Level 2 BIM: Collaboration or co-operation?
“True collaborative working requires mutual understanding and trust” while “collaborative working is essential if information is to be produced and delivered in a consistent timely manner”, according to BIM standard PAS 1192-2.
The overriding message here is clear – collaboration or co-operation, is at the centre of successful BIM Level 2. This isn’t a new message by any means, but it is something we all have to consider when working closely with others in our roles across different projects
When we first join a project, our intention is always to efficiently deliver a successful outcome. After all, working smartly is the formula for making a profit, retaining clients and generating new work.
Unfortunately, problems and changes during a project’s lifecycle inevitably occur, the implications of which leave us facing the risks of the project overrunning, increased costs and the potential failure to provide an asset which meets performance requirements. Our efforts are then drawn towards damage limitation and the prospect of smart working is jeopardised.
Using technology to develop and co-ordinate 3D design and construction models whilst holding project data and information in a shared managed environment can help reduce some of these risks. However, we as people are required to do more. Level 2 BIM is just as much about people and processes, as it is about models and technology.
We must work in partnership to ensure clients have the correct data and information, in the right format, at the appropriate point in time. This will in turn enable clients to make informed decisions before progressing to the next stage of the project. For this to be achieved, we must understand the project’s information exchange programme, the supporting plain language questions, their rationale and who is the project team does what, when and how from the outset.
So, however we choose to describe it, collaboration or co-operation, let’s really understand the way in which we work together and the processes we adopt. If we can do this, we can work smartly. The intention of doing a good job, but doing it in the same way as we did the last one will no longer cut it. We can’t just talk about collaboration, we have to embrace it.
Associate Professor, University of Nottingham