The Importance of the Project Information Manager - (Part 02)
This is the second 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.
The Activities of Information Management
The information management function isn’t something that’s carried out by one person on a project its distributed across the different parties.
Client Information Manager
Project Information Manager – Design
Task Information Manager
Project Information Manager – Construction
Project Information Manager – Operations
We can refer to the PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT process in relation to the management of information.
PLAN – What Information is required, Why is it required, who’s responsible for delivering it, when Is it required and where will it be delivered.
DO – The responsible party must produce the information
CHECK – 3 Checks will occur,
Task Information Manager – Internal checks
Overall Information Manager – Check information before submitting to client for acceptance.
Client Information Manager – Carry out their own checks before the information is published.
ACT – If information is incorrect it gets rejected, to avoid problems and delays.
The purpose of this rigorous procedure is to avoid delays, costs, and problems down the road. It’s not to make things more difficult it’s to make things better for everyone.
I have extracted this diagram from the ARCDOX BIM Coordinator Programme (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.
Do we need a Project Information Manager?
The short answer is YES.
There are several documents that define the need for an Information Manager for information management; Protocols such as the Construction Industry Council (CIC) BIM protocol require the appointment of a project information manager to set up and manage the common data environment (CDE). The information manager is a procedural gate-keeper, policing the common data environment to ensure that it follows the agreed protocol and that the data is secure
The CIC BIM protocol requires that the client appoints the information manager. This might be an internal appointment but is more likely to be a service provided by a tier 1 supplier. This appointment may change through the course of the project. For example, the lead designer or lead consultant may be the information manager during the early stages of the project, but the contractor may take on the role during construction.
In all projects the People, Processes, Technology and Data will play a major role, The PIM will be at the core of this catering to the creation, management and sharing of building data.
I do want to point out that the role of Project Information Manager as a separate role is not something ISO 19650 promotes but rather the ISO refers to the information management requirements as something each party (appointing party, lead appointed party, appointed party, project team, delivery team and task team) must deliver and the Information Management Assignment Matrix sets out who has responsibility.
Duties of the Project Information Manager
An information manager is appointed to ensure the appointing parties’ requirements as defined in the initial procurement documents are met. This will include coordinating, validating and essentially policing the BIM process and information management exchange protocols as the project develops overtime. Key responsibilities include model information compliance checks, clash detection, supply chain integration and managing the chosen common data environment.
Reporting is an important part of the role as it ensures the appointing and appointed parties are kept up to date with the project’s BIM requirements and expectations. None of the activities that the role entails involve design responsibility, this is a full managerial role, ensuring information exchange and collaborative working are facilitated in the project process.
Scope of Services (extracted from the CIC Outline Scope of Services for the Role of Project Information management)
Establish a Common Data Environment including processes and procedures to enable reliable information exchange between Project Team Members, the Employer and other parties
Establish, agree and implement the information structure and maintenance standards for the Information Model
Receive information into the Information Model in compliance with agreed processes and procedures. Validate compliance with information requirements and advise on noncompliance
Maintain the Information Model to meet integrity and security standards in compliance with the employer’s information requirement
Initiate, agree and implement the Project Information Plan and Asset Information Plan.
Enable integration of information within the Project Team and co-ordination of information by Design Lead
Agree formats for Project Outputs
Assist Project Team Members in assembling information for their Project Outputs
Support the implementation of the Project BIM protocol including updating the Appendices
Liaise with and co-operate with Project Team Members and the Employer in support of a collaborative working culture
Assist the Project Team Members in establishing information exchange processes
Thank you for reading. Part 03 to follow...