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BIM roles and responsibilities in the industry

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

In this blog post, I explore the diverse roles and titles that make BIM implementation come to life.

When it comes to BIM implementation and practice, different countries, industry bodies, research groups, and organizations have come up with their own guides and standards. These guides often outline the crucial roles needed for successful BIM projects.

First up, we have the BIM manager, who plays a pivotal role in overseeing the entire BIM process for a specific project. They ensure that everything runs smoothly and efficiently, acting as the project's BIM superhero. For this role, other terms in the industry are the BIM facilitator, BIM coordinator, BIM project manager, Design team manager, and construction BIM manager.

BIM Manager role key responsibilities

Now, let's talk about the organizational side of things. It is common that the BIM manager might also be referred to as the Information Model manager. Their primary focus is on managing BIM practices within the organization itself. They are the champions of BIM adoption and ensure that everyone is on board with this digital revolution.

BIM Manager's key roles and responsibilities are:

  • Manage software licenses, including overseeing the installation of new software versions.

  • Manage the implementation of BIM-supporting software.

  • Conducts research on new BIM-related software.

  • Keeps the organization informed about best practices in BIM and BIM software.

  • Responsible for organization-wide BIM standards, implementation, and enforcement.

  • Look for efficiencies and productivity hacks in the organization's BIM process.

  • Provides BIM training internally.

  • Attends conferences, seminars, and workshops on behalf of the company to transfer knowledge internally within the organization.

The BIM coordinator is another key player in BIM implementation. This role might also go by titles like Discipline BIM coordinator, Lead BIM coordinator, or BIM discipline manager. Their role involves coordinating and overseeing specific disciplines within a project, ensuring that all the BIM puzzle pieces fit together seamlessly.

BIM Coordinator role key responsibilities

BIM Coordinator's key roles and responsibilities are:

Make changes to the BIM execution plans and project-specific training documentation.

  • Proficient in using BIM authoring tools to provide technical support and mentoring required to the project team.

  • Manage and maintain project content and source any additional content as needed.

  • Understand and ensure any changes in procedure and standards are effectively communicated to project teams.

  • Coordinate and manage BIM project data sets, workflow, and project set up.

  • Set up linked models and coordinate models across disciplines.

  • Daily model management administration and maintenance.

  • Understand and execute government standards by implementing during the virtual design and construction phase.

And let's not forget the BIM Modellers, that bring the digital representations of the project to life and are often known as BIM technicians, BIM users or Model authors. They work diligently to create accurate and detailed models that serve as the backbone of the BIM process.

BIM Modeller role key responsibilities

BIM Modeller's responsibilities found in the industry are:

  • Develops the model virtually for specific design disciplines.

  • Ensures that the model aligns with the standards and goals set in the BIM Execution Plan and BIM project workflow criteria.

  • Collaborates and coordinates internally or/and externally with other disciplines design-changes and model changes.

  • Creates discipline-specific BIM Modelling content.

  • Develops accurate construction drawings and extracts data based on the discipline BIM platform.

  • Coordinates design documentation as a methodology with full utilization of BIM software and tools.

I recently published a paper titled "BIM Execution Plan content and development, a global review." It delves into the intricate details of the BIM Execution Plan content and development across different organizations worldwide. You can check out the publication here.

In this review, I examined 36 publications from various organizations worldwide, unveiling the multitude of roles and titles used in the industry. It's fascinating to see the diversity and creativity in how BIM roles are defined. In fact, I found a variety of 35 different BIM titles across the reviewed documents: BIM manager, Project manager, BIM coordinator, Model manager, Virtual construction manager, (Lead) BIM technicians, Design Team (project) manager, Lead BIM coordinator, Information manager, CAD manager, Model element author, BIM Leader, Design model manager, Construct model manager, Discipline BIM lead, Discipline model manager, Construction Team BIM manager, Design Lead, Contractor Lead, Task team manager, BIM Authors, Task information manager, Interface manager, Discipline trade coordinator, Lead consultant, Contractor construction stage, Discipline coordinator, Discipline / BIM modeller, Lead Q/C, Lead Project Integrator, Lead BIM facilitator, Design Team facilitator, Construction Team BIM facilitator.

Despite the variations, there is a common hierarchy observed in these roles. The BIM manager takes the lead, ensuring the project's success, while the discipline BIM lead focuses on managing a specific discipline within the project. Last but not least, the model element authors are the skilled individuals who create and manage the BIM models themselves.

Author: Panagiotidou Nicoleta

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