Developing BIM Execution Plans

BIM Execution Plans (BEPs) are boring, dense, and in the weeds. But – they are also important, helpful, and can set your team up for success.  Can we create a BIM Execution Plan that won’t make your eyes glaze over?  Can we make it a document your team will constantly pick up to use for reference? Resolve problems before they occur? Actually get us all to communicate?

What’s wrong with today’s BIM Execution Plans

The most referred to BIM Execution Plan is Penn State’s BIM Project Execution Planning Guide (link). While it’s fantastic to use as a reference, at 134 pages it’s hardly an easy guide to use to get your project team off to the right start.

Many BEP try to pack in every possible piece of information that a project could ever need. This leads to overloaded documents that are so dense you can’t understand them and you can’t review them in a single meeting.  They include processes and options that may or may not be relevant to the project you are working on.

While the Revit super-users will be most familiar with the BEP, it’s important that it is understood by everyone on the team.  If items that impact workflow, manpower estimates, schedules, and deliverables are buried in a 100+ page document, do you think your team is going to find them?

Do we even need to use BIM Execution Plans?

BEPs can set your team up for success – a project where ‘teams distribute and receive information on time, in the desired format, and with clear expectations of the desired outcomes’* can make or break the efficiency of a project.

Useful BIM Execution Plans can contribute to a project running efficiently, with good communication, and with everyone working together toward a common goal.  BEP’s have become necessary because of the transition from CAD drafting to BIM.  With CAD drafting, the majority of work was produced later in the project phases. This gave the project team plenty of time to iron out the details of how they would communicate and share information, before it had a large impact. Now with BIM, more information is needed very early in the project. “BIM is only as good as the… least technical person. You bring them up or everybody else gets to that level… One person who doesn’t follow or understand the procedures, shows up late to meetings, doesn’t upload models on time, or doesn’t maintain the coordination schedule will cause the whole process to stumble and affect the morale of the team.”*

So, how can you translate a document like the Penn State example into something you can use to lead an efficient, engaging meeting where everyone on the team (from managers down to modelers) are on the same page about the expectations of the project? Check out our latest blog post: Top 10 Tips to Create a BIM Execution Plan You Will Actually Use

Top BIM Execution Plan References:

Penn State BIM Project Execution Planning Guide
A Structured Planning Procedure for BIM
LOD – Level of Development – with pictures!
Great Questions to Review as You Develop Your BEP

*quotes from BIM and Construction Management: Proven Tools, Methods, and Workflows by Brad Hardin & Dave McCool