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Information management: when will we learn?

16 February, 2024

In case you missed it, our latest webinar discussed the intricacies of information management - a critical aspect of the construction industry, particularly in the context of Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Despite years of standards development, there’s an ongoing challenge: how do we effectively manage information?



Paul Shillcock, Operam MD and author of information management standards, challenged the construction industry’s typical approach to adopting new ways of working and offer. He emphasized that businesses should be using a learning-focused approach to achieve continuous improvement. But first, here’s some context:


The challenge with standards

Paul began with a historical overview of standards, dating back to 2007 with BS 1192, which eventually evolved into the ISO 19650 series. The plethora of standards, such as PAS 1192-2 and -3, became ISOs 19650-3 and -5, creating a diverse set of standards that's challenging to adopt. This continuous evolution reflects the size of the problem – the industry still struggles to manage information effectively.


Understanding the ISO 19650 series

The ISO 19650 series has five parts, with a sixth in development.


  • The five parts focus on managing information across:
  • The asset lifecycle
  • During asset delivery
  • In the operational phase
  • Effective information exchange between parties and
  • Adopting a security-minded approach


However, this becomes a problem when businesses get caught up in the standards instead of viewing information management as a crucial business process.

Paul highlighted the need to shift perspective. He proposes that businesses should be in a continuous cycle of improving. This would involve eight steps - each with activities building on one another. Although it may seem linear, steps two to seven need repetition for every phase, making it distinct from traditional project management.

Paul gave two common approaches – one driven by external demands, leading to delays and budget overruns, and another driven by internal business goals. The latter involves leadership developing strategies, aligning with business processes, determining requirements and ensuring proper education and training. This approach leads to constant learning, fostering a state of continuous improvement.


A better approach to information management

Paul’s eight-step approach to BIM implementation focuses on internal business goals instead of a common reactive response driven by external demands. The key differences with this approach means:


  • Leadership plays an important role in developing strategies and policies - emphasizing the completion of training before investing in technologies.
  • The knowledge held by individuals within the organization can be leveraged and used to inform the alignment to ISO standards.
  • The identification of functional and non-functional requirements - streamlining the procurement of appropriate technologies.


This ensures your compliance with information standards and establishes effective methods and procedures. This makes your business more efficient and helps you reach your actual goals, rather than just trying to meet guidelines.


To BIM, or not to BIM?

Implementing this learning-based approach highlights the importance of collaboration – information management is a team sport.

All parties must work together, especially during upstream activities where information requirements are established. Here the client or team manager plays a crucial role in providing the right collaborative environment with clear expectations.

The inevitable questions you may have here are, how long will it take, and how much will it cost? Paul proposed a balanced approach – allocate equal time and resources to technology, people and processes. Neglecting any aspect risks, making expensive technology ineffective.

The journey toward effective information management in the realm of BIM involves a paradigm shift. It requires viewing standards as part of a broader necessary business process and embracing a continuous learning mindset.

By prioritizing internal business goals and adopting a holistic approach, organizations can transform information management into a catalyst for continuous improvement. Organizations should harness the knowledge within their teams, align with industry standards, determine technology requirements and procure enabling technologies accordingly. Education and training become pivotal, with continuous learning feeding back into the business model - promoting a culture of continuous improvement throughout your business.


Ideagen Mail Manager: your new star-player

Ideagen Mail Manager addresses critical communication and email management challenges. The solution focuses on streamlining email management, especially in the context of remote and hybrid work environments. It tackles industry concerns such as the risk of project rework, breakdowns in communication and the increasing number of disputes within the AEC sector. This of course strengthen's your business' approach to BIM, helping you stay compliant and organized.

Ideagen Mail Manager's key features include centralized organization, automated filing processes and the creation of a single source of truth for project-related emails. By mitigating the manual handling of emails and ensuring easy accessibility, the solution enhances efficiency, reduces disputes and provides a comprehensive tool for managing critical project information in the industry.

For more information, book a demo call and let our team talk you through the benefits many businesses in the sector have experienced!



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