Tools for measuring.

+ Measuring BIM implementation helps identify opportunities to improve.

You cannot change what you do not measure. And yet so many organisations dive head first into adopting new work practices such as building information modelling (BIM) without thinking about how they will measure the success of their endeavours.

I find this strange. BIM is ideally suited to enable us to do exactly this – to measure and compare what we are doing in such a way that we can drive continuous improvement in the design and delivery of the built environment. Surely this is something anyone in the industry would want to do?

From what I have seen, even the simplest measurement of the implementation of BIM – be it on projects and or across a business – provides rigour and helps identify opportunities to improve. For example, measurement was at the heart of the success of the Big Room project my colleague Andrew Maher wrote about recently here on Thoughts.

If the industry wants to motivate more people to embrace BIM, we need metrics and measurement. Whether you measure money saved, programmes improved or efficiencies gained, nothing is more compelling than seeing that this new workflow does improve upon time-honoured methods.

And measurement can help us convince the sceptics among us to adopt a new way of doing things. It’s no wonder there’s certainly a degree of scepticism out there, with many professionals ‘BIM-washing’ by describing the benefits of BIM but then failing to deliver.

So what’s the best way to go about measuring how you’re implementing BIM on projects? Penn State University has done excellent work on measuring BIM. And we’ve drawn on this under the Creative Commons 3.0 licence to create the Arup BIM Maturity Measure, which you’re free to download and use.

We’re making this measure available to demystify BIM, reduce BIM-wash and help increase capability across the industry. For me, this is perhaps the ultimate benefit of measuring how you implement BIM – it prevents you from becoming complacent – thinking you have done all that there is to be done or know everything there is to know about BIM.

After all, we are only at the very start of this journey and there is still much to do – and even more to learn.