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Shared/Project Parameters - where to draw the line...

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    Shared/Project Parameters - where to draw the line...

    Forgetting the difference in behaviour and functionality between shared and project parameters for a moment...


    With more jobs on, and all of them going into Revit, there's been a bit of free-for-all with the families finding their way into our projects - with people fetching families from out of other project models & libraries "to get the job done".

    Despite my insistence on "Use the Central Library" - there's little I can do to stop people doing "the other" as they'd rather use an old family and "makedo" than wait on me to help them out with a new one (either make or edit one to suit). :banghead:

    What's worse is there's absolutely no point in me trying to persuade any of "them" to make their own - not going by the "design" sketches I see.


    Okay, so I'm a push over. Enough of that. :hide:


    My main issue? With all this pilfering going on, a great number of (legacy) shared parameters are finding their way into our new models - to the point where one of our models has 7 instance-parameters for a door's "Fire Class" (in a variety of iterations). Removing them is easy enough, but it's all a bit of a shambles. :banghead:

    So...

    I've been thinking about how we've been including shared parameters in our families. We're in a much better way in terms of a company Shared Parameter file - so we use that without fail as a first step - but job-specific requests for parameters see us using job-specific Shared Parameter files - which "infect" families once they're loaded into project models - so we keep them out of the central library and make project libraries. :crazy:

    Q : Do I completely stop the practice of job-specific Shared Parameters?
    A lot of our jobs are (slightly) different and we're still findinh the process of "evolving" our workflows on a "most-recent-job-must-be-the-ideal" basis - but maybe a one-rule-to-rule-them-all is the only way?

    Q : Do I completely stop the practice of job-specific libraries?
    Again, our "Central Library" families are "by category" material-assigned, and devoid of non-standard types - so project libraries have always allowed us the freedom of job-specific edits, types-creation, material assignment (and such) for updates-by-reload... whereas the "Central Library" remains a (kind of) baseline "control".

    #2
    I encourage people to have a single point of contact (POC) with Shared Parameters. If a project needs a new parameter then see the POC for getting it added to the office Shared Parameters. Often this interaction makes a team aware of the fact that such a parameter exists or a similar one does for much the same purpose. Same goes for firms with more than one office. They just need to share a read only copy of the shared parameter file for each office so they can use them too. Call the POC the SP Czar or King or Gov... put one person who has the best handle on what exists and what's possible and what it's all about... Alfie.

    If you have job or client specific sets of parameters, just create a separate group for them. Avoid having job specific things for generic things like length, width etc. Often this starts with documentation requirements, what has to appear in a schedule for example. If you and the office can define what information must appear in that kind of documentation you can map out a parameter strategy. Keep in mind that this situation is happening in every office and for every person that makes content... I think of it as the great big can o' worms that Revit and BIM have spun the lid off and hasn't resolved.

    Comment


      #3
      Firstly, I would assume that the reason users are going to previous project libraries is because its too hard to find anything within your "central" library using OOTB Revit tools?
      I firmly believe you need to stop that!
      I would suggest sorting out your family file management using a tool like Kiwi Codes Family Browser, this might actually sort out 3/4 of your problems and also make your users a lot more efficient (theres a lot written about it in this and other forums, or you can go to their website.If you use a tool like this, it is easier for your users to use the families you want them to, then for them to use older projects families, therefore your users would take the easier route, without you having to force them to (well, thats my theory!).

      But to get to your shared parameter questions, if you are talking about Job-specific Shared Parameters (I assume specification items etc?) I would use Project parameters instead. You can either make Project Parameters (therefore can use Key Schedules which are great) or load Shared Parameters as Project Parameters (so you can use tags). Either way the parameter lets loaded into the family when inserted into the project, therefore it doesnt reside in the family itself. Even if you edit the family they don't come through (but unfortunately they do if you cut/paste the family to another project).

      Hope that helps
      Last edited by Alex Page; November 2, 2011, 11:16 PM.
      Alex Page
      RevitWorks Ltd
      Check out our Door Factory, the door maker add-in for Revit

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Steve_Stafford View Post
        I encourage people to have a single point of contact (POC) with Shared Parameters.
        That would be me, working to a legacy I've been at pains to move away from.
        Originally posted by Steve_Stafford View Post
        If you have job or client specific sets of parameters, just create a separate group for them.
        Nice, so simply brilliant! :thumbsup:
        Originally posted by Steve_Stafford View Post
        I think of it as the great big can o' worms that Revit and BIM have spun the lid off and hasn't resolved.
        Agreed, I do sometimes think I'm alone in my efforts mind. What I wouldn't give for "change all" commands that could sort shared parameters "globally", or even for combined actions across entire categories (ie. "all layers of 12mm Ply to be resized, and reassigned to 15mm MDF, in all lining buildups of all roofs and walls"), or from even higher up.


        Originally posted by Alex Page View Post
        Firstly, I would assume that the reason users are going to previous project libraries is because its too hard to find anything within your "central" library using OOTB Revit tools?
        Sadly the truth is all the more devasting. Only 2 people gingerly raised their hands with confidence at a reason VC I had all the Reviteers sit in, when I asked "Who knows were the library is?". :banghead: Some of you may have seen my other threads that have gone some way to detail failings with our IT, but it would be unfair to allow them off so easily. They've all access, it's sensibly organised, folder pathed in Revit and desktop shortcuts, with plenty of content to use.
        Originally posted by Alex Page View Post
        I would suggest sorting out your family file management using a tool like Kiwi Codes Family Browser,
        Aha! We've got that too. :banghead:

        Originally posted by Alex Page View Post
        or load Shared Parameters as Project Parameters (so you can use tags). Either way the parameter lets loaded into the family when inserted into the project, therefore it doesnt reside in the family itself.
        Don't then all your families acquire every SP even though some might not apply? What of very unique SP that you do want to call out in filtered schedules of a kind - do you add them too? Do I simply "hide" more than I "show" in my model (and template) files?
        Originally posted by Alex Page View Post
        Even if you edit the family they don't come through (but unfortunately they do if you cut/paste the family to another project).
        or save them out back to the library - unless it's reccomended our "central library" files are read only? (don't laugh - that's a genuine question :hide: )
        Last edited by snowyweston; November 2, 2011, 11:52 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by snowyweston View Post
          ...

          Don't then all your families acquire every SP even though some might not apply? What of very unique SP that you do want to call out in filtered schedules of a kind - do you add them too? Do I simply "hide" more than I "show" in my model (and template) files? or save them out back to the library - unless it's reccomended our "central library" files are read only? (don't laugh - that's a genuine question :hide: )
          I'm not sure if you got what I was saying (no offence meant if you did! - I think we are talking about different things) Ill start again just to clarify:

          In your Project (not the family) you can add those special parameters you need for that project using Project Parameters, which can be scheduled (they can also be shared if you need them for tagging purposes).When you load a family into that project (or if the family is already in the project) it gets populated with those parameters.

          So the family files (the ones saved in your central, or project location) themselfs dont get populated with those project parameters; therefore they dont come through to other projects if users go to those project directories and load them
          Alex Page
          RevitWorks Ltd
          Check out our Door Factory, the door maker add-in for Revit

          Comment

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