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The Importance of the Project Information Manager - (Part 01)

This is the first of a short series of topics that relate to the importance of a Project Information Manager. The items discussed are from my own experiences on several projects varying in size function and scope. The topics I want to discuss have been documented quite well in the latest industry standards, but questions and confusion still emerge in discussions from time to time with different project stakeholders.

The aim is to review the importance of information management, the duties, and responsibilities of the information manager and how tasks are managed and completed over the lifecycle of a project.

What is Information Management?

Information management at its simplest form, is the management and execution of tasks, which relates to the definition of information requirements as well as the production, checking and delivery of information.

Essentially everyone making up a project team consequently has an involvement and interaction with information management in varying degrees and at varying stages.

This isn’t a new concept and has existed in some shape or form ever since the production of information was carried out by hand.

Data is at the very heart of BIM. Without data, there is no information and therefore no knowledge and no value. A typical construction project involves many stakeholders including, contractor(s), architect(s), consultants, PMs, engineers, and building product manufacturers. The coordination of data exchange is at the very core of the success of the project, and it is imperative that the right data, in the right format, is delivered at the right time.

Data needs to be validated at the point of delivery to ensure that it is *correct and in context as important decisions are made based on its integrity. The Information manager role is key in the coordination and management of data production, checking and delivery.

Discussing the Role of IM

The Project Information Management role can support the full information management lifecycle, Providing a procedural data process from the beginning right through to the end of a project.

A: Start of delivery phase – transfer of relevant information from the asset information model (AIM) to the project information model (PIM)

B: Progressive development of the design intent model into the virtual construction model

C: End of delivery phase – transfer of relevant information from the PIM back to the AIM

ISO19650 introduces the concepts and principles for information management using BIM. It provides a framework for managing information, such as exchanging, recording, versioning and organising information for all project stakeholders. This framework is applicable to the whole lifecycle of any built asset.

The concepts and principles apply to the full information management lifecycle from defining the requirements, to collaborative information production and the technology infrastructure and process required to deliver this. Two of the critical requirements, “collaborative working” and “CDE solution and workflow” are examples of where The Information Manager and the designed procedural workflows, support the move from uncontrolled information exchange to a controlled and secure method of collaborative working

The ISO also breaks the information Management Process down to 8 steps which may repeat several times for different stages and appointments, each with several tasks at each. Assessment and need, Invitation to tender, Tender response, Appointment, Mobilization, Collaborative production of information, Information model delivery and Project close-out

The Function and Flow of IM

Image extracted from @ArcDox - BIM Coordinator Trianing Programme

I have extracted this diagram from the ARCDOX BIM Coordinator Programe (This 10hr online course is intended to give people who are looking at developing a career as BIM Coordinator, Manager, or participating in BIM projects, some practical guidance, advice and direction.

The diagram shows the structure of the typical three stages of a project, from design, construction to operations stage. Its quite possible there wont be one IM for the whole project, its a shared function in a collaborative effort. You have the BIM authors who will produce the information working for different companies and each of this companies will have a Task Information Manager. There will be an overall Information manager for the phase of the project. And there will be someone acting on behalf of the client/owner or the client information manager. Even on a single project you could have 20-30 people who is involved in the role of BIM management.

This diagram illustrates the Information Management role supports the full information management lifecycle, Providing a procedural data process from the beginning right through to the end of a project.

Thank you for reading. Part 02 to follow.


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