I’m an Information Manager and proud of it…..

I’m about to put my neck out on the line here I think…but I’m going to because I am passionate about what I do and will continue to be as long as there is room in the industry for me to do so….

So with no further ado…

I’m an Information MANAGER and proud of it…..

There I said it. No shame. I am an Information Manager; I am responsible for Information Management – nothing wrong with that is there? Well, you wouldn’t think so but currently there seems to be dispute over whether Information Manager is even a job title in the context of BIM.

I would argue it is – and here is why….

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a standards fan. Not a sentence goes by with me talking BIM that probably doesn’t make reference to some standard or other. I am quite a black and white person; I like consistency and order to the madness that surrounds me and as such as far as I am concerned, as an industry we can only align and work against the standards and publications that are available. So, why is there confusion over the validity of information Manager as a job title?

If we look at the PAS1192-2:2013 and the CIC BIM Protocol there seems to be a couple of different terms and definitions that make it become a bit blurred. Both of the aforementioned documents make reference to an Information Manager. Now regardless of whether this is an error or not, for me it is ‘current’ guidance.

The CIC BIM Protocol makes reference to (but not limited to) the following;

1.     Information Manager

The Protocol requires the Employer to appoint a party to undertake the Information Management Role. This is expected to form part of a wider set of duties under an existing appointment and is likely to be performed either by the Design Lead or the Project Lead, which could be a consultant or contractor at different stages of the project. In some circumstances the Employer may appoint a stand alone Information Manager.

The Scope of Services for the Role of Information Management will need to be defined in the Appointment of the party undertaking the Information Management Role. Details of the scope of services of the Information Manager have been prepared by the CIC. There are two versions: a detailed version compatible with the CIC scope of services, and another simpler version suitable for incorporation with any appointment, these are published separately on the BIM Task Group website, www:bimtaskgroup.org.

1.1.4 Information Management Role means a role in connection with the Project which includes, inter alia, the establishment and management of the processes, protocols and procedures set out in the Information Requirements.

1.1.5 Information Manager means the person appointed, initially by the Employer, to perform the Information Management Role. 


The PAS1192-2:2013 makes reference to (but not limited to) the following;

NOTE 2 Employers are strongly advised to assign the role of project delivery manager to one or more individuals as early as possible to develop these requirements. Under the CIC BIM Protocol (2013) the employer is obliged to appoint a party to undertake the role of Information Manager.

NOTE 3 On projects led with the CIC BIM Protocol (2013), a key role is the information manager. The information manager has a role in facilitating the management of the federated model and the production of project outputs. The information manager is also responsible for managing the operation, standards and culture of the common data
environment.

Of further note in the PAS1192-2:2013 is the table referencing the information exchanges in respect of Information Management:

– Enable reliable information exchange through a common data environment
– Maintain and receive information into the Information Model
– Enable integration and coordination of information within the Information Model
– Configure information for Project Outputs
– Populate the information exchange format for the Information Model
– Accept/ reject information exchanges within the common data environment
– No design responsibility or right to issue instructions

Of course, let’s not also forget the CIC Outline Scope of Services for the Role of Information Management that combined with both the PAS1192-2:2013 and the CIC BIM Protocol pretty much reads like my job description…

So what does this mean? Well to me it means that, yes the role of Information Management could be facilitated by the Lead Designer or the Contractor, but what if it’s not? Perhaps either of those parties doesn’t have the skill set, or even the desire to do so? That’s where I come in. A 3rd party stand alone Information Manager, responsible for Information Management as defined in the aforementioned standards.

What if Information Management is your only role? Surely by its very nature it is your job and therefore Information Manager is your job title?

I appreciate that as more and more people increase understanding, awareness and adoption of BIM that the role of Information Management may well fall within existing commissions of those traditionally responsible for project delivery, but at this time BIM can feel very complicated and the additional undertaking of information management can be a daunting task.

To steal a quote; “BIM requires sophisticated and dedicated management” – I am a very strong believer in this. Having come from an architectural practice that has been though the journey of adopting BIM (having been personally responsible for the delivery of said implementation), there is an abundance of information and understanding that is required. Its’ easy to forget as I have said before, that when you are trailblazing to not remember there are many others that are not in the same place as you just yet.

If I’m honest, I do hope that the Information Management role is picked up in time by the design team in the traditional sense, because then it means that BIM will of succeeded; It will be embedded in the day to day job of those in industry and Information Management will just be something we do.

I’m not out to take away the role the Information Management from a Lead Designer, a Contractor or anyone else but until such time as the aforementioned wish to take up the role as an addition to a commission I will be here, promoting awareness, better process, and (I hope) ultimately facilitating better buildings.

To reiterate what I stated at the start of this post;

I’m an Information MANAGER and proud of it….

PS. Also I’m not sure my boss will be keen on changing all our business cards to reflect a new job title so if we can all just agree please that would be great :)

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About Ben Malone

Information Manager for BIM.Technologies in London

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