMcollab Cloud, you can easily add labels to issues, like status, priority and milestones. Besides, you can easily assign issues and deadlines, filter issues based on properties and prioritize them. It enables you and your team to cooperate effectively.  
  • Project transparency  
    A cloud-based way of working provides full transparency for your team. All issues, statuses and communication are visible to everyone. Everybody feels involved, it can contribute to solutions, and it (nearly) makes team meetings obsolete: the issue management process has become continuous, independent from place and time. 
  • Tracking project history 
    All data, communication and actions are logged in a central hub. This creates a complete and transparent issue trail which sustains feedback to team members, process and results evaluation, and the archiving of proof-points for potential legal discussions. 
  • Accessible from anywhere  
    BIMcollab Cloud facilitates model-based collaboration. It is accessible anywhere and at any time via the web browser, no matter the device you use.  
  • Seamless integration with BIM tools 
    A seamless integration of issue management with BIM tools and processes is essential to benefit from all advantages of a cloud-based way of working. That is why BIMcollab Cloud connects seamlessly to the most popular BIM tools. Think of the advantages of working on issues directly from your desired BIM software, such as ARCHICAD, Revit, Navisworks and more. The BCF Managers handle the communication between your preferred software and BIMcollab Cloud.  

Why managing issues in the cloud is key 

Essentially, BIM was created to effectively use the shared knowledge of all people and disciplines involved in a project. Why not apply that to BIM issue management as well? With a cloud-based issue management solution you can count on optimal efficiency, control and contribution of all team members involved. The software guides and helps in every step of the process, saving loads of time and making teams less dependent on a BIM Manager having manage and merge all issue files. Now, you can use your time to efficiently solve issues, improve collaboration, and create high-quality BIM models, resulting in better buildings in the end. 

Ready to optimize issue collaboration in your BIM project?

Are you ready to improve your issue management process, enhance collaboration, and take your BIM projects to the next level? BIMcollab Nexus is the BIM collaboration platform you have been waiting for. Schedule a meeting with our BIM experts and discover what we can do for you.