Català - Castellano - Deutsch
See the previous post for more information on the Master Thesis and to see the Power Point presentation I used. Here you will find a brief summary of the thesis (the thesis has 22000 words). I am now in talks to publish the MT in a scientific journal. If that happens I guess I will not be allowed to publish it here, if it doesn't happen, then i am planning to publish it by Chapters or sections here.
Master Thesis Summary:
Building Information Modelling [BIM] is the most commonly used term to describe a set of parametric tools and processes for the creation and maintenance of an integrated collaborative database of multi-dimensional information regarding the design, construction and/or operations of a building, with the purpose of improving collaboration between stakeholders, reducing the time needed for documentation of the project and producing more predictable project outcomes.
Although the rates of companies adopting BIM (McGraw-Hill, 2010a) and the research about the topic has been steadily increasing in recent years, there is very few literature analysing the topic from the Project Management point of view.
To try to fill this void, this dissertation attempted to analyse BIM from the Project Management point of view. The research started with the mission to answer a double research question: “Is BIM a Project Management Tool? How can BIM help Project Managers succeed in delivering complex construction projects?” To answer this, the author analyzed relevant literature, analyzed the benefits of implementing BIM in 35 different construction projects and reviewed the opinions of AEC professionals collected through questionnaires.
The research was successful on proving that BIM is a relevant tool for Project Managers because the benefits found in projects using BIM outnumber the challenges, moreover the benefits found are in line with the role expected from a Project Manager, as defined in the different knowledge areas of the PMBOK.
The literature showed a need for better integration of project teams and collaboration between all parties. It also showed the need for a new way of dealing with information, moving from the document paradigm to the Project Integrated Database paradigm. The information analysed pointed in the direction that BIM could be the tool that allowed this better integration of teams and of information. The research study pursued based on that has shown that it does, with Communication and Coordination as two of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) showing more benefits due to the use of BIM in construction projects.
Paral.lel to the research question several objectives were defined, the first objective was to identify in which aspects BIM is showing more benefits for construction projects. Added to the already mentioned Communication and Coordination benefits, Cost, Time and Quality Improvement were the other three KPIs proven to have more beneficial influence from BIM in projects.
Comparing the main benefits of BIM implementation with the role of the Project Manager was the second objective of this research. The traditional Iron Triangle was used. Having Time, Cost and Quality as a major aspect in which BIM is showing positive effects, proved the relevance of BIM for PM practitioners. The study also used Atkinson’s (1999) Square Route principle and showed that BIM is clearly helping in 2 of the 4 corners of Atkinson’s concept for Project Management Success Factors.
The benefits for stakeholders and the organizational benefits were not so easy to identify. Organizational improvements were mentioned directly or indirectly in the case studies a few times and the questionnaire survey showed some respondents with opinions related to the improvement of the organization because of BIM use.
This research also aimed to define which role should the Project Manager assume within the BIM framework. Almost half of the respondents considered that the Project Manager should be BIM Proficient and 24% of them considered that the Project Manager should be in charge of overall BIM Management. The research shows that BIM is an Information Management Tool that goes way beyond its design functions. For this reason the author is pretty confident to state that it is the PM who should lead the BIM Management the same way the PM is the leader in setting up other IT systems and protocols in complex projects.
The research also showed that there are some challenges for BIM implementation. Mainly, these challenges are related to the Cost and Time needed to train staff to work efficiently with BIM.
The second challenge found was the existence of certain Software Issues that seem to not be allowing the use of BIM with all its potential. The research suggested that the PM should contribute to the solving of these issues, instead of considering the a reason not to use BIM, to be sure they address the aspects that can most benefit projects.
Despite the described challenges for BIM implementation. This research shows enough positive aspect related to the Project Management role, and it is suggested that PMs will benefit a lot from the use of this new way of working.
This dissertation also suggests that further studies should focus on how to improve BIM and aspects of BIM implementation, rather than trying to prove if BIM should be used or not. The AEC Industry needs better practices and BIM is one of them. But researchers should focus on how to make this adoption easier, more cost effective and smoother, and not waste much more brain power trying to convince those who resist change.
To see a complete list of references used for this research check this post.