In the second part of his guide to transitioning to the new ISO standards for BIM, John Ford, BIM & digital information technical development lead at Galliford Try, points out some of the pitfalls to avoid.
You can’t have an entire organisation reading and interpreting these standards as each may have a different view. You need to apply this hierarchically, using internal guides and standards developed form these higher industry standards within your organisation.– John Ford
First mistake to avoid
Don’t throw out everything you have documented. BS 1192:2007 and PAS 1192-2:2013 have been withdrawn and replaced by the ISO equivalents BS EN 19650-1:2018 and BS EN 19650-2:2018, along with supplementary guidance.
This doesn’t mean you have to throw away your 1192 suite of documents, you certainly shouldn’t do this on your current live projects unless you or your client proposes this and so the standard contractual variations and costs may apply.
It is these costs that form the basis of my recommendation not to switch during live projects! The cost in doing so will likely exceed the value brought from it, which equals waste. Some of the 1192 suite of standards will still remain for some time during the transition period.
The second mistake to avoid
How you roll out 19650 within your organisation. Although 19650 can be read by anyone and implemented by anyone, it shouldn’t be. There is a common misconception that every individual in our industry should read the ISO, interpret and apply it.
This is WRONG! This hasn’t happened with standards like ISO 9001 or 27001, which are arguably more important and here’s why: 9001 & 27001 weren’t read by everyone because every organisation should have a director/manager that takes these standards, reads them, interprets them and publishes internal guidance/protocols on how their employees comply with them as part of their corporate obligations.
In fact, ISO 9001 tells you to do it like this for every other standard you apply and which 19650 reiterates (Figure 1 -19650-2).
You can’t have an entire organisation reading and interpreting these standards as each may have a different view. You need to apply this hierarchically, using internal guides and standards developed form these higher industry standards within your organisation.
So, my first recommendation to everyone is, don’t just read and become expert on 19650 as this standard only defines the high level “WHAT needs to be done”, your business then needs to define “HOW exactly you should do/apply it”. If you are a director, don’t just ask your organisation to read these and then consider your job is done, it isn’t.
You should only read 19650 if you wish to contribute to the organisation’s approach to internal standard development, or if the organisation has failed to produce guidance and there is no other choice. It makes for bland reading, so don’t waste your time unless you have too, and if you do, then your organisation has failed to adopt it.
The third mistake to avoid
Introducing new terminology thinking you are non-compliant. ISO 19650 does have some new terms. Terminology like “Employer” have vanished and replaced by more legalised and neutral terms like “Appointing Party”. This doesn’t mean you have to replace all your terms overnight and you may struggle to.
My recommendation is to use the terms that suit your organisation, and perhaps that the industry is familiar with, but ensure there is something in your documentation that defines these terms in context with 19650. For example “The Client is Ministry of X and they have requested compliance with 19650. As such, they should carry out the functions within 19650 associated with ‘Appointing Party’”.
The forth mistake to avoid
Giving documents specific names and thinking that they are needed for compliance.
ISO 19650 refers to documents like the EIR, but it doesn’t mean it has to be a single document called the EIR. Yes, it helps when all your information requirements are in one place, but often they are not. Same goes for the BEP. You may have a document that defines the modelling process which is completely separate to your document management system guidance and standards.
In the ISO, there is a risk of more documentation appearing and possibly being interpreted as separate documents, with a whole new raft of potentially confusing acronyms “PIPMP”, “PMP”, “PIS”, ”PIDM”…. And the list goes on (refer to 5.2.4 of 19650-2).
Don’t try to interpret these as single documents, or as combined. There is no set rule so long as the requirements and tasks needed to fulfil that activity/outcome are performed and made available.
If you already have something sufficient in place from PAS 1192, and those suites of documents and standards can fulfil the requirements in the ISO, then you may not need to change anything. 19650 has very little in changes from 1192 in terms of what has to be done, by who and when.