Get ready for BIM Level 3

By Mads Bording, CEO Europe International, RIB Software


Recently I attended a great key note speeech by Mark Bew, Chairman HM Government BIM Working Group, regarding the journey of BIM. Mark has a track record of delivering successful process and technology driven business change programmes from within the Engineering and Construction industry.

According to the BIM task force the end-game is iBIM or integrated BIM. This is a vision that we at RIB an only echo and let me explain why.

Transformation is a business imperative and the context of construction is changing at rapid pace. Latest Deloitte have estimated that in 2025 construction will be as consolidated and integrated as automotive.


Less is more

Most companies I have the pleasure of meeting in construction have the following similarities:

•    They are project driven and not enterprise driven, meaning that success is measured on a single project and not across an enterprise. Success is measured in project margins and not in overall profitability, learning cycles, productivity or risk reduction.

•    They have 1000+ suppliers and sub-contractors in the supply chain – they can count them but they do not know the companies that they count! We believe that great teams create great results, but how can we share a common goal and objective if we do not know each other’s strengths and weaknesses? Btw. 1000+ is a BIG number.

•    They operate in segregated processes and sub-systems, meaning a tool for individuals in a given situation. Sure you can see where I am going with this. The building blocks of this architecture does not fit, only suits individual needs, builds silos of data, knowledge and information, re-enforces tacit knowledge and this hair-ball architecture inhibit most people from thinking creatively across the entire value creation process, thus re-enforcing the ongoing sub-optimization of individuals instead of collective learning and benefits.


Integration vs Dis-integration

All of this lends to dis-integration. All of this goes against collaboration and TEAM formation. If we want to increase productivity and identify and eliminate risk, we must INTEGRATE and be TRANSPARENT. Look, the traditional process of being dis-integrated, transparent and distributing risk only leads to everyone in the supply chain adding risks to costs and we end up with e.g. 20% of risk tied up as $CASH$... Just sitting there!!  

We are delighted that the target for BIM level 3 or integrated BIM has begun. RIB have invested in this endgame for close to a decade and offer a solution from a technical side to gain all these benefits already. iTWO is new technology, new working methods and new thinking. iTWO is the most brilliant thing since sliced bread, so where is the challenge if we offer a quantum leap for construction?

Well, it is in the latter two of the three: New Working Methods and New Thinking. We have the privilege to work with some of the most visionary companies in construction and we full commit to ensure that they end up on top of the game, they have great thinkers and executors challenging the way construction works. Hats off to your guys. We work with Universities globally, engage in networks and communities and discuss with leading consultancy companies such as McKinsey & Company.

So my humble advice to you is, break out of the seductive project-driven trajectory for just one hour, one day or even one week! Stop looking at the burning platform and set a team to discuss the desired platform – where would you want to be in 2020? How can you benefit form technology before it is mandated? How can you ensure you have the right team of young talents before there is a gap between your capabilities and the technological requirements?

Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast

Set a team to meet that goal. Teams have to master three dimensions of performance. First, they require a common direction: a shared understanding of goals and values. Second, skills of interaction are crucial if the team is to go beyond individual expertise to solve complex problems and, equally, if it is to withstand the scrutiny of the rest of the organization.

This is a journey starting not with technology and tools, but with thinking and discussions on how to work differently. This is about integrating stakeholders in the value chain and getting all brains in the game. This is the change management we at RIB find ourselves discussing every day with innovative companies in construction, forward thinkers and leaders. We have the technology for today, but also for the business of tomorrow. We are fully committed to construction and continue to invest a target of 30% of our revenue in R&D building an eco-system for construction.

Let’s stop discussing BIM as merely 3D and tools and get to the root cause and discuss integration of processes, people, platforms. Let’s stop discussing BIM based on a burning platform from a government mandate and assume responsibility to discuss BIM on a desired platform. Do this internally, in teams of you and your closest allied in the value chain or speed boat in a workshop with some of our black-belts.

Mads Bording is a highly experienced change management agent with expertise in organisational and business development and strong business acumen. He has worked in IT and management consulting, both in construction and other industries. He was named one of Denmark's Top Talents by a major Danish newspaper, is a much-used speaker, educated from Copenhagen Business School, Harvard Business School, HEC in Paris, Columbia Business School in New York and London Business School.

Mads is now CEO Europe International at RIB Software AG & Executive Board Member (deputy).