Is it really necessary to have an Information Manager when working in a building information modelling (BIM) environment? Find out in this short video with Fred Mills, Co-Founder of The B1M the UKs foremost BIM video resource.
BIM demands a high degree of control and integrity around how data is created, organised and shared both within companies and within the project teams that they work for. The Information Manager (sometimes known as the “BIM Manager”) is responsible for managing that process.
“The short answer is yes …but it doesn’t need to be a new appointment to your team”
The role includes establishing and managing the common data environment (CDE) – a shared online space that everyone in the project has access to – and overseeing the process of information management and exchange between all parties.
“It’s important to understand that the Information Manager isn’t the person that is designated ‘to do BIM’ for you” explains Fred. “BIM is a culture and a way of working that affects everybody, in all parts of an organisation. Information Managers ensure that information exchange and collaborative working are facilitated in the project process”.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the need to appoint an Information Manager is made explicitly clear in the BIM protocol and the wider suite of British Government guidance documents. Those documents also make it clear that the role should be undertaken by an existing person within the project team; such as the Design Team Leader or the Main Contractor’s Design Manager.
On a point of personal opinion, Fred explains that he doesn’t see a role for stand-alone BIM Managers who look after things like software platforms, in-house product libraries, training or project support:
“Those who disagree are completely entitled to their view, but for me those things are essentially part of IT, the design management function or something for designated BIM Champions; people who are well placed within your organisation to assist and help with BIM implementation in the early stages, alongside their current role”.
He goes on to recognise that for very large businesses, organisations at the very start of their implementation journey or on large projects, the business case for those stand-alone roles certainly does exist.
“For large businesses, those at the start of their BIM journey or on very large projects, the business case for stand-alone roles is certainly there”
Numerous courses and workshops exist specifically for Information Managers and Fred points out that these can be very useful for organisations or individuals adopting a more disciplined approach to information flow: “It’s a big, cultural step for many organisations and training and guidance are always worthwhile”.
You can find out more about the role of Information Managers (or BIM Managers) from the UK Government’s BIM Task Group here.
Kindly provided by The b1M