Sunday, July 28, 2013

Can BIM maturity levels be truly defined at this stage as the UK government’s advisors claim to be able to?

Following my post where I questioned the logic of the ‘BIM Maturity Plan’ adopted by the UK Government, many people felt the need to quickly put me right.
A good sign, of course, that of an industry confidently moving forward.
Never mind, the distrustful minority seething in the corners and asking silly questions.
They are just being jealous, for not having thought of it first, ‘it’ being whatever you like ‘it’ to be when it comes to BIM.

It may be convenient to label the woman ‘mad’ and carry on with the real stuff, of getting to the prescribed level of “BIM Maturity” by the party-faithful.
Still, why not pause a minute and think:
What makes anyone eligible to prescribe that a country’s entire (public) industry complies with a set of arbitrary BIM requirements?
Is it not a bit arrogant to claim authority to know, how to measure the maturity of something without the ‘thing’ ever successfully been delivered in the past, not on a significant scale, anyway?
Let alone for long enough to have a good handle on what ‘maturity level’ would be desirable or optional;
An aspiration dressed up as an exact science?

Someone on behalf of the British public has decided that if all participants of their building projects did as they were told (according to the ‘wedge’ and its supporting documents) – i.e. ‘achieve Level x BIM’ they would get better value for their investment.
This is an extremely long bow to draw.

A chorus of experts with vested interest chiming in unison, that BIM makes sense – is still not a solid proof that ‘any Level of BIM maturity’ will make a hell of a difference to how much in the future the British public will pay for their new schools or renovated hospitals.

If a private company commissioned a similar report and got the recommendation to quickly gear up to Level 2 of this arbitrary BIM scale, surely they would expect some ‘proof’ for it working before they jumped into implementation.

I’m not a British citizen, nor work in that country. So, why should I worry?
Because the ‘architects’ of this scheme are defending their stance of ‘mother knows best’ so loudly and vigorously that it leaves no room for genuine questions being discussed by those not fully convinced.
And because they do not limit their evangelism to the territory of the British Isles.
Their claim to be able to ‘disambiguate’ BIM and put it into nice little boxes (or triangles) is dangerous and far-reaching.
BIM cannot be understood properly without taking into account people’s behaviour, market conditions, un-detected corruption, historical factors and many other aspects that influence AEC projects and their success rates.

Yet, who would listen to the ‘mad woman’ when all the ‘sirs’ know that the solutions are pretty simple and they are the authority on what is best for the global AEC?
They must know.

Would they recommend anything less than perfect to their own citizens?


  1. I for one would never dream of accusing someone capable of coherent reasoned argument as being mad.

    You will be pleased to hear that Britain is a democracy. As a member or the British public therefore if I don’t like a policy I can vote for someone else or lobby my member of parliament to express my concerns.

    Those in other parts of the world can of course choose to ignore the UK’s early attempts to provide structured sharable data for built assets. (It’s a painful but exciting process so we do tend to talk about it!)

    The early adopter projects for each government department in the UK are being measured with Key Performance Indicators to access the success or otherwise of the BIM deliverables.

    UK private sector clients (particularly, but not only, those with a long term interest in their assets) are starting to define BIM deliverables in Requests for Proposals from their supply chain. Rest assured that if there is not a clear financial benefit resulting from these requirements shareholders will not support them.

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