Sunday, 11 February 2018

KS Value Proposition - an Explanation

A KS software subscription price is determined by two factors: number of users to be tested (in a year) and number of required library topics to be included in the assessment mix.

There are 4 KS license types:
KS Pro1 - 1 primary library topic, i.e. Revit Architecture
KS Pro2 - 2 primary topics, i.e. Revit Architecture, Revit MEP
KS Pro3 - 3 primary topics, i.e. Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure
KS Enterprise - 4 or more primary topics

We also have different user number bands, to help identify firm size, i.e. 1-25, 26-50, 51-100, 101-250, 251-500, 501-1,000, etc.

For firms who only need to perform a small number of assessments each year, the 'pay-as-you-go' cost is $50/£50/E50 per test.

Before deciding on the best type of KS license, an AEC business should give due consideration to both of these factors.

It is important to establish precisely how many primary test topics they plan to use. If it is 4 (or greater), then KS Enterprise is the best fit. If they want to focus on fewer titles, then perhaps a KS Pro1, Pro2 or Pro3 would be more appropriate. 

Also, we do not monetise 'secondary' library titles, if a customer has invested in one or more 'primary' titles.

Here are some examples:

Primary:
Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, InfraWorks, Plant 3D, Inventor, AECOsim, MicroStation, GEOPAK, InRoads, ProjectWise, ARCHICAD, MS Office, BIM L2, Primavera P6, MS Project, Newforma.

Secondary:
Bluebeam, Design Review, Photoshop, InDesign, Rhino, SketchUp, Navisworks, Glue, Solibri, Vault, Revit Process, BIM Fundamentals, BIM Software Management, BIM Coordination, BIM Authoring, USACE BIM.

To further clarify, a 'test topic' refers to all related assessment titles under an 'umbrella' heading. For example, to assess Revit Architecture  skills for a company would require a KS Pro1 license, but might include the following titles:

Example:
Revit Architecture for occasional users
Revit Architecture fundamentals
Revit Architecture – Xpress 
Revit Architecture advanced
Revit Architecture - Extra questions
Revit Content Creation
Revit for Interiors
Revit Project Process
BIM Authoring with Revit
BIM Software Management (Revit)
BIM Coordination (Revit)
Practical BIM fundamentals
Navisworks
Glue
Solibri
Bluebeam
Vault

If a customer exceeds their user count by a small margin, we tend not to worry about it, and will review their future needs at the license anniversary. If they find their requirements go up by a bigger number (part-way through the license), then we typically have a conversation and sometimes upgrade to the next user band before the anniversary swings around. In this circumstance, they pay the difference between price bands, pro-rated to the license anniversary date. Customers are not blocked from using the tools at any time.

Here are links to the KS product and price pages.

R

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Developing Group Learning Strategies

We talk a lot about collaboration in the AEC industry... particularly in the context of delivering BIM projects.

Group learning, also known as “collaborative learning”, refers to the instructional strategy of having learners work together in groups in order address a task or goal.

The clever folks at efront Learning wrote an articulate and informed blog about developing a better approach to group learning strategies.

By taking a new approach to group learning, AEC businesses can develop an effective strategy to increase employees’ team spirit, collaboration skills, and workplace productivity.

Group learning which includes a mix of mentoring, lunch and learns, classroom training and focused E-learning - backed up with effective skills gap analysis - allows businesses to implement a blended, collaborative learning program that allows employees to study and work together to achieve common goals for themselves and the wider organisation.

R

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Assessing BIM Skills

I recently read an articulate and informed blog post by Carillion's Technical BIM Lead, John Ford, about the business of measuring BIM skills.

Read the full post here: 'Are we Underestimating the Value of BIM Assessments?'

John makes a number of perceptive points about the organisational and process challenges facing AEC businesses, on their journey to BIM excellence.

There is no 'right or wrong' way to capture useful business intelligence, if it feeds into a wider BIM improvement plan. As Ford points out in his article, there are many effective methods for analysing data and metrics around the topic of BIM experience and capability, both within an organisation and across the wider industry supply chain.

A mix of formal assessment, self-assessment, survey responses, RAG tables and industry certification offer AEC firms all the tools they need, to create a clearer picture of BIM experience and credentials.

KnowledgeSmart has been working consistently in this space for the past 5 years, creating software and library content designed to help AEC businesses measure BIM maturity, skills gaps, training needs and technical expertise.

Here is a link to a recent KS webcast, which provides all the necessary tools and benchmark data for Global AEC businesses to create their own tailored BIM excellence plan.

To slightly misquote management guru, Peter Drucker, 'If you can't measure it, you can't manage it'. Wise words.

R

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

KS Webinar - Demonstrating Individual and Team BIM Level 2 Capability

Earlier today, we recorded our first Webinar to support the upcoming launch of our new KS library material: The presentation is titled, "Demonstrating Individual and Team BIM Level 2 Capability".


The session was co-presented by KnowledgeSmart CEO, Rory Vance, and Evolve Consultancy Principal, Nigel Davies.

The session runs for 45 mins, plus 15 mins delegate Q&A at the end.  Here is the agenda:


The content is aimed at AEC business leadership, BIM professionals and technical management. Here is a link to a recording of the session.

R

Monday, 9 October 2017

New Feature - Bulk Question Upload

KS customers have a number of options for editing existing library content and also creating new assessment questions from scratch.


It is now possible to upload multiple questions in one go, via a new tool called, 'Bulk Add'.




From this page, you can bulk upload questions and answers from an Excel spread sheet, for 5 question types: True or False, Multiple Choice, Pick List, Order List and Free Text.


To use this feature, click on the link in the help notes box to download the template Excel file.





Replace the contents of this spreadsheet with your questions and use the controls on this page to upload your file.




Sanity check your content on the preview page.




Click 'Add Questions', to upload your new material.  You will see an advisory note which tells you that the upload was successful.




Click 'View questions', to see your new question displayed in your draft library area.




You can make further edits from here, using the normal editing controls.




Here are some more detailed instructions, which will help you when you are completing your Excel template:

The column names of your spreadsheet must match the column names in the template file. The first column denotes the question type. This can be one of 5 values: FT, MC, PL, OL, or TF. These represent the question types: Free text, Multiple choice, Pick list, Order list and True or false respectively.

For all questions, the QuestionName, QuestionSummary and QuestionText values are mandatory.

Enter your category tags and training tags in the fields provided. Separate each entry with a comma. These are extremely important for later gap analysis and charting, so be sure to include them!


Free Text
For free text questions, enter your answer into the Answer1 column. With free text questions, you can also provide the following details:
FTNumeric - enter True if the answer is numeric.
FTCaseWhitespaceVariance - enter True to enable case and white space variance. When true, the marking will disregard incorrect case and white spacing.
FTAllowVariance - for numeric questions, enter True to enable variance.
FTPercent - when variance is true, your can enter a percentage value.
FTLower - when variance is true, enter the lower threshold.
FTUpper - when variance is true, enter the upper threshold.
FTPrecisionHint - for numeric questions, enter True to enable precision hint.


True or False
For true or false questions, enter the correct answer into the Answer1 column. Valid values are True or False.


Multi Choice
For multi choice questions, enter the available options in the columns Answer1 through to Answer10. Prefix the correct answer with an * symbol. If more than one column contains a * symbol, the import process records the first answer with an * symbol as the correct option.


Pick List
For pick list questions, enter the available options in the columns Answer1 through to Answer10. You can prefix multiple correct answers with the * symbol.
PLPartialScoring - for pick list questions, enter True to enable partial scoring.


Order List
For order list questions, enter the answers in the columns Answer1 through to Answer10. You should enter the answers in the correct sequence.


R

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Assessment Suite - BIM Level 2 Capability

Introduction

Do you manage BIM projects? Do you have responsibility for implementing BIM in your business? Can you generate a detailed report for your management team of your current organisational BIM strengths and weaknesses? How does your firm compare to your peers in the wider AEC Industry?
To comply with PAS91, how do you assess BIM training and skills? How do you demonstrate on your PQQ that you have all the necessary metrics in place?

This comprehensive library of skills assessments will empower your organisation to capture helpful, relevant and accurate metrics, to better demonstrate individual and organisational BIM capability. The results data and gap analysis will also inform your training and hiring plans, so you can continuously improve your performance in this business-critical area.


BIM Management and Process

BIM01_UK BIM Level 2 Awareness
The foundation-level knowledge required by everyone involved with BIM in your organisation.
Understand the implications and value proposition of BIM. Understand the implications and value proposition of BIM within your organisation.
Modules include: What is BIM?, BS1192, PAS1192-2, PAS1192-3, PAS1192-2-EIR, CIC BIM Protocol, RIBA-Plan of Works.

BIM02_UK BIM Level 2 Management Fundamentals
Understand the implications and value proposition of BIM within your organisation.
Understand the requirement for the management and exchange of information between supply chain members and clients as described in the 1192 suite of standards and PAS55 / ISO 55000.
Modules include: Project Start-up Requirements, PAS1192-2-BEP, BS1192-CDE, BS1192-Container Naming, PAS1192-Roles, BS1192-4, PAS1192-5, Government Soft Landings.

BIM03_UK BIM Level 2 Learning Outcomes Framework
Understand the requirement for the management and exchange of information between supply chain members and clients as described in the 1192 suite of standards and PAS55 / ISO 55000.
Understand what BIM is, the contextual requirement for BIM Level 2 and its connection to the Government Construction Strategy and Industrial Strategy 2025.
Topics include: UK Govt BIM L2 LOF Part 1, UK Govt BIM L2 LOF Part 2, UK Govt BIM L2 LOF Part 3.

BIM04_Practical BIM Fundamentals
This assessment looks at knowledge of a range of general BIM management tasks, including; General BIM Principles, Implementation, Modelling, Information Exchange and Project Coordination.

BIM05A_BIM Authoring with AECOsim (Fundamentals)
This assessment for Information Originators looks at basic concepts of BIM authoring and knowledge of the DPSM (Digital Production Standards Manual), for firms using Bentley AECOsim. Topics include: Purpose, Documents, Coordinates, Parameters, Validation, Model Types, File Naming, Layer Naming and Drawing Coordination.

BIM05R_BIM Authoring with Revit (Fundamentals)
This assessment for Information Originators looks at basic concepts of BIM authoring and knowledge of the DPSM (Digital Production Standards Manual), for firms using Autodesk Revit. Topics include: Purpose, Documents, Coordinates, Parameters, Validation, Model Types, File Naming, Layer Naming and Drawing Coordination.

BIM06A_BIM Authoring with AECOsim (Advanced)
This assessment for Information Originators looks at more advanced concepts of BIM authoring and knowledge of the DPSM (Digital Production Standards Manual), for firms using Bentley AECOsim. Topics include: Project Setup, Compound Cells, Project Items, IFC Import, IFC Export, IFC Modelling, IFC Validation.

BIM06R_BIM Authoring with Revit (Advanced)
This assessment for Information Originators looks at more advanced concepts of BIM authoring and knowledge of the DPSM (Digital Production Standards Manual), for firms using Autodesk Revit. Topics include: Project Setup, System Family, IFC Import, IFC Export, IFC Modelling, IFC Validation.

BIM07A_BIM Software Management (AECOsim)
This assessment for Task Information Management (Reviewers) looks at basic concepts of BIM Software Management, for firms using Bentley AECOsim. Topics include: Uniclass1.4 / Uniclass 2015, Information Validation, Project Review.
 
BIM07R_BIM Software Management (Revit)
This assessment for Task Information Management (Reviewers) looks at basic concepts of BIM Software Management, for firms using Autodesk Revit. Topics include: Uniclass1.4 / Uniclass 2015, Information Validation, Project Review.

BIM08R_BIM Coordination (Revit)
This assessment for BIM Coordinators looks at basic concepts of BIM Software Coordination, for firms using Autodesk Revit. Topics include: Revit Configuration, Project Resources, Parameters, View Templates, Family Editor.

Project Process (Revit)
This assessment for BIM Coordinators and Managers looks at the impact of using Autodesk Revit in a Project environment. Topics include: Views, Families, Worksharing and Schedules. Sample data sets for the task based questions are based on Revit Architecture.


BIM Software 

AutoCAD Civil 3D Fundamentals
This online skills assessment covers a selection of core AutoCAD Civil 3D skills. The content is split into 4 parts, as follows:
Part 1: Surfaces, Alignments and Profiles
Part 2: Corridors, Sections and Parcels
Part 3: Pipe Networks, Grading and Finalizing a Project
Part 4: User Interface, Civil 3D Environment and Survey Tools

AutoCAD Civil 3D – Xpress
A short skills assessment for AutoCAD Civil 3D, designed for interviews. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic AutoCAD Civil 3D skills.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Road Design (Advanced)
Web based skills test for more experienced users of AutoCAD Civil 3D, with a particular focus on Roadway Design.

InfraWorks 360
Detailed skills assessment and training needs analysis for InfraWorks 360.
This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic InfraWorks 360 skills, relating to Importing, Data, Options, Styles, Exploring models, Menus, Themes, Objects and Measuring.

Revit Architecture Fundamentals
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit Architecture skills, including: Basic Element Creation; Views & Sheets; Detailing; Keynotes & Annotation; Worksharing; Dimensions & Rules; Interoperability; Families & Parts; Scheduling; Coordinates & Orientation; Output.

Revit Architecture Xpress
A short skills assessment for Revit Architecture, designed for interviews. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit Architecture skills. Modules covered include; Basic Element Creation; Views & Sheets; Detailing; Keynoting & Annotation; Worksharing; Dimensions & Rules; Interoperability; Families & Parts; Scheduling; Coordinates & Orientation; Output.

Revit Architecture Occasional
Skills assessment and training needs analysis for casual/novice users of Revit Architecture. This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit skills. Modules covered include; Navigation, Views & Sheets, Measuring, Exporting Data, Families, Element Selection.

Revit Architecture Advanced
Detailed skills assessment and training needs analysis for Revit Architecture. This test comprises questions covering a range of advanced Revit skills.

Revit Content Creation
This assessment looks at Content Creation and Families in Revit. Sample data sets for the task based questions are based on Revit Architecture.

Revit Architecture for Interiors
A short skills assessment for Revit Architecture, as it is applied to the Interiors discipline. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit skills.

Revit MEP Fundamentals (Mechanical)
Detailed skills assessment and training needs analysis for Revit MEP, as it is applied to the Mechanical discipline.

Revit MEP Fundamentals (Electrical)
Skills gap assessment and staff training needs analysis for Revit MEP, as it is applied to the Electrical discipline.

Revit MEP Fundamentals (Plumbing)
Online skills assessments and gap analysis tests for Revit MEP, as it applies to the Plumbing discipline.

Revit MEP Xpress
A short skills assessment for Revit MEP, designed for interviews. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit MEP skills, across all disciplines.

Revit MEP Advanced
These assessments comprise questions covering a range of advanced Revit MEP (Mechanical and Plumbing) skills.

Revit Structure Fundamentals
Detailed skills assessment and skills gap analysis for Revit Structure, covering a variety of core skills, including: The Project Environment; Creating the Model; Editing the Model; Detailing the Model; Documenting the Model.

Revit Structure Xpress
A short skills assessment for Revit Structure, designed for interviews. This assessment comprises questions covering a range of basic Revit Structure skills. Modules covered include; The Project Environment; Creating the Model; Editing the Model; Detailing the Model; Documenting the Model.

Revit Structure Advanced
Skills gap assessment and staff training needs analysis for more experienced users of Revit Structure.

BIM 360 Glue fundamentals
Skills assessment and training needs analysis for BIM 360 Glue. This test comprises questions covering a range of basic BIM 360 Glue skills, including: Objects, Clashes, Administration, Model Management and General Operation.

Navisworks Manage fundamentals
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Navisworks skills, including: Quantification, Rendering, TimeLiner, Appearance Profiler, Clash Detective, User Interface, File Formats, Measuring and Operations.

Vault fundamentals
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Vault skills, including: File Details, Version History, File Check Out, File Relationships, Searching, Saving, Working Folders, Opening Files.

Solibri fundamentals
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic Solibri Model Checker skills, including: User Interface, Model Review & Annotation, Data Interrogation, Model Checking, Model Comparison.

Bentley AECOsim Building Designer fundamentals (Architectural)
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic AECOsim Building Designer skills, including: Families and Parts, Element Creation, Element Modification, DataGroups, Annotation, Drawings, Data Exchange, Setting Out, Scheduling (Output), Spaces.

Bentley AECOsim Building Designer fundamentals (Structural)
This test comprises questions covering a range of basic AECOsim Building Designer skills, including: Families & Parts, Setting Out, Data Exchange, DataGroups, Element Creation, Element Modify, Annotation, Drawings & Views, Scheduling.

Graphisoft ArchiCAD fundamentals (Parts 1-4)
This test comprises questions covering a range of ArchiCAD skills, including: User Interface, Navigation & Workflow, General Drafting, General Modelling, Model Management, Printing & Plotting.


Capture helpful, relevant and accurate metrics to demonstrate individual and organisational BIM capability. Use results and gap analysis data to inform training and hiring plans, with the aim of continuously improving performance in this business-critical area.

If you would like to find out more about our suite of BIM assessments, please get in touch.

"This suite of educational resources and assessment material from KnowledgeSmart is World Class and an essential resource for any AEC business that is serious about upskilling their team's BIM knowledge and practical capability. Most firms claim to have the ability to deliver projects to BIM Level 2, but how many really know where their strengths and weaknesses lie? Now, there can be no excuses. Capturing performance metrics and measuring staff capability should be a mandatory part of every BIM deliverable."

Global BIM Lead, Top 20 UK Multidisciplinary Firm

R

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

New Test Title - BIM Level 2

KnowledgeSmart's skills assessment library helps AEC businesses capture evidence of individual and corporate skills capability, across a wide variety of essential technical software titles and business processes.

This includes popular software products from major vendors, including Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Graphisoft, Oracle, Adobe and Microsoft.

One of the most popular requests in recent months has been to create new assessment content for BIM Level 2.

This assessment looks at knowledge of BIM process and policy, across 3 key sections:

1) Understand what is BIM, the contextual requirement for BIM Level 2 and its connection to the Government Construction Strategy and Industrial Strategy 2025.

2) Understand the implications and value proposition of BIM within your organisation.

3) Understand the requirement for the management and exchange of information between supply chain members and clients as described in the 1192 suite of standards and PAS55 / ISO 55000.

The official AEC Industry BIM Learning Outcomes Framework (LOF) document can be downloaded here.

This question set enables AEC businesses to undertake a gap analysis for all staff involved in delivering projects using the Government' s published documents and tools.

Section 1 of the LOF sets out the requirement for an awareness of the industry concerns, the global context, the changes required in communication and collaboration and the relevant standards that address information requirements, contracts, team appointment, project planning, collaboration, roles and responsibilities, data security and operational information requirements.

This assessment is not intended to formally 'certify' BIM knowledge. Rather, to help clarify the understanding of 'why' we should work in this manner and what is needed at project and company levels in order to reduce waste and increase efficiency. This will help to identify further training needs and ensure the project delivery has all the aspects of project management that it needs to succeed.

Applicable to company directors through to project delivery teams, this question set is an ideal start to your BIM implementation business success.

This set of questions has been written in partnership with our friends at Evolve Consultancy and digital green.

R