BIM Project Setup: Do’s And Don’ts For Project Manager

The project manager plays a massive role when it comes to creating value in a BIM operation. During the project setup, it is vital that the right procedures are taken to ensure the rest of the project runs smoothly. The project manager’s input is essential here, as their initial contribution sets the path for success.

Dos and Donts in BIM for Project Manager at BIM project setup

For realistic BIM implementation, there are a couple of important steps to follow. There are also some definite ‘don’ts’, which can really impact the rest of the project. Let’s explore some of the things for project managers to put into action and look out for during the project setup. 

The Do’s For A Project Manager At BIM Project Setup

Getting it right from the start will help to provide a clear route for success. So, here are some critical tasks for project managers to achieve during project setup.

1. Create a Trustful Environment

BIM only really works in a transparent and trustful environment. Achieving this is a major task for a project manager as it will help to create a positive and valuable project culture. 

The first step for a project manager during setup is to make sure that the team has a clear view and understanding of the project. An environment of trust sets the stage for a successful project. 

Having full transparency will not only make the team more comfortable, but it will help to streamline project delivery. Processes become more efficient, there is a greater drive, and the project becomes easier to manage. 

2. Define The Use Cases

The next step is to define the use cases. This will help everyone involved to understand the real-world applications so that they can work with those in mind. 

The project manager needs to layout project use cases that show how the end-user will “use” the final result of the project. This provides a structure for collecting the requirements and helps to set the scope of the project.  

In other words, it makes the ‘why’ of the entire project clearer, which helps team members to meet the objectives better.

3. Clear Requirements

One of the most essential tasks for any project manager is to make the project goals clear and understandable. Based on the use cases, project managers need to ensure that all requirements contribute to the main objectives of the project. 

For example, with a cost estimation use case, the requirements will detail the information in the model that is needed to execute the estimates.  

Without these clearly defined requirements, misunderstandings and errors are more likely to occur and the use cases won’t be implemented correctly. 

Clear project goals and requirements will also help to better utilise the different benefits of BIM. BIM allows for the sharing of information across different disciplines and phases. In order for this kind of collaboration to be effective, clear project scope and detailed requirements are necessary. 

It is the project manager’s job to provide these during the setup in order to achieve the goals of the project. Without requirements, everyone involved in the project may not be able to work in a clear direction. 

Collaboration tool

4. Make Contracts That Enable Collaboration

One of the main advantages of working with BIM is enhanced collaboration. BIM projects allow contractors, architects, designers, building managers, and other relevant professionals to collaborate with greater efficiency and enhanced results. 

This smart collaboration can vastly improve the management and results of the project. So, during the project setup, opening up the doors for collaboration is important. Project managers should ensure that they make contracts that enable this. 

5. Resource Planning and Assignment

Planning out the resources and assigning them to tasks is an important part of the project manager’s duties. The project manager is responsible for the requirements of the project, and getting resources correctly planned will help them to achieve an accurate and cost-effective end-result. 

Resource planning done properly will save time, money, and make various processes more efficient. Understanding the different goals of the project, and allocating the correct resources to each is the necessary foundation for successful execution.

The Don’ts For A Project Manager At BIM Project Setup

While there are certain necessary steps for project managers to follow during the setup of a BIM project, there are also definite things to avoid. Here are some of the important ‘don’ts’ for project managers to avoid. 

1. Don’t Tell The Planner HOW They Have To Do Their Job

When it comes to BIM implementation, workflow definition (modelling) and execution is a planner topic. Keeping a clear divide in position is best here, as project managers don’t want to overstep their position. 

It is the duty of the project manager to clearly define the requirements and goals of the project. However, allowing planners to do their job without interference is important. 

Planner duties and project manager duties differ, and each needs to be able to control their own area of expertise. As mentioned earlier, one of the key features of BIM is that it enhances collaboration. In order for successful collaboration to take place, different parties need to lead their own areas. 

2. Don’t Skimp On The Project Plan

During the project setup, an important detail is the planning of the project. Many project managers may rush over this step thinking that they can flesh out the details as they go but this is a big mistake. Creating a holistic project plan is more than just coming up with a schedule. 

Project managers need to ensure that they detail all the risks, communications, resources, financials, and more. A small mistake or oversight here, in the project setup, could be costly later on in the project.

Final Thoughts about BIM project setup

In order for a successful BIM project to follow through, the project manager needs to provide a clear path at the project setup. This is a critical phase of any job, and making the right moves here will impact the rest of the project. 

While more organisations are incorporating BIM into their workflows, understanding the most effective way of managing and initiating these kinds of projects is essential. Using software like bimspot will help project managers to define all requirements clearly, make the right decisions and increase their chances of success when using BIM.