Collaborative BIM Project Management

What is a digital collaborative BIM project management? Why is our previous project management not productive?

I already wrote some articles about BIM. Many colleagues have already written about BIM. A lot is reported about BIM. BIM also reports a lot of things wrong.

BIM is a digital methodology from the point of view of the building, the structure or the infrastructure. BIM describes the complete life cycle in all phases, through development, planning, construction, building management, demolition, recycling and disposal. Ideally, the complete process is handled digitally, regardless of whether it is to be done on the basis of open-BIM or closed-BIM. A lot is defined and described in BEP. BEP describes phase development, planning and construction until the handover of the real and digital twin to the client. A lot is written about the responsibilities of the persons involved and their roles in the project. But how exactly the teams should work together and work to achieve a productive result is not described. Everything revolves around the data model and the real image. In the processes, people plays the decisive role. The BIM model is passive. The teams are active.

In all phases, people makes the decision. In the development and planning as well as in the construction, it is becoming more agile. No productive results can be achieved without transparency and cooperativeness. Our buildings, structures and infrastructures are becoming more and more complex and technically demanding. The BIM model plays a decisive role in making the complexity visible to all involved in detail. The necessary work steps in planning and construction must be discussed by the teams. Often the project manager (BIM Manager) is no longer in a position to master all technical finesse in all trades in detail. More and more frequently, his qualities as moderator in the processes are in demand.

Why is our previous project management not productive?

A further project management is not feasible. For the first overview, the usual Gantt chart may suffice, but then with this plan as a result and announcement the first project meeting to begin and also to decide, no longer works. As soon as the project manager has forgotten an important detail, the plan is already obsolete and should, basically, be updated during the meeting so that all parties can end up with a result and their To-dos to leave the meeting. Everyone wants a productive result! After each meeting, the project manager must update his plan and send it to everyone. The consequence is that the consistent and continuous reworking of the planning is not maintained. Every now and then there is a new plan. Actuality and productivity is different. And woe, there is something unforeseen! The software products used are all known to you. Every now and then you get slightly modified offers, which then advertise with keywords like 4D or 5D. Although some are new, in my view they belong to the past.

What is a digital collaborative BIM project management?

BIM projects are organized in the planning and construction phase in a transparent and cooperative manner with the methodology lean construction/Last Planner ®. From other industries you may have heard the terms Kanban, scrum or DevOps. All of these methodologies ensure that teams work together in a collaborative and transparent manner. The building industry always needs a little longer than the other industries.

The methodology and strategy behind it is simple but effective. Each team member promises to complete a specific task on a specific day and place in a BIM project. Regardless of whether this happens on the digital model or on the real construction site. All tasks together form an agile process chain. The order and dependency of the tasks is coordinated together. Everyone is reliant on everyone to keep their promises.

The methodologies have been available for some time. But only more recently, the spark is jumping on more and more companies. The entry is made for many with sticky notes on the wall. But in the age of digitization, this approach is no longer timely. BIM is digital. The collaborative project organization should also be digital. The prerequisite for this is that you must have a suitable software. Currently, there are not many products on the market that dominate lean construction. But only the name lean construction in advertising or product name does not make the software “lean” for a long time.

The methodical expansion and perfect integration of the Last Planner® dominate only a few or maybe even a single software product. If you want to know more about it, please feel welcome to contact me. In the past three years I have been intensively accompanying the development of the software. Please send your inquiries to

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