MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 2.4 Chapter Summary

The literature review shows a clear tendency towards major project complexity (Chan et al., 2004; Williams, 2002; Alshawi and Ingirige, 2003). It also shows a linkage between complex projects and the existence of inter-organizational associations to accomplish these projects (Maurer, 2010).A second linkage has been drawn between inter-organizational associations and the need for “better integration, cooperation, and coordination of construction project teams” (Cicmil & Marshall 2005, cited in Maunula, 2008).

The unprecedented level of communication, collaboration and efficiency that BIM allows (Lee, 2008) seems to draw the last linkage on this chain: we have more complex projects that require inter-organizational associations; these associations require better coordination and cooperation; BIM promises to allow this increased coordination and collaboration. Ignoring BIM from the Project Management point of view seems to the author as a big mistake.

Lastly, we have seen how the industry requires a shift from a document based approach to communicating information to what many have chosen to name as Project Integrated Databases. The scholarly literature and statements from BIM supporting bodies suggest that BIM could help on this shift from documents to PIDs, for its nature is the “creation and maintenance of an integrated collaborative database of multi-dimensional information”, as we have seen in the definition of BIM on Chapter 1.

We have also seen a list of 10 potential benefits that PMs can get by implementing BIM in the projects (Table 2.1). BIM can thus be the catalyst that will enable Project Managers to reengineer the processes to better integrate the different stakeholders involved in modern construction projects.

There are and there will be challenges to the acceptance and implementation of BIM. Some of them are inherent to the new associations between stakeholders needed. The correct implementation of BIM requires “understanding and developing inter-organizational work practices” (Harty, 2005, cited in Maunula, 2008). This requirement for the implementation of BIM could be the catalyst for an overall shift towards better, more collaborative processes that could improve drastically the results and the productivity of the companies working on the AEC Industry.

The intention of this dissertation is thus to analyze the benefits of BIM as a Project Management tool and to explore in which ways and to what extent BIM will help the implementation of better processes to successfully deliver complex construction projects and which are the main challenges ahead. The methodology to achieve these goals will be explained on the following chapter.

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