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Thread: Project Workflow: Central content library vs. Project specific library

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    AUGI Addict jsteinhauer's Avatar
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    Question Project Workflow: Central content library vs. Project specific library

    Hi All,

    It has been brought to my attention last week that a very large project (1x10^6 sqft) in our office will be starting in Revit (currently ACAD) in the very near future. It has been suggested, because of project deliverables & timeline, that accessing the firm's central content library, and a library for project specific created/modified content would be too much of a hindrance to the project team (2 libraries). The preference has been to copy our firms standard library to the project's folder. That way when content gets modified, it can be saved over top of what is already there. One location for one library. That project specific content library would then be uploaded to a FTP site for our consultants to download and use in their models. Currently, the work is going to be divided up between a couple of our offices, workflow has yet to be decided. But, we'll have one MEP firm, one process engineering firm, a civil, and several more disciplines as well. But, not really a overlap of work.

    Per the firms current BIM standard, content is to be loaded from the central library. If/when modified, the family is to be renamed with the project number and saved to the project folder, then loaded into the project model. We are also supposed to track changes to content as it happens, so evaluating that content for inclusion into our library becomes "easier".

    So, what I'm looking for is you're opinions on workflow of content for a large project. I'm sure that I'm missing some information that is relevant, but just ask me questions, if you need further information to help focus your opinion.

    Thank you in advance,
    Jeff S.
    'When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.' - R. Buckminster Fuller

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    AUGI Addict jsteinhauer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Workflow: Central content library vs. Project specific library

    There have been some views of this post but no responses. So, before it gets lost in the back pages of the forum, I want to give this thread one more chance at getting responses.

    Thanks,
    Jeff S.
    'When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.' - R. Buckminster Fuller

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    100 Club rosskirby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Workflow: Central content library vs. Project specific library

    It seems a little late to be bumping this post, since the original post was in 04.2012, but here's my take anyway. Make you central/firm library write protected for all but the BIM manager. That will keep people from accidentally writing over firm-approved content. They'll be prompted to choose a new location for families they've edited, and those can be saved in the project directory.

    I'm not sure I get the point of uploading the families to an FTP site, since they'll automatically be a part of whatever project file you send to your consultants (and vice versa). I'd also be hesitant to start appending filenames with a project number. Why not just use your firms standard naming conventions? That way you'll be able to use those families on future projects without the confusion of a filename that references a different project.

    As far as updating the library, we have what I call a "holding pen" where project teams can save files that they think should be in the firm library. Once a month, I'll check the holding pen to see if there's anything there. If there is, I'll do a quality-control review on it and then put it in the firm library.

    Just my two cents.

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    AUGI Addict jsteinhauer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Workflow: Central content library vs. Project specific library

    Thanks Ross,

    My firm's central library is locked down to only a few individuals. Team members can pull content freely into project from there, but not write to it. We make them rename modified content as to identify that it is no longer a 'Standard Family'. They are also to document why the family has been modified, to make it easier on the content manager to review for inclusion into our standard library.

    This current monster project has 7-10 major architectural models between three of our offices. I agree that standard content, which should already be synced. Project specific content will need to be transferred. Although you do make a good point as the latest content will be in our project models. But, then you still need to identify what model is going to have the latest content in it, kind of a point building.

    As far as your holding pen, if two separate people modify the same family at different times, for different reasons, how do they identify what changes have been made in each family? Do families with the same name get overwritten?

    Thanks,
    Jeff S.
    'When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.' - R. Buckminster Fuller

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    100 Club rosskirby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project Workflow: Central content library vs. Project specific library

    Sounds like you've got most of it worked out then. Regarding the holding pen, people just have to be careful. In my experience, we've never had quite as many people involved as you do, so it hasn't been a problem. We've never had two people editing the same family.

    I doubt that there will ever be a way to completely protect all your families in the situation you've described, so at some point you've gotta rely on your users to not be idiots. Everyone has to assume some level of responsibility. "I didn't know" just doesn't cut it anymore.

    My only solution would be: good communication (i.e. "hey everyone, I just modified family 'x', make sure you reload yours from the project holding pen").

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