Sketchup Users – The Steep Learning Curve

Change is hard.  I totally understand that.

Sketchup is easy to start using.  Check.

Revit isn’t easy to master.  I get that, too.

Now that we have the baseline set, we can start.

In a previous post, I talked about how evil Sketchup is to the documentation process, and ultimately a disconnect that it creates can impact the design process as well.  As we are moving past our pilot projects, we are introducing the concept of BIM and Revit to the population of the firm at large.  Some of the folks are 100% on board with the concept.  They know there are going to be hiccups and a rough time learning the software, but they are ready to get their hands dirty and come along for the ride.

Now (and here’s where things took me for a loop) on the other side, I have the Sketchup lovers.  They are not ready to move along.  The extreme cases find folks who find multiple excuses to convince themselves that modelling in Revit is bad and completely subpar compared to Sketchup.  Don’t worry about the built-in rendering engine in Revit.  Ignore the fact that you have started your documentation.  Pay no attention to your engineers who can start their analysis based on the Revit model.  You can’t do any of these with vanilla Sketchup.  You can start tacking on add-ons, but they are iffy, thrown together and sometimes expensive.  On the other hand, this is precisely what Revit is made for.

I mentioned that the Sketchup hold-outs threw me for a loop.  I had convinced myself that the 20 year ACAD experts would be my biggest fight.  That hasn’t been the case at all.  In most situations, while they lament losing some key features and functions, they have been on board and are quite excited about making the change.  As one of them put it, “This is what computers should have been doing for the last 10 years.”

So, what to do about our Sketchup folks?

Right now, there isn’t much I’m doing.  I am putting my time and energy into the people who “get it”.  I am whole-heartedly convinced that once the learning curve is crossed, the models created in Revit will be superior in so many ways to the ones in Sketchup.  And the projects will be better coordinated.  And the rainbows and unicorns will return to the golden fields and it will rain chocolate!

Seriously, there isn’t much I can do.  I can’t twist these people’s arms.  That would accomplish nothing.  I am getting the people who are along for the ride better training and support.  We are working hard to prove all these theories.  And then I am hoping peer pressure will do the job of converting the die hards for me.  They need to be willing to take the time to learn the tools, and I cannot push people into willingness.

If that doesn’t work, I get out my BIM Stick.