How to run a BIM Startup Meeting

A BIM Startup Workshop is one of the essential first steps for any BIM project.


Why? - Because as we know, BIM involves different disciplines, numerous project phases, complex software and of course many, many people. We would all rather work smarter not harder, we all want to minimize rework, and somewhere along the way we'd all like to make a profit

So then, let's get it right the first time, we'll all sit down, and sort it out before we get started!

What's on the agenda?

Based on our experience, we've prepared a list identifying key points that should be up for discussion in BIM Meeting #1. We've deliberately left out contractual requirements and any discussion on procurement etc. presuming these discussions have probably already taken place.

We've broken these agenda items into 3 sections, 'Plan', 'the Process', and 'of the Model'.


First things first.

1. Key Contacts - We tend to take down as many names here as possible and assign roles and responsibilities next to each name. The reason for extending this list beyond just the Model Managers is to cut down on the overflow of information (ie. not everyone needs to be copied into every piece of correspondence). 
2. Team capabilities - Quickly following on from point 1, it would be fitting to identify each team member's BIM capabilities (ie. past projects, key personnel etc). 
3. Project Program, Milestones and Key Dates - Quite high level, but here we're beginning to discuss and understand broad deliverables and scope. 
4. Key Project Requirements - Again high level, but quick discussion about key project requirements. These maybe client requirements etc, definitions will help manage expectations. 
5. BIM Goals and Objectives - The last two points are really leading up to the Goals and Objectives of the BIM project. This is about defining how and why BIM will be used on the project. Eg. A priority 1 Goal might be to achieve spatial coordination through clash detection by a particular date. 
We suggestion that the BIM Manager come armed with a heap of suggestions for discussion, keep it brief, relatively high level and avoid going through all the BIM Uses in the world (that's up next).

the Process

Here the discussion turns to how are we going to get to where we need to go.

BIM is about modelling 'Information'


6. BIM Uses - It's really early days in the project, and many BIM uses won't be realised for some time. The point here is to identify potential uses downstream and their requirements upstream. Think outside the box (and individual scope) and look to leverage and benefit the project. 
7a. Modelling Scope - We'd recommend not spending too much time on this as it'll quickly kill a fair chunk of your meeting. The suggestion here is that each discipline takes the time (post meeting) to table what they do and do not model of the different elements. These can then be curated by the BIM Manager and documented in a BIM Plan. Don't just limit this to geometry, BIM is about modelling 'Information'. What information is attached to the objects and what is lacking? Try not to get bogged down in parameter lists, but do identify key project/shared parameters that must be added by all team members
7b. Model Element Matrix, or Model Progression Specification (MPS) - Quickly following on from Modelling Scope, should be a discussion about a detailed program of model elements. This is about expanding the project/design program into chunks of time (we call these sprints) and identify what model elements are required within each sprint (and at what LOD - next!). 
7c. LOD Definitions - Always an interesting discussion when Consultants and Contractors are in the room together. Keep this discussion on target, there are a few good resources to help this along, notably the BIM Forum, LOD Specification. If contractual responsibilities are clearly defined and specific, this conversation may be a little easier and less controversial. 
8. Collaborative Workflow - This discussion revolves around defining the collaborative flow of information between different stakeholders. 
- Model Exchange: - How models are shared, when are models uploaded, punch list of model changes etc. 
- Coordination: - A detailed discussion of Clash Detection and Resolution could likely be left out of this initial kickoff meeting for time's sake, but will definitely need to be revisited. 
- Communication: - Meeting Schedules, Screen sharing, RFI's
9. Software and other IT - Discuss Technology infrastructure required for the project.

of the Model

Now on to the detail, the nitty gritty and technical stuff.


10. Model Structure - Map out what 'The Model' looks like. Identify as many downstream models as possible, and imagine what these models look like in a Federated Model environment. 
11. Structured Information, and Organised Data Sets. - This is important stuff to get right, and depending on the teams BIM Capabilities as to how much time we'll dedicate to talking about this. Some items of note: 
- Coordinates and Control Models 
- Naming Conventions 
- Worksets 
- Materials 
The big message here is consistency. 
12. Quality Assurance - We always reserve a bit of time to talk through QA on our projects. Quality Control plays a big part in maintaining a high standard of models and data consistency across multiple stakeholders and disciplines. QC will also aid the collaborative approach to modelling and documentation.

After all that, you might even fit in some time in for lessons learned and questions?

Oh wait, the drawings...

What have we missed? Do you do anything different? What's your BIM Kick-off look like? - Comment below, we'd love to hear your thoughts.