Project Collaboration – Proven Strategies for Seamless Sharing

21 December 2023Autodesk Construction Cloud, BIM 360, CollaborationBest Practices, BIM Collaborate, Cloud, communication, efficiency, linked models, model coordination, permissions, revit, trust



Statistics show that over half of AEC professionals struggle with effective information sharing. But, when you can get it right, successful project sharing results in better communication, efficiency and project outcomes.

Collaboration methods involve cloud-based platforms, integrated project management systems and collaborative software solutions. Each collaboration method has its strengths and weaknesses. With greater insights and best practices, you can make informed decisions.

In the Applied Software, Graitec Group webinar with Paul Galloway, “Decoding Project Collaboration – Strategies for Seamless Sharing,” Paul presents strategies for deciding which type of collaboration best fits your project needs when you are using BIM 360 and Autodesk Construction Cloud.

Initially, he shared some questions you can ask about the project and some Revit best practices. You can use the answers to help you choose a collaboration model and the best practices to make collaboration more seamless.

two hands shaking in background and white graphic computer icons in foreground, collaboration

project considerations

How large is the project?

  • Remember to close worksets upon opening the model.
  • Place each linked model in a separate workset.

Does the project span multiple time zones and teams?

  • You may experience high load times and caching of changes.
  • Significant strain on bandwidth can peak at certain times of the day.
  • If you leave the personal accelerator running in the background, it can preload downloads of changes.

How many people are accessing a model simultaneously?

  • Too many users in one file can slow things down.
  • Make it easier by dividing the model by teams.

How frequently are updates of linked models needed?

  • More frequently – use live linking (learn more below about the weaknesses).
  • Less frequently – use shared or consumed linking.

Learn how to deliver better projects in the new guide, “Ways to Deliver Better Projects Using BIM Collaborate Pro,” by Graitec Group.

collaboration model options

Live Linking – (considered high trust)

The model linked is the live working central model of the other teams or trades. Synchronizing with the central model updates the linked model.


  • Changes are delivered as often as synchronizing with central models.
  • Easy to set up, mostly using defaults.
  • Minimal permissions are needed to manage.


  • No control over access to potentially sensitive information.
  • Minimal to no notifications when changes are made.
  • More difficult to take advantage of model coordination (i.e. reviews, interference checking).
  • Much higher network and bandwidth strain (things are updating all the time).
collaboration, BIM Collaborate Pro controlled sharing

BIM Collaborate Pro controlled sharing

Shared Linking – (considered lower trust)

The linked model is a copy of the other team’s central model in a shared folder. Updates only occur when the other teams decide to copy in a newer version of their central model.


  • Controlled access to information.
  • Notifications can be set up for model changes.
  • Model coordination setup and updates are automated.


  • More time and effort needed to set up.
  • No control over updates to external linked models – models are being overwritten.

Consumed Linking – (considered low trust)

The linked model is part of a consumed package published by the other team(s). Updates occur when the other teams publish changes to their models AND your team decides to consume the package.


  • Controlled access to information.
  • Notifications can be set up for model changes.
  • Model coordination setup and updates are automated.
  • Control over updates made by others to external linked models – using “packages.” You can choose to consume or ignore packages.


  • Requires teams and their permissions to be set up, but not significantly more effort than for Shared Linking. The “swim lanes” feature will show the published packages and updates.


Paul summarized by saying Consumed Linking gives you the most automation, control and options. It is the model that is most characteristic of the collaboration intended with Autodesk Construction Cloud.

Paul Galloway recommends the BIMup free training session by Matt Dillon: “Effective Collaboration Using BIM Collaborate Pro,” which provides a demo of each of these collaboration models, as well as the steps needed to set up each of them. 



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