Monday, June 9, 2008

Dear Anthony,

The cultural challenge with Warnings in Revit is the present lack of accountability. Users are smart enough to know there's something amiss in the file. But they have no idea where to point (or give) the finger. Or fingers.

Warnings also provide some indication as to the learning and experience level of members on a team. Warnings indicate when users have decided to work in a way that is expedient rather than deliberate. Reviewing Warnings allow people to learn from their own mistakes. Or better yet - they allow people to learn from another team member's mistake. ;)

Unfortunately, many users and teams tend to put off reviewing / resolving Warnings as there's no sense of ownership. This makes project management really difficult. By the time you need to review warnings - it's often too late. And who should fix what?

So I'd propose the following stuff with regard to Warnings:

1. Warnings should be maintained in a regular Revit Schedule. Stop hiding them in a dialog at the bottom of a Tools Menu.

2. Project Managers would like to know the Workset Username responsible for generating the Warning. This would allow Warnings to be scheduled per user name - which would impose a sense of accountability in the Revit database.

3. Original date / time stamp helps the team track the frequency of Warnings against project development.

4. Like any other Schedule in Revit , the ability to jump from line item / to context of project location.

5. Some indication of severity (for ranking purposes). All warnings are not created equal.

6. Counts / Totals / Types of Warnings. Now the project manager knows who (typically) on a team is responsible for the bulk of Warnings so they can remedy the situation, and prevent its recurrence.

Overall, this added functionality compels team members to preemptively fix what they have broken. Project Managers can quickly get a sense project dynamics. And the rest of the team isn't penalized with one or two team member's lack of discipline.

Thoughts / Comments welcome.


Anthony Hauck said...


Thanks for the thorough summary, which supplements my notes from the AIA LFRT BIM Implementer's meeting. I think these ideas have a lot of merit, and we'll be looking into them in the future as part of our Large Team Workflow research and possible feature set.

Anthony Hauck
Revit Platform Product Manager

Phil Read said...

Hi Anthony -

Great few days. Well done. Please keep up the very fine work.

And get out of the office more often.


David Kingham said...

Brilliant Phil, I would love to see more accountability in Revit. One of my biggest problems is tracking down rogue users that don't follow the rules of the game!


Anonymous said...

Even better expose them via the API so they can be easily collated into a central management app as well as presenting users with a summary.

Phil Read said...

Great...not content with a thousand posts over at AUGI, Guy is lurking over here...;)

Anonymous said...

I second, third, fourth, whatever, these requests. As a new user/implementor trying to help my staff get up-to-speed w/ Revit products, these suggestions make total sense to me!

Unknown said...

You know, after working with some tools like Alibre, I really welcome the addition of some better error reviewing tools included into Revit.

However, I'd first like to see those errors be more contextual, specific, and helpful. They have gotten better in 2009 but I'd still like to see more.

Some other parametric modelers, such as Alibre, have rather nice little helpers that really let you know what's wrong about your element or sketch. Simply adding a little more intelligence to the errors, and having an experienced Revit user help with re-writing the warnings to be more helpful would go a really long ways IMHO.

Scott D Davis said...

Another thought to error checking that I reviewed with some of the guys in Waltham is the ability to isolate objects in views that have warnings. It's often difficult to find the offending objects. Some of this can be handled through the new VSTA capabilities (from what I'm told) but I would like it built in.

Here's my concept: Review Warnings produces an HTML report of errors with element ID's. Use these element ID's to find objects in a view, and then apply the Temp Hide/Iso "Isolate Elements" to them in the view to show only the elements that have a particular warning.

I imagine having a dialog box for review warnings that I can open in any view, and as I select each warning, this temporarily isolates those element(s) in the view. I can then correct the object, and move on to the next warning.

Robert said...

Scott et. all,

As we saw in the LFRT meeting, external tools that leverage the API can in fact already isolate (pretty darn well) elements that are causing "errors", far more elegantly then the current show command within Revit itself.

Phil Read said...

All this Element ID stuff may be moot. If you can select Show from a schedule, a quick key to Isolate Elements will show you the objects.

I'd like to keep the UI simple and clean, than create one syntax for scheduling content and another for scheduling data with no geometric counterpart.


Robert said...

sounds good to me, except right now show attempts to process a bunch of views. If show would only go to a single 3D view, then yeah "isolate" would work great.

Colin Stanley said...

Agreed, That would be great. Even better if it didn't have to crater my machine while looking for the element in the myriad views...

I do love the accountability idea, though. tied with a decent way to mildly/publicly humiliate offending users... err... i mean to offer incentives for least offenses