Showing posts with label Revit MEP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Revit MEP. Show all posts

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

3 Levels of Revit Proficiency

How do you identify someone who has basic skills in Revit and distinguish them from an advanced user?

Further, do AEC firms actually need all of their users to be 'specialists' in Revit?  In some instances, people just need to receive a file, open it up and perform some straightforward analysis of the model (without causing any problems).  For example, Construction Managers, PM's, Engineers, Project Architects, and the like.  So a basic working knowledge of some key concepts is perfectly adequate for these users.

For the primary modeling team, AEC firms require a broader level of understanding across their user base, for example the people tasked with creating the detailed production information and modeling outputs on a project.  And firms need to have a handful of Revit ‘specialists'; people with a deeper understanding of the way in which Revit is deployed on a project, an appreciation of the collaborative process and the impact of using the technology across a broader environment.  And lastly, if content creation is a key part of the firm’s process, a handful of Revit Family specialists, who understand the importance of creating quality content, that can be re-used on subsequent projects, not simply re-modeled from scratch every time.

So it makes sense to establish 3 recognised levels of competence.  In a broad sense, we could label them:

  • Level 1 – basic skills
  • Level 2 – intermediate skills
  • Level 3 – advanced skills

With respect to Revit, this could work as follows:

  • Level 1 – Basics of Revit (i.e. an assessment aimed at occasional users; Construction Managers, PM’s, Engineers, Project Architects, etc.)
  • Level 2 – Revit fundamentals (i.e. core skills for primary modelers) 
  • Level 3 – More advanced concepts of Revit, (i.e. Revit project process & workflow, collaborative working, Family creation, etc., for BIM Co-ordinators and model managers)

AEC firms can use skills assessment, as a means of demonstrating to clients (or prospective clients) and partners, that they have the skills required, to truly deliver on a BIM project.  

KS Library 

In the KnowledgeSmart library, we have a range of modules available, which can assist firms in creating an appropriate assessment program for their organisation to capture helpful benchmark data and skills gaps information.
  • Level 1 – Revit for occasional users (available Summer 12).
  • Level 2 – Revit Architecture fundamentals, Revit for Interiors, Revit MEP fundamentals, Revit Structure fundamentals.
  • Level 3 – Revit Project Process, Revit Process & Workflow, Revit Architecture advanced (available Summer 12), Revit Structure advanced (available Summer 12), Revit Content Creation.
Firms might also consider writing their own custom assessment modules, based on their BIM standards.  All users can demonstrate an understanding of the correct standards and protocols, by passing this module.


In the broader context of self-assessment, the “above-average effect” is the tendency of the average person to believe he or she is above average, a result that defies the logic of statistics.
In studies, participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests grossly overestimate their performance and ability. Although test scores put them in the 12th percentile they estimate themselves to be in the 62nd.

Because top performers find the tests they confront to be easy, they mistakenly assume that their peers find the tests to be equally easy. As such, their own performances seem unexceptional.  In studies, the top 25% tend to think that their skills are in the 70th–75th percentile, although their performances fall roughly in the 87th percentile.

Business Benefits

There are five distinct business areas that can benefit from measuring team performance:

Project Technology Leadership:
  • Measure returns on technology investment to eliminate risk of waste.
Business Development Team:
  • Differentiate your services and benchmark your competitive advantage to win more work.
HR Leadership:
  • Optimise the mix of people and skills via regular assessment to retain top talent.
  • Filter out poorly skilled candidates at interview to avoid failed hires saving time and money.
  • Encourage on the job training to reduce time away from the office and increase staff impact.
Learning and Development Team:
  • Train staff based on individual needs to maximize impact and raise service quality.
  • Measure returns on learning and development investments to eliminate risk of waste.
  • Make your training budget go further by improving learning and development efficiency.
Project Delivery Team:
  • Resource project teams with a balanced mix of skills to deliver high-quality services profitably.
  • Create an environment of team learning and growth to improve client service levels.


Benchmarking is the process of comparing the cost, time or quality of what one organization does against what another organization does. The result is often a business case for making changes in order to make improvements. Also referred to as "best practice benchmarking" or "process benchmarking", it is a concept used in management where organizations evaluate various aspects of their processes in relation to best practice, usually within their own sector. This then allows organizations to develop plans on how to make improvements or adopt best practice, with the aim of increasing performance. 

It is important to target your teams with clear goals for advancement, as part of your wider learning & development and talent management strategy.

Here are the current (2012) benchmark performance quartiles, for the 3 disciplines of Revit, for your firm to compare results against:

Revit Architecture 2012:  69% in 1 hour 4 mins 30 secs

Revit MEP 2012:  64% in 1 hour 9 mins 30 secs

Revit Structure 2012:  62% in 1 hour 6 mins 0 secs

New Hires

According to the report “U.K. Talent Acquisition Factbook 2011” by Bersin & Associates, the new hire failure rate for new recruits is 1 in 8. Put another way, for every 8 new recruits 1 will leave inside of 12-months because they were a bad fit for the company. The same report measured the average recruitment cost to be £5,300 GBP / $8,200 USD per person.

Learning & Development Data

According to data collected from software training professionals, many trainers spend approximately 40% of the training course time revising prior training topics to assess group skill levels. This ‘Redundant Training Time’ reduces classroom productivity, increases training costs, and keeps staff away from their project teams for longer.

Skills Gaps

Based on analysis of KS results data from firms located in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, here is a summary of the top 20 most commonly flagged training issues and skills gaps, for each of the 3 Revit disciplines.

Revit Architecture 

View Range
Family Editor
Conceptual Massing
View Properties
Element Properties
User Interface
Detail Components
Calculating Area
CAD Files

Revit MEP

Apparent Load Values
Modifying Light Fixtures
Photometric Web Files
System Inspector
Creating Power Systems
Edit Properties
Panel Circuits
Panel Schedules
Selecting Equipment
Electrical Settings
Creating Supply Systems
Duct Systems
Load Family
Pipe Systems
Family Elements
Plumbing Fixtures

Revit Structure

Cut Length
Element Properties
Instance Properties
View Parameters 
Scope Boxes
Structural Deck
Span Direction Symbol
Slope Arrows
Repeating Details
Structural Settings

For firms involved in the adoption, rollout and training of their teams in Revit, skills assessment and benchmarking is an essential ingredient, in the overall successful deployment of this technology.

Taking a more structured, scientific approach will help AEC firms, Construction Clients and Contractors alike, to get a much better handle on who knows what, with respect to deploying Revit on a BIM project.  It will also help firms to demonstrate their BIM credentials and give users a logical (and more appropriate) path for skills development.


Monday, 11 June 2012

Club Revit 2012 Knowledge Challenge - Results

For the past couple of months, we have been running an open Revit knowledge challenge, in association with leading industry network, Club Revit.  Contestants were presented with 24 questions, with a time limit of 30 minutes to complete the assessment.  The best score in the fastest time, determined the winner for each Track.

The competition is now finished, so let's review how it all went.

The Results 

Congratulations to the following contestants, who won their respective Tracks:

Revit Architecture Track Winner:  Duarte Couto

Revit MEP Track Winner:  Don Bokmiller

Revit Structure Track Winner:  John Fout

So, let's take a detailed look at the results of this year's Club Revit Knowledge Challenge.


No. of Tests Completed:  198
Overall Average:  66% in 24 mins 45 secs

Track 1 - Revit Architecture

Track Winner:  Duarte Couto
Winning Score:  99% in 15 mins 40 secs

Top 10 Contestants:

Duarte Couto        
John Fout 
Kate Hovis  
Melissa Thiessens       
Jeremy Stroebel     
Randy Rush    
Matt McKechnie
Morgan Blum
Rebecca Frangipane
Simon Gale

No. Completed:  139
Group Average:  68% in 24 mins 22 secs
Top 10 Average:  88% in 21 mins 0 secs
Bottom 10 Average:  21% in 30 mins

Track 2 - Revit MEP

Track Winner:  Don Bokmiller
Winning Score:  88% in 24 mins 50 secs

Top 10 Contestants:

Don Bokmiller
Julian Jameson
Sam Scorsone
Jason Seck
Rebecca Frangipane
Glen Walson
Juliana Milanov
John Fout
Jonathan Herrera
Thomas Maleski

No. Completed:  33
Group Average:  64% in 27 mins 29 secs
Top 10 Average:  81% in 24 mins 32 secs
Bottom 10 Average:  42% in 29 mins 20 secs

Track 3 - Revit Structure

Track Winner:  John Fout
Winning Score:  95% in 24 mins 25 secs

Top 10 Contestants:

John Fout 
Rebecca Frangipane
Ben Osborne
Jesse Mickle
Ben May
Victoria Prescott
Mike Bolduc
Kathleen Chapman
George Guevarra     
Isabella Risolvo 

No. Completed:  26
Group Average:  58% in 26 mins 14 secs
Top 10 Average:  81% in 24 mins 27 secs
Bottom 10 Average:  33% in 27 mins 57 secs

Further Analysis & Observations

Popular Tracks

The most popular tracks, in order of completed tests, were as follows:

Revit Architecture - 139 results
Revit MEP - 33 results
Revit Structure - 26 results

Training Needs Analysis

So what does all this mean, in terms of performance and training?

For Revit Architecture, the top 10 training items were, in priority order:
Key Schedules, Schedules, Tagging, 3D Components, Graphic Display, Detach File, File Management, Conceptual Massing, Model Management and Worksharing.

For Revit MEP, the top 10 training items were, in priority order:
Apparent Load Values, Edit Properties, Modifying Light Fixtures, Photometric Web Files, Annotation, Key Schedules, Schedules, Tagging, Model Management and Views.

For Revit Structure, the top 10 training items were, in priority order:
Key Schedules, Schedules, Tagging, 3D Components, Graphic Display, Types, Families, Clipboard, Data Integrity and Model Management.


It's interesting to compare results, across the 3 disciplines, which arguably reflects where Revit currently sits, in terms of wider industry adoption. Revit Architecture proved to be the most popular track and the overall experience of the users taking part in the contest suggests that this software is the most mature, in terms of individual expertise. Revit MEP and Revit Structure were close, in terms of overall numbers, with RMEP posting average scores 6% higher than RST, but the average elapsed time to complete the exercises was longer.

RAC overall:  68% in 24 mins 22 secs
RMEP overall:  64% in 27 mins 29 secs
RST overall:  58% in 26 mins 14 secs

Comparing the difference between the top 10 and bottom 10 performers in each category, is also a fascinating insight into the huge variance of practical ability, out there in the AEC industry.  The average for RAC was just 21% accuracy across the bottom 10 scores, with RST faring little better at 33%.  Overall, RMEP was the most consistent group, with a bottom 10 average of 42% (or, put another way, twice as accurate as RAC).

This sends out a rather important message to firms who recruit Revit specialists, without any means of skills assessment at interview!

Honourable mentions

Along with our track winners, the following contestants deserve a special mention, for their overall performance in the competition:

John Fout, for winning the RST track, placing second for RAC and eighth for RMEP.  A true all-rounder!

Rebecca Frangipane, for placing second in the RST track, posting a top 5 score in RMEP and top 10 for RAC.  Another exceptional performance!

Philip Russo, for posting above average scores in both RAC and RMEP tracks.

Dishonourable mentions

All those competitors who were disqualified for taking an assessment more than once in the same track, which was a definite no-no, as mentioned in the contest rules.  You know who you are!  The RAC track had the highest percentage of disqualified contestants.  Does this mean engineers abide by the rules more than architects??

Boys vs Girls

Finally, let's take a look at the demographic breakdown of the competition. Out of 198 contestants, 155 were male and 43 female. The average overall performance for each group breaks down like this:

Male: 66% in 25 mins 24 secs
Female: 68% in 24 mins 7 secs

So, there we have it! The girls are the winners in the Revit battle of the sexes!  Both more accurate and faster than their male colleagues.  The gauntlet has been thrown down!

Congratulations to all our winners. Thanks to everyone who took part in the competition.  And special thanks to Lonnie Cumpton and the Club Revit team for making it all happen.