BIM + CMM = BiCMM, says Sohail Razvi

Cube de Rubik 3D

Here’s where Building Information Modeling and the Process Improvement Movement come together. Process improvement, according to an article by Sohail Razvi at ThinkSpace, is dedicated to achieving Capability Maturity Model Integration. (This article is also available as a PDF file.) Razvi was a practicing architect for more than a decade before he moved into consultancy. His current area of interest is the intersection of Building Information Modeling with the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Facilities Management (AEC/FM) Industry.

Back in the day, when a task needed to be done, there was “the right way, the wrong way, and the Army way.” Now there’s also the CMMI way. It’s how you do things when the wrinkles have been ironed out, and the bugs have been eliminated, and it’s time to standardize the process and not fiddle with it any more. Each new iteration of the task does not involve re-inventing the wheel. You document what’s the best way to do it, and that’s your Process Maturity model. Of the Capability Maturity Model Integration, Razvi says,

The CMMI is a process improvement model for the development of products and services. It consists of guidance for implementing practices that address development and maintenance activities covering the product lifecycle from inception, through design, to production, delivery and maintenance. It helps integrate and institutionalize these activities into the organizations’ collective knowledge so the processes can be (1) repeated with similar quality of results and (2) monitored for continued improvement.

Process Maturity is achieved when a process has been identified, understood, defined, and measured. This is good, because a link is created between design/engineering activities, and business objectives. Crucial organizational functions are recognized, customer expectations are more readily met, best practices are made better, and risks are more accurately managed.

But the first step in process improvement is to ask, figuratively speaking, “Is this trip necessary?” Will any useful purpose be served in trying to set some kind of framework? Or is the thing better off left alone? There are cases where calling in an efficiency expert, or a time-and-motions study expert, or even a CMMI expert, might not be the best answer. CMMI affects process, project and product levels, though not enterprise level – in other words, when consultants come into the mix, whether they are human or cybernetic, the top bosses still run the company as they see fit.

The CMMI came into being to address the gap between engineering and business processes, and Razvi sees the AEC/FM industry as having a unique need, in that it “builds its prototypes live on the production line.” Up until recently, this industry has not had the same opportunity as others to create and test virtual prototypes. The nature of AEC/FM is that every client is a beta tester — not so bad when it’s a new Google app being tested, but potentially disastrous when it’s a bridge or a building.

AEC/FM products come in two flavors, tangible and intangible. Its processes can be improved by better planning, tracking, and management of schedules, by requirements definition and configuration control and by continuous improvement on every front.

Why this, and why now? Because the AEC/FM industry has become so intertwined with software. With that as a given, policy, process and technology overlap with a large common area which Razvi calls the “bonding agent” that holds everything together. The name he has chosen for that territory of intersection is the ‘Building Information Capability Maturity Model’ (BiCMM).

And the question we pose is the same one he does: “Can the CMMI approach be of benefit to the AEC/FM industry as it undergoes its current BIM-driven transformations?”

SOURCE: ” BIM and the Process Improvement Movement ” 05/08/08
photo courtesy of jorgefelipe , used under this Creative Commons license

1 Response to “BIM + CMM = BiCMM, says Sohail Razvi”

  1. May 14, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Gracias por respetar la licencia creative commons.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: