A fundamental problem with most BIM deployments

Congratulations! You have forced your supply chain to collaborate, working together on a common data environment that controls all your data using BS/ PAS 1192 principles. You have set up a working COBie exchange mechanism and secured all your information according to the advice in part 5.

The client was enlightened, following the guidelines in the Soft Landings documents and BS8536, ensuring they had libraries, templates and a common classification system. All looked too good to be true.

Then the penny drops. You can control, share, secure, transfer and classify data in a common enforceable method throughout the lifecycle, but wait a minute… Just what information are we talking about?

There has been some sterling work done over the last 5 years, by some very hard working and clever people to ensure we have standards in place to do all of the above, but the “low hanging fruit” has mostly been plucked, and we have to look at the cold uncomfortable truth: the information we are specifying, isn't any different from that which we have had in our maintenance databases all along!

It tells us interesting things about who created it, who owns it, how tall it is and how wide it is. If we are lucky, it will even tell us what its design criteria or function is. But let’s test it to see if it will actually add value to our asset during its lifecycle:

  1. Find an engineer who works with this type of “thing” at any stage of its lifecycle.

  2. Ask him what would be the top 5 critical questions he would ask, if he was told to go and maintain this “thing”

  3. Try to find the answers to those questions in the metadata.

  4. If you can solve all the questions, then we have a winner!

It is perplexing to think that some of the answers we are getting now are associated with questions that were asked many years ago!

For example: If I am decommissioning something and want to sell it on, I need to know it’s residual value. But the answer to this question will have impacted on the decision I made back in an earlier stage, so the client could pick the “thing” that has the best return on their investment.

After all, that is why we are doing this BIM thing, so we can get better value through greater efficiency during the entire lifecycle of the asset.

Without it, we have potentially just got a great management system with nothing of value to manage!

(The whole idea of the article is to see what peoples reactions might be and there are some great differences of opinion! All valid and interesting!)

Thank you for getting engaged!


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