A decade has passed since the first wave of major BIM guides and protocols were published by influential stakeholders in Denmark, Finland, Norway and the United States. The excellent efforts of Senate, Statsbygg, GSA and USCG have surely paved the way for current national strategies, roadmaps and mandates, which in turn will pave the way for future initiatives and BIM diffusion policies. While these initiatives and policies differ in when, how and by whom they were promoted/adopted in each market, they collectively address the same challenges and include a very similar set of policy components.
As a continuation of the discussions started in Episodes 18, 19 and 20, this post introduces the Macro Maturity Components model identifying the necessary ingredients for a national BIM diffusion policy. The model can be used to: (a) assess a country’s current BIM diffusion policy, (b) compare the BIM maturity of different countries, and (c) assist policy makers in developing a comprehensive BIM national initiative or diffusion policy.
Please note that, first, the model has already been applied to develop BIM diffusion policies and is continually being refined in collaboration with Dr Mohamad Kassem (Teesside University, UK). Second, the concept of BIM maturity as used in this and previous episodes should not be confused with UK’s BIM maturity levels (Bew and Richards, 2008). The differences and similarities between the two maturity concepts/applications will be discussed in Episode 22.
The Macro Maturity Components model identifies eight complementary components for establishing and measuring the BIM maturity of countries and other macro organizational scales. The components are: Objectives, stages and milestones; Champions and drivers; Regulatory framework; Noteworthy publications; Learning and education; Measurements and benchmarks; Standardised parts and deliverables; and Technology infrastructure (Fig. 1).
These components can be measured independently or in comparison to each other using a variety of metrics. For a low-detail or self-administered assessment, the Macro Maturity Model relies on the BIM Maturity Index (BIMMI) with its five maturity levels: [a] Ad-hoc or low maturity; [b] Defined or medium-low maturity; [c] Managed or medium maturity; [d] Integrated or medium-high maturity; and [e] Optimised or high maturity.
The eight components are introduced below. To assist readers in conducting a quick assessment of their country’s BIM maturity, five brief maturity descriptions are provided for each component. However, to conduct a more thorough assessment, domain researchers, policy makers and informed practitioner will need to apply additional component-specific metrics; a number of these are also identified.
I: Objectives, stages and milestones
The first component represents the availability of clear BIM-specific policy objectives, intermediate capability stages, and measureable maturity milestones separating current status from a quantifiable future target. BIM policy objectives, stages and milestones may exist separately or within a country’s wider construction strategy:
Table 1. Objectives, stages and milestones (click to enlarge)
II: Champions and drivers
The second component represents the individuals, groups and organizations undertaking the task of demonstrating the efficacy of an innovative system/process to potential adopters. As early adopters themselves, champions can be individuals promoting a new software solution; a community of practice promoting a new process; or an industry association promoting a new standard. While champions are ‘volunteer experimentalists’, drivers are ‘designated executors’ of a top-down strategy (refer to Episode 19) with a mandate to stimulate the adoption of BIM technologies, processes or policies. Drivers may also be individuals, groups, institutions or an authority committed to communicating, encouraging and monitoring the wide-scale adoption of BIM (refer to Episode 20):
Table 2. Champions and drivers (click to enlarge)
III: Regulatory framework
The third component describes the contractual environment, intellectual property rights, and professional indemnity insurance underlying collaborative BIM projects. Information-rich, model-based deliverables require more detailed contractual, project and process management protocols than their pre-BIM counterparts. Responsibilities specific to shared models (e.g. elemental authorship and model ownership), collaborative processes (e.g. overlapping project phases and early involvement of subcontractors), and prescriptive protocols (e.g. data exchange structures and information delivery standards) add layers of complexity to team interactions. This complexity and varied risk environment can be mitigated by the availability of a regulatory framework clarifying the rights, responsibilities and liabilities of varied project stakeholders across overlapping – and even concurrent – project lifecycle phases:
Table 3. Regulatory framework (click to enlarge)
IV: Noteworthy publications
The fourth component represents publically-available documents of relevance, developed by influential industry stakeholders, and intended for a market-wide audience. As covered in previously published research (refer back to Episode 18), noteworthy BIM publications (NBP)s represent include three main types of publications (guides, protocols and mandates) representing eighteen subtypes (e.g. report, standard, and case study). The availability and distribution of these types and subtypes are used as low-detail metric to establish market-wide BIM maturity:
Table 4. Noteworthy Publications (click to enlarge)
V: Learning and education
The fifth component represents market-wide educational activities covering BIM concepts, tools and workflows. These educational activities are either delivered through tertiary education, vocational training or professional development; either as competency-based or course-based learning models. It also clarifies whether digital workflows and model-based deliverables are included as learning topics within education/training programs:
VI: Measurements and benchmarks
The sixth component represents market-wide metrics for benchmarking project outcomes and assessing the capabilities of individuals, organizations and teams. The availability of market-specific – or the formal adoption of international - benchmarks and metrics signals a market’s ability to assess and potentially improve its performance:
Table 6. Measurements and benchmarks (click to enlarge)
VII: Standardised parts and deliverables
The seventh component represents the standardised, data-rich model parts  (e.g. walls, beams, HVAC units, doors and furniture) which populate object-based models. It also represents model uses , the standardisable deliverables from generating, collaborating-on and linking object-based models to external databases:
Table 7. Standardised parts and deliverables (click to enlarge)
VIII: Technology infrastructure
The eighth and final component refers to the availability, accessibility and affordability of hardware, software and network systems. It also refers to the availability, usability, connectivity and openness of information systems hosting data-rich three-dimensional models:
Table 8. Technology infrastructure
The macro maturity components can be used to generate a summary of each country’s BIM maturity and compare its maturity with peer markets. The extent and variety of metrics that can be applied to thoroughly assess macro maturity highlight the inaccuracy of generic comparisons between countries (i.e. Country A is more mature than Country B). To exemplify this, the sample chart below (Fig. 2) visually summarises the BIM maturity of nine markets and compares their relative maturity:
Fig. 2 Macro Maturity Components Sample Chart (Full size, current version)
In summary, based on leasons learned from past and current policy efforts, this episode introduced a new model composed of eight macro maturity components and five maturity levels. Each component can be evaluated on its own or compared against other components within the same market. Also, market-wide maturity can be assessed and compared to previous assessments, a future target, or other markets. Most importantly, policy makers can use the Macro Maturity Model and other macro adoption models (refer back to Episodes 19 and 20) to structure a BIM diffusion policy that is both comprehensive and easily communicated.
One more thing, this macro maturity research is being communicated through a variety of channels. In addition to BIM ThinkSpace episodes, peer-reviewed publications, and social media engagements, we’ve started delivering a number of public presentation to explain macro BIM maturity concepts and assist industry stakeholders in their BIM diffusion efforts. As part of these presentations, Dr Kassem will be introducing five macro BIM adoption models at the European BIM Summit in Barcelona on Feb 12; and at the Future BIM Implementation conference in Doha on May 6, 2015. Additional presentations and web events will be announced through our twitter accounts (@KassemmMhm and @bsuccar) as dates are confirmed. To receive an email notification of future events, presentations and posts, please subscribe to the BIM ThinkSpace mailing list by entering your email adress above (top-right)… Thank you.
 This model was first published as Item 26 on the BIM Framework blog - July 20, 2014
 Typically referred to as elements, components, objects or families.