December 31, 2013

eLearning - Upcoming Civil 3D Class

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education. 
1.13::Civil 3D 101:
Civil 3D for Beginners
Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

Classroom Training – Open Revit, Civil 3D, and AutoCAD Classes

Know It. Ideate Training.

Position yourself to land dream projects. Tap the full potential of your software solutions. Increase your facility, fluidity and capability to maximize the value of your precision software tools.
1.14-15::Seattle
Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
1.21-23::Sacramento
Civil 3D Fundamentals
1.23::Portland
Revit Architecture Families
1.28-29::San Jose
AutoCAD Beyond the Basics
1.28-30::Seattle
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
 Know your software. Sign up now!

December 30, 2013

Intersecting Circles - Hedgehog v. Fox


There is an old fable about the hedgehog and the fox. It is a discussion about whether you are a person who needs one defining idea or can chase many ideas at once. It is from an essay by a Greek poet and then further expressed in an essay by Isaiah Berlin - (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hedgehog_and_the_Fox). "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."

Which one are you - a hedgehog or a fox?

Is it better to be a Hedgehog or a Fox?

In today's fast-paced business environment, there are many ideas to chase.  In fact, those new technologies and opportunities just keep coming - should they all be considered?

Should you put all your chips on one big idea - risking a better idea you did not explore, or put one chip on them all in hopes that one of them 'pay off'. 

I am not suggesting I know the answer, just some strategies:
  • You don't have enough time to chase them all - so prioritize.
  • Constantly evaluate new technologies and see where they might fit.
  • In today's technology landscape  - you better be a bit 'foxy'.
HEDGEHOG CONCEPT

The hedgehog concept is interesting as it describes the intersection between passion (being 'all in'), economic growth (value proposition), and what you are best at (another aspect of being all in). 

The sweet spot is in being a fox about technology and then a real hedgehog about focusing in on your passion.



David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.

This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

December 19, 2013

What I learned from Ayn Rand

In the business world, words such as collaboration, synergy, and crowdsourcing are used to describe the current business philosophy of 'the sum of the parts is greater than the whole'. This approach promotes a work environment where the team shares ideas and works for a more complete solution. So how could anyone be against that?

First, I learn new concepts, ideas, and strategies from my workmates, my clients, and from corporate management. I thank each of them for making me better, stronger, and more agile.

My concern is that the following team traits can happen:

  • In some work environments there can be givers and takers. Givers grow with new information, stretch to be better, and share that new knowledge with others. Takers sit back and let others do the heavy lifting while learning to mimic what others have learned. 
  • Also, some are doers and some are revisers. Doers risk the pioneering process (stretching for new ideas and strategies), while revisers can sit back and say "well the new solution is not quite good enough".
  • Givers and Doers are 'all in'. See my blog about being 'all in'.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM AYN RAND
An interesting movie to watch is the final courtroom scene in "The Fountainhead". Ayn Rand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand), author of the "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" believed that  success should be evaluated on what a person creates, not what is stolen from others. See Howard Roark's speech at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xtymi7_the-fountainhead-1949-gary-cooper-famous-courtroom-speech_shortfilms.

So, what is my point ?

  1. If you learned something new, give credit where credit is due. 
  2. If you have found value in a company, its products, and its people - demonstrate that value through loyalty to that company/product/team.
  3. There is nothing free in this world. So if knowledge is passed to you, expect to pay for learning that new information.
It was suggested to me recently that in the new millennium, all information will be free to all without additional payment, in fact, intellectual property should be shared freely, so 'the whole' will benefit. I reject this notion. What is the motivation for new intellectual property, if there is no monetary gain?

Be a Doer and a Giver. Support with your pocketbook those companies who provide you with new information and new ideas.



David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.

This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

December 17, 2013

Monetization - Why is it important to YOU !

I spent a lot of time recently trying to explain monetization to colleagues.

The term "monetization" may also be used informally to refer to … charging fees for something that used to be free, or attempting to make money on goods or services that were previously unprofitable or had been considered to have the potential to earn profits. (Wikipedia)

Monetization is the ability to make money on an idea, concept, product, or service. Money, meaning profit, and not simply revenue (at least in my definition). Why is this important to you, and your company?
  • Free does not achieve the goal of profit. Unless your free product or service leads to other profit revenue (called 'give to get'), then giving something for free actually moves you away from your goals of profitability. Moving forward, the customer will expect that level of product or service for free (or even the expectation that you pay them!). 
  • Monetization shows that your product has value. If your product or service is free, then it has NO VALUE. 
    • Example: Bottled Water. If we get the bottled water for free, we never seem to finish the bottle. If we pay $4 for that same water, we make sure we finish the bottle. Same water, different value. 
  • Technology (cool products) does not, by itself, create value. Solving problems brings value and therefore creates monetization. 
  • You must have a value proposition to 'monetize' your work - see my blog post http://connectingthedata.blogspot.com/2013/08/value-proposition-why-you-need-one.html
TURNING FREE INTO PROFIT
How do you take something from free to monetized:
  • Don't ever make something free. That is an oversimplification of the issue - but clearly get your 'give to get' in alignment. This is especially true of services.
    • Make sure the give is defined. 
    • Make especially sure when you will receive your get. Often the when is undefined and therefore the 'when' never happens, all the while the other side has gotten the 'get'. 
  • You must ask your customers what opportunities they are trying to leverage, and align your product or services to those customer opportunities. 
  • ADD VALUE. Value is not the special way you do your service, your new user interface, or some obscure packaging feature. It is the problems your customer is having, and your ability to solve that problem, creates value.
DATA + MAKING MONEY
So there is a lot of talk about that all data, information should be free to all.  Stay tuned later for another blog, but needless to say - data is free, but not manipulating the data to get the useful/relevant information you need.  Therefore, the monetization is the manipulation (organization, synthesis, and usefulness).

Think about how to monetize your service, your product, and most especially how you will 'monetize' yourself each day. What is your personal value proposition?


David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.

This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

November 27, 2013

Negotiate - What you do every day

 "Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties" (Wikipedia)

Just as all of us who work are part of a sales organization, ALL of us who interact with others are involved in negotiation. However, negotiation has gotten a bad reputation, based upon the 'win at all costs' that exist in today's hype-competitive business environment. There seems to be a notion that negotiation is about getting the other side to surrender, as expressed in this quote:

"Negotiation means getting the best of your opponent" - Marvin Gaye

I believe something different. I have some experience in negotiating - with a weak position, with a strong position, out of necessity, as the 'hired gun', and even when I desperately wanted to be anywhere else but at the negotiation table.

Those who manage people in a business environment, negotiate with their team members all the time. Team members negotiate with their team leads also. It is a two way street.

Here are some things I have learned - maybe these observations will help you in your next negotiation.

  • If the other side cannot give you what you desire (such as ordering a BigMac at a Starbucks), all the negotiating skills, yelling, and desk pounding will not get a resolution. Look at your expectations (http://connectingthedata.blogspot.com/2013/08/are-you-asking-right-questions-service.html). "You cannot negotiate with people who say what's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable" - John F Kennedy. 
  • Facts sometimes get in the way of emotions. This is often my fatal flaw - I think facts should always rule, and in some negotiations, facts just get in the way. Let the other side get their emotions 'expressed'. "The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it out of emotion and deal with the facts" - Howard Baker.
  • Some say that being dispassionate is the key. I have been in too many negotiations, where one side did not care - I promise you, there never was a resolution until each side cared about the outcome. Each side may have different reasons for a resolution, but they wanted a resolution.
  • Try to understand the other person's position. Not just the technical aspects, but the social, economic, and cultural side of why/how you are negotiating. 
  • Leverage is the key and the danger. If I leverage you, by withholding money, to complete a task well, what are the chances that you will be 'all in' (http://connectingthedata.blogspot.com/2013/10/are-you-all-in-or-just-surviving.html). In my mind, leverage is the gentle balance between forcing and coaxing. It is crucial that the harder the leverage point, the clearer the path to the other side getting what they desire.
So, where can we get some guidance?  I personally like the "GROW" process (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GROW_model):
  • Goal - where do we both want to be at the end point. If your goal is to 'kill' your opponent, you can quickly see why these negotiations never work. 
  • Reality - this is usually where facts can get in the way. Maybe the 'reality' is not only about the facts, but how people feel about those facts.
  • Obstacles/Options - Overcoming obstacles is the key to a good negotiator. What is the 'roadblock' that is stopping a solution. In lean thinking, it is almost always systematic roadblocks that cause problems (waste or error). I have seen the an obstacle to be as simply as "I want to get paid 10% down to buy materials", and I have seen negotiators say "no", because they had leverage.
  • Way Forward - Actions steps moving forward.
The GROW process also works for conflict resolution and mentoring. If you are not familiar with the process - check it out. (http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_89.htm).

"The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people half way" - Henry Boyle



David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.

This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

November 25, 2013

eLearning – Upcoming Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education. 
12.16.13::Civil 3D 101:
Civil 3D for Beginners
12.18.13::Revit 201:
Getting Started with Presentations
Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

Classroom Training – Open Revit Classes

Know It. Ideate Training.

Position yourself to land dream projects. Tap the full potential of your software solutions. Increase your facility, fluidity and capability to maximize the value of your precision software tools.
12.3-5::Sacramento
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
12.3-5::San Jose
Civil 3D Fundamentals
12.9-11::Portland
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
12.17-19::Seattle
Civil 3D Fundamentals
 Know your software. Sign up now!

November 20, 2013

The Benefit of Failure

One fails toward success - Charles F Kettering

Whenever you say the world 'failure', people hold their breath. Who wants to admit failure?  


What I hear about failure most often is....

  • Failure is why people get fired - right? 
  • Competency by definition does not allow for failure?
  • If I admit failure, people will think I am stupid?
Why do a blog about failure. Here are some of my thoughts that I have tried to express when I am mentoring team members.
  1. If you are trying, you will sooner or later fail. It is only those who don't try that may avoid failure, but then again, they don't experience success either. 
  2. We learn FAR more from failure than we ever learn from success. Success breeds compliancy.
  3. Failure is a positive experience when a good post-mortem is done. Post Mortem Blog
It then comes down to attitude. We all fail, we all should improve. Some examples:
  • You have lost your job - what could I have done to be more "all in". All in Blog 
  • The project wasn't done on time - what could I have done to remove workflow pinch points.
  • Sales goals are not being met - am I touching my customers like I should, or am I hoping the sales come to me.  "My phone didn't ring today".
Continuous improvement is the name of game, and you only improve when you feel the need.


David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.

This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

November 19, 2013

Ideate, Inc. Features Lionakis in Its First Ideate Explorer for Revit Study in Success

SAN FRANCISCO, California – 11/19/2013 - Ideate, Inc., a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer and Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry with a special focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM), today announced the publication of its first Ideate Explorer for Revit-focused Study in Success, “One Secret Ingredient in Lionakis’ Quality Control—Ideate Explorer for Revit.”

California-based Lionakis has played a significant role in shaping the built environment throughout the State of California for more than a century. The multi-disciplined privately held firm specializes in architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, sustainability and graphics, and ranks in the top 25 of California’s leading architectural firms.

The firm’s Quality Control (QC) process provides a system for verifying and maintaining a desired level of quality in its BIM files by planning, continued inspection, and corrective action as required. Lionakis’ approach to its BIM projects includes firm-wide standards and a Revit-strong design staff. It also includes an in-house Design Technology (DT) team of Revit experts who create and maintain the Lionakis Revit master template and help the entire staff keep their Revit projects standardized and clean.

In the same way that the DT team peers deeply into Lionakis’ Revit files, the Study in Success peers deeply into Lionakis’ QC processes, with special attention to the ways Lionakis ensures confidence and trust in ever more complex and potentially error-prone BIM models. AEC firms of all sizes and members of related industries will have special interest in the Study in Success.

Kirk Cox, Design Technology Application Manager, Design Technology Studio, Lionakis, explains the vital nature of QC by saying, “It is always best to get the project back on the right path so the team can be as productive as possible. Having an effective QA/QC process translates to dollars and cents at the end of the day.”

Bob Palioca, President, Ideate Inc., says, “While we have published many articles about Ideate BIMLink, this is our first Ideate Explorer for Revit-focused Study in Success. We are gratified that our solution is helping to ensure project accuracy, reduce errors and save time, and we are pleased that Ideate Explorer for Revit has become indispensable for Lionakis’ staff training. We are overwhelmingly delighted with our customer’s success, and we are honored to share Lionakis’ valuable QC insights with the AEC community.”

Ideate has published “One Secret Ingredient in Lionakis’ Quality Control—Ideate Explorer for Revit” online. Download the Study in Success at http://www.ideateinc.com/ideas/case.html.

Ideate Software will be at Autodesk University, December 3-5, 2013, Booth 1913, The Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada.  


About Ideate, Inc.
Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years’ experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and is an Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the AEC industry since 1992. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and operating five Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) in the northwestern U.S., Ideate is recognized as an Autodesk Gold Partner for Architecture, Engineering and Construction, one of Autodesk’s highest levels of authorization.

Ideate BIMLink lets users pull data from an Autodesk Revit file into user-friendly Microsoft Excel and push Excel data into Revit with equal ease. www.ideatebimlink.com. Ideate Explorer for Revit is a simple, powerful Autodesk Revit add-on to explore, quantify and manage the 100,000+ building elements in a Revit model. www.ideateexplorer.com

Autodesk, ATC, and Revit are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Microsoft Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.


###

November 14, 2013

What's in a Multi-Category Schedule?

Ever wondered what’s in a Autodesk Revit Multi-Category schedule? Here’s the skinny…while a regular Revit Schedule reports on a single category of data such as Doors, Plumbing Fixtures, or Structural Foundations, a Multi-category schedule can report on many of the Revit model categories at once, which can be useful for quantity takeoffs. Sounds straightforward, but the catch is that some of the model categories are being excluded. What’s missing are the system families such as Walls, Floors, etc.

The good news is that Ideate BIMLink not only includes all the model category data that you need to do a comprehensive takeoff, but it also lets you select, on a per category basis, which elements you want to include. Furthermore, you can include not just the Length and the Volume, but also the Area, which is slightly important.


Here are the steps required to use Ideate BIMLink to quickly extract your quantity data from a Revit Building Information Model:
1.    Within Ideate BIMLink create a New Link that is based on <Multi-Category> 
2.    On the Multi-Category tab review the items to decide which you need for your takeoff. 
3.    Export to Excel. 
4.    Ideate BIMLink will create a row of data for each instance within your Revit project. If you want a summary, to include counts and totals, you can use Excel’s Pivot table – see video
That’s it. You now have a comprehensive list of the model elements and proceed with your estimating with confidence.


Glynnis Patterson is a registered architect and the Director of Software Development at Ideate, Inc.

November 12, 2013

Commitment to Change

We all believe that we are good at 'change'. We are 'champions of change'. But is that really true?
  • Why are people, in general, so resistant to change?
  • What does it take to implement change (personally or professionally)
  • What is the one key attribute?
RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
There are multiple phases people go through during change:



These phases are inevitable, it is only our external response we have control over.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO IMPLEMENT CHANGE

In every successful change implementation it takes three key elements, without these keys, the change is doomed at least to a bumpy road, and probably to either under-achievement or failure.

  • Upper management buy-in. This cannot be under estimated. Without executive buy-in, the change is destined for stalling. Mid-level management will test the business resolve of upper management and can smell weakness in a heartbeat. Momentum is lost, and delay is what happens. 
  • Have a plan. Seems obvious, but much of change happens without a fully resolved and documented plan. Firms implementing change often say 'we are really smart and we will figure it out'. This is misguided and often leads to delay of change. Hire a qualified consultant, with resources to bring to the table, and give implementation consultant the input needed for a plan that is both reasoned and documented.
    • What problem are we trying to solve?
    • What are we willing to do to assist?
    • What is our corporate culture and what works best for our type of company (not based upon budget, but upon other successful change).
A project requires a new software to be implemented. The existing software opens in 1 second. The new software opens in 2 seconds. The metric says 100% decrease in performance (2 seconds vs. 1 second). The Condition of Success is the user should not notice the change from using existing software to new software.  

The problem is that metrics (numbers) can be manipulated to either forecast failure or promote success.  Metrics are not the only predictors of change success.  A defined and agreed upon Condition of Success will be a better indicator of a successful implementation than metrics.

ONE KEY ATTRIBUTE
What is the one crucial part?. Commitment. Commitment by all the parties involved, the customer and the consultant. Commitment is more than "I will pay you if you provide this for me". Commitment is the dedication of management buy-in, consultant time and effort, customer involvement and response, and dedication to conditions of success.

Unless Greek mythology Sisyphus is your hero (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary
/sisyphus
), look at your next change implementation from a different perspective.



David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.

This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

November 11, 2013

Workset Reporting with Ideate Explorer for Revit

A few weeks ago we gave a gentle nudge to BIM Managers to take the courageous step of actually executing on their workset plans. That post generated a lot of positive feedback and discussion. Including this follow-up question.

Q:  Can I use Ideate Explorer for Revit to generate a list of elements per Category or by Workset for offline review? 

A:  Yes, any elements selected within Ideate Explorer can be exported to Excel from the Detail View. After Exporting to Excel the information can be easily transformed to include element counts by using a Pivot table. Here's how:  http://www.screencast.com/t/eyB3nisThiuN

Try the Ideate Explorer for Revit Free Trial today.




Glynnis Patterson is a registered architect and the Director of Software Development at Ideate, Inc.

November 8, 2013

Classroom Training – Open Revit Classes

Know It. Ideate Training.

Position yourself to land dream projects. Tap the full potential of your software solutions. Increase your facility, fluidity and capability to maximize the value of your precision software tools.
11.12-13::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
11.12-13::San Francisco
Navisworks Fundamentals
11.14-15::Portland
Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
11.18-20::San Francisco
Revit MEP: Electrical Fundamentals
12.17-20::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
12.17-20::Seattle
Civil 3D Fundamentals
 Know your software. Sign up now!

eLearning – Upcoming Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education. 
11.21.13::Civil 3D 201:
Using the Intersection Design Tool
Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

November 7, 2013

When am I done? Why is the customer unhappy?

Within all agreements there is the expectation that the customer will be satisfied. This basic tenet of contract law is assumed, but rarely documented well in the contract or agreement. How will we know if the customer is satisfied? When things go bad in a project, more times than not, the problem starts out with the client feeling that their needs are not being met - in other words unsatisfied.

Lean thinking has a concept called Conditions of Satisfaction (COS). This concept applies to any endeavor/project, whether it is a construction project, IT project, or any other customer-based service.  Conditions of Satisfaction is defined as:

Criteria by which the outcome of a contract, program, or project may be measured.

What does a Condition of Satisfaction include:

  1. What are the expectations of the customer?  How often do we assume that or project/service meets those expectations. 
  2. Have the Conditions of Satisfaction been documented/validated/verified and confirmed by the customer? 
  3. Are the Conditions of Satisfaction(s) defined in a actionable way?

These actionable items require two key elements:
  1. Actionable items solve project requirements. The requirements that the project must solve needs to be written in a clear and defined way.  Each requirement shall be stated in a precise manner, and solve only one issue at a time.  There may be multiple requirements in a project. 
  2. The requirements also need to describe what the customer is to do.  Some call this NIC (not in contract), but I believe that Conditions of Satisfaction needs to include what the customer is providing.  I have found the best projects are one where the customer is fully engaged in the process, including providing elements of the completed project.  This dual, written commitment makes for a better partnership between the customer and the provider.
During the project, these COS requirements are reviewed at every meeting, and special attention is paid to them prior to the completion of the work.  A project cannot be complete without agreement on completing the Conditions of Satisfaction requirements.


David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.

This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

November 6, 2013

Classroom Training – Open Revit Classes

Know It. Ideate Training.

Position yourself to land dream projects. Tap the full potential of your software solutions. Increase your facility, fluidity and capability to maximize the value of your precision software tools.
11.12-13::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
11.12-13::San Francisco
Navisworks Fundamentals
11.14-15::Portland
Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
11.18-20::San Francisco
Revit MEP: Electrical Fundamentals
11.19-21::Seattle
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
12.11-13::Sacramento
Revit MEP: Electrical Fundamentals
 Know your software. Sign up now!

Ideate Presents: Autodesk Digital Entertainment SF User Group - Nov 21st

Please join Ideate and Autodesk for a Digital Entertainment User Group meeting at the Autodesk Gallery; featuring updates across Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment product line.
  • Thursday, November 21st  
  • 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Register Here
Autodesk will be detailing a slew of product updates, including extension releases, new products, and a glimpse into future tech. Product specialists Marcel de Jong and Mark Schoennagel will be on hand to answer all your questions and show you all about the latest developments in Maya, Maya LT, 3ds Max, SoftImage, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, Reality Capture, Xgen and more.

About the Presenters

Marcel de Jong is currently a senior technical specialist at Autodesk. Previously he worked as a designer and digital FX consultant for clients such as DreamQuest Images, Digital Domain, Pixar and Sony ImageWorks. He has a range of production experience on film projects and his design work has been published in magazines such CGW, ID magazine, and Popular Mechanics. He is also a co-founder of Gnomon, School of Visual Effects and won an IDEA award.

Gary M. Davis has been involved in providing CG for television, film, games and architectural visualization for over twenty years. He has authored several books and has lectured at numerous industry conferences. At Siggraph 2007, Davis was named an Autodesk 3ds Max Master and shortly thereafter, joined the Autodesk as a technical specialist for the Media and Entertainment division.

Mark Schoennagel is the long-time Softimage product evangelist for Autodesk, currently focusing on Softimage ICE for creating visual effects. During the infancy of the 3D industry, Mark worked for several advertising agencies and animation studios in Florida. Inspired by the growing 3D industry he relocated to Los Angeles in 1998 and has been working with large film and game studios ever since. Still focusing primarily on Softimage, Mark has also taken a keen interest in the 3D printing technologies using tools like Autodesk Mudbox and Inventor to create 3D prints.

November 5, 2013

eLearning – Upcoming Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education. 
11.39.13::Revit 201:
Stairs and Railings in Revit
11.21.13::Civil 3D 201:
Using the Intersection Design Tool
Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

November 4, 2013

Big Red Button vs. Elephant Eating

When a consultant is asked how to solve a business problem, the customer/client is often interested in an over-arching, one big button solution.

This approach has two problems:

  • Trying to solve problems with the 'big answer' denies an improvement  loop, both by the consultant and by the process itself. 
  • It is very hard to solve any problem with just one answer.
There is an old saying "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time". It is really true. So what are the key elements:
  •  Start with baby steps. This is the one bite at a time to eat an elephant.  One of the advantages most overlooked is that this method (a stepped approach) reduces anxiety those affected by the change will feel. 
  •  Adjustments can be made.  If everything is defined, and set in stone, the implementation team (consultant and customer) will be reluctant to modify the process.
  • But the key issue is:
                      CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Continuous improvement is one of the main tenets of lean thinking, lean services, etc. W. Edward Deming, pioneer in the field of Lean, proposed that feedback from a process and customers must be evaluated against goals. This feed-back loop allows for course adjustment, realignment, and even discovery of a different problem statement. With feedback, a better process is possible.

Eat the elephant one bite at a time and provide feedback of each bite.



David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.

This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

October 31, 2013

Overcoming the Blame Game

Presently, I am in the Business Analytics Certificate program at the University of Washington, and part of the class deals with how to get groups to be committed towards a goal. Each class the students are asked questions about our commitment towards our goals in life. It is called "Conversations that Matter"  (The tip of the cap to Peter Block of designedLearning + Gary Mesick and Shelly Lawrence of the UofW).

One set of questions asks about how to transform Blame to Ownership. Before I get into the questions, let's review the issues:

  •     How many discussions are we involved in each day that revolve around: 
    • Whom to blame
    • Whom to 'throw under the bus'
    • It can't be me !
  •    Is this productive time, or wasted time 
  •    How can we overcome the blame game.
Here are the four questions (which can either be done on a scale of 1-7, or in sentence form) that should be asked in the group (at the start of the process/project) and answers should be said out loud. This forces commitment to the responses. 

          HOW VALUABLE DO I PLAN FOR THIS TO BE?

Great question. If the process, decision, or project is not valuable - then why bother. I think what happens is that if it is not valuable to all the team members, then it is easy to sabotage the process, the decisions, and undermine the endeavor by adding 'dead weight'.
 

            HOW PARTICIPATIVE DO I PLAN TO BE?

Another key question. If we plan to sit there with our arms folded, then why be there. If we plan to 'snark' at every opportunity, that is no help. But worse of all is to not participate to the fullest extent to make the meeting, decision, etc a success.

             HOW MUCH RISK DO I PLAN TO TAKE?

Ah yes, that pesky risk taking! I have always said that taking risk is inevitable. If you wake up each morning and get out of bed, you are taking risk. The point is to be involved (to be "all in" - http://connectingthedata.blogspot.com/2013/10/are-you-all-in-or-just-surviving.html), you have to take risk.   


TO WHAT EXTENT AM I INVESTED IN THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE?

Investment is a key part. If you are floating, then you are not investing. In this case investment is an active participation, not passive investment. The other key part is "good of the whole". The whole; that is the whole project and the whole team.

Important questions to ask of our professional and personal lives.



David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.

This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

October 30, 2013

Are You Executing on Your Workset Plan?

You’ve spent the time to devise a great way to organize your Autodesk Revit project with worksets. Your plan is excellent and will decrease time wasted opening unnecessary information and ensure that only the desired information will be printed within the deliverables.

BUT… are you actually executing on this plan?

Ideate Explorer for Revit knows, so take a peek at your project today and be sure that you are executing on your workset plan!


Try the Ideate Explorer for Revit Free Trial today.




Glynnis Patterson is a registered architect and the Director of Software Development at Ideate, Inc.

October 23, 2013

eLearning – Upcoming Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education. 
10.31.13::Civil 3D 201:
Objects & Label Styles
11.4.13::Revit 201:
Revit for Interior Designers
11.21.13::Civil 3D 201:
Using the Intersection Design Tool
Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

Classroom Training – Open Revit Classes

Know It. Ideate Training.

Position yourself to land dream projects. Tap the full potential of your software solutions. Increase your facility, fluidity and capability to maximize the value of your precision software tools.
10.24::Portland
Revit MEP Mechanical
10.24::Portland
Revit MEP - Documentation
10.29-31::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
11.5-7::San Francisco
AutoCAD Fundamentals
11.12-13::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
11.12-13::San Francisco
Navisworks Fundamentals
 Know your software. Sign up now!

October 22, 2013

Quick Tip: AutoCAD 2014 and Navisworks NWC File Exporter

While we are all aware that you cannot export the .NWC file format directly from AutoCAD 2014 without installing either Navisworks or the NWC export utility, one thing that still makes me chuckle is after either is installed if you type in (at the AutoCAD command line) the command “NWNAVIGATOR” it will bring up into your AutoCAD session a great Navis Viewer. Which is in reality a temporary *.NWC file that you can navigate in. This is a very powerful feed-back tool when modeling.

Download the Autodesk Navisworks NWC export utility. Once the utility installs, the command “NWCOUT” will now be available!




Bill Johnson
Ideate Senior MEP Application Specialist

Bill has over 20 years experience in applying AEC design solutions for large commercial companies. A graduate of Pasadena Institute of Technology, he has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill has also had the opportunity to act as Lead AutoCAD Designer for multimillion dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.

Get it. Know it. Use it.

October 21, 2013

Autodesk InfraWorks R2 – .RVT Import

Here at Ideate, Inc. we are always trying to stay one step ahead of the game in order to provide the best information to our customers. With that in mind, whenever we hear about a new product or update from Autodesk, we do our best to test the new features and let you know what we think.

If you haven’t already heard, Autodesk has released a Subscription based Product Enhancement for Autodesk InfraWorks called Autodesk InfraWorks R2, and Autodesk InfraWorks +Ultimate R2. These are available via the Autodesk Subscription Center for customers who have Building Design Suite (BDS) Ultimate, or Infrastructure Design Suite (IDS) Premium or Ultimate (+Ultimate R2 is for IDS Ultimate subscription owners). You can download the R2 installation package by logging in to Subscription Center and downloading it from the Product Enhancements section (not part of the standard program downloads). Expand downloads to find Product Enhancements, as shown below.



One of the new features included in the R2 versions is the ability to import Revit .RVT files directly into the InfraWorks model without having Revit installed on the same workstation. Up until now, only IDS Ultimate customers who installed InfraWorks along with Revit were able to use Revit .RVT files as a data source. With the R2 product enhancement, all Revit file processing is handled via the cloud when the .RVT file is added so we no longer need the side by side installation. This also adds the .RVT file option as a data source for BDS Ultimate customers, who did not have it as part of their original installs.

Keep in mind, this new feature does come with some requirements.

First, you will need to have and be signed-in to your Autodesk 360 account in order to use the cloud-based processing capabilities. When you launch Autodesk InfraWorks, make sure you’re signed in to Autodesk 360, and you’ll be all set. If you are not signed-in, the application will prompt you to login before you can proceed with the .RVT import.

Second, we are currently limited to the “Local Origin” option when using Interactive Placing in the Data Source Configuration window. Although there are four different placement options, Local Origin is the only one that is currently working in Autodesk InfraWorks R2 and +Ultimate R2. Ideate has tested, submitted, and confirmed with Autodesk that this is a bug in the application and it is being escalated to the Autodesk Development Team for further research.

Here are some screenshots of the options and the error that you’ll run into if you choose something other than Local Origin.



Select LOCAL ORIGIN as the Position option for model placement
Selecting Center 2D, Center 3D, or Lower Left Front all produce this error when the model tries to refresh with the new data source.



Refresh Failed error (Center 2D, Center 3D, or Lower Left Front options)
As mentioned earlier, we have confirmed this as a bug with Autodesk. But don’t worry; as long as you keep using the Local Origin option, you’ll be fine importing .RVT files into your InfraWorks models.
 

On a side note, the pre-R2 version of Autodesk InfraWorks installed from the Infrastructure Design Suite Ultimate along with Revit works with all position options when importing .RVT files.
 

If you’re interested in finding out more about the different features and flavors of Autodesk InfraWorks (there are currently four!) check out the post from Kate Ming, one of our ISD Techs in the San Francisco office. 
 



Matt Miyamoto, P.E.
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Matt is a licensed Civil Engineer in the state of Hawaii. Matt obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and has 7 years of private sector design experience which he applies in his role as an application specialist with Ideate, Inc. His project experience includes residential and commercial site development, private and public sewer, water and drainage systems, harbors improvements, and roadway improvements. While in Hawaii, Matt was involved in multidisciplinary projects for City and County agencies, State Departments, the Army COE and private developers. @MattM_PE

Get it. Know it. Use it.