Are you saving a backup every day? Your answer better be yes. Data safety and organization is the subbasement/foundation of BIM. Your BIM model is only useful if it’s accessible, readable, and existent. Don’t lose your data.
- about to add 6 5/8” to a story height? Save a backup first.
- Adding 2 feet to the width of half your building? Save a backup first.
- Cutting out a wing? Save a backup first.
And keep them in an easily accessible and organized location (more on that in a forthcoming post). That wing may return, the building might shrink, a week later you may realize you goofed up when you raised the building. You need that old file immediately. You don’t want to ask IT for a backup that may or may not exist on a tape drive. You don’t always want to admit a mistake was made because it’s quick to fix, not a big deal, part of the design process, and/or will only panic the technophobes. In short, not backing up daily wastes energy and money. Most importantly you will have a baseline to compare changes to if you have a file from everyday. Not every week. Every day. Say it out loud and promise me and whoever is next to you that you’ll start doing this.
A word on accountability. Continuous documentation of backups improves accountability and ass coverage. You have records, dated records of change. A client says you didn’t listen? Prove them wrong. You did listen, right? At the end of CDs you can look at 50 or 100 files and see where decisions were made.
There are ways to automate much of this. And I expect BIM software will eventually incorporate much of this incremental recording. But don’t wait for it. Develop and understand your process. I do all of my backups manually right now. If you think that’s archaic, fine. I’m working on improving it. Use a fancier solution… and share it with me. But unless you can go back in time to any day or major change in the project, even years later, then the fancy solution isn’t good enough. And you’re being lazy and foolish.
Here are some more thoughts and reasons for a healthy Backup Obsession.