Navigating the project landscape Bluebeam

How to Navigate the Project Landscape with a Robust BIM Execution Plan

Learn how this blueprint for success facilitates seamless collaboration, aligns stakeholders and ensures project goals are met


With the dynamic nature of the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector, the BIM Execution Plan (BEP) serves as the cornerstone of project delivery, facilitating seamless communication and collaboration among various stakeholders and guiding them toward a successful conclusion. By defining the project’s roadmap and aligning all teams with the project’s goals, it serves as a blueprint for project execution. Here we explore the pivotal role of the BEP and how construction professionals can effectively leverage it to steer a project toward success.

The BEP: The ‘How-To’ Guide to Your Project

To respond to the EIR (exchange information requirements), which outlines the “what,” “when” and “why” of the project, the BEP serves as a comprehensive guide. It’s a common misconception that there should only be one EIR on a project—the client EIR. This arises from the document formerly known as the “Employer’s Information Requirements” in PAS1192.

With ISO19650, the terminology changed—and for good reason. To communicate informational needs to the project team, stakeholders should have their own EIR to share with them. Construction workers should define what information they need when they need it, along with why they need it. The context provided will lead to better results and more usable information. Depending on the size of a project, workers might have a solo BIM manager or perhaps a team whose job it is to interpret the EIR (or EIRs) and develop strategies to meet these requirements, directing the project’s trajectory and ensuring that subcontractors and individual discipline teams follow the roadmap. To foster a collaborative yet structured project environment, those strategies will become the contents of a BEP.

The Cornerstone of Clear and Transparent Communication

At its core, the BEP is a tool for clear and transparent communication. A robust BEP outlines various aspects including BIM uses, roles and responsibilities, the common data environment as well as file formats. It also details project coordinates, clash requirements, level of information needed and information exchanges, providing a comprehensive guide to navigating the project successfully. A well-articulated BEP can significantly speed up the onboarding process, helping new members integrate seamlessly. A poorly constructed BEP, meanwhile, can lead to confusion and delays. Individual project teams may also have an internal or company BEP, which—regardless of project structure—is a good practice for all teams since their internal BEP should outline their company’s standard process and workflow.

The Living Document: Benefits and Pitfalls

A BEP is sometimes referred to as a “living document,” allowing it to change as the project progresses. However, this flexibility can sometimes be misused, leading to scope creep and contractual complications. It’s essential to differentiate between a BEP that adapts to significant changes and one that serves as an excuse for never finalizing the document or changing the goalposts.

The “living” part of the BEP is all about when a new party is onboarded to the project and when their needs should be incorporated, such as onboarding a new building contractor or subcontractor. As a result, the BEP will change so that they can include their needs in the information exchanges. Perhaps they need an extra parameter or an alternative file format to facilitate their work.

On the other hand, an example of a poor reason for the BEP to change might be changing or finalizing the requirements of an information exchange, such as expectations on model metadata (LOI) or other exchange formats such as COBie deliverables just before the project’s completion.

If changes emerge later in the project, approach them with transparency and open communication, acknowledging the potential for scope change and discussing the benefits and implications openly. To avoid frustration, always work from the official milestone issues to avoid falling into the trap of working with an unofficial, constantly changing document.

The Importance of a Well-Structured BEP

A robust BEP stands as a cornerstone for successful project management, fostering clear communication and providing a structured plan to navigate the complex landscape of modern projects. By avoiding the pitfalls of scope creep and fostering open dialogue, the construction industry can leverage the BEP as a powerful tool to guide projects successfully, maintaining a positive and collaborative environment throughout the project lifecycle.

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