Digital Project Management: Lean, Integrated Project Delivery Process

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This article encompasses the journey for BIM managers, from the inception of the BIM Execution Plan (BEP) through the various phases of construction. Case studies illustrate the skills that project managers need to develop, implement, and execute plans across a project. We include AIA and other standards. We will discuss in detail the design development and construction document phases of the project to define the processes that BIM managers can use to excel on projects. It is a great resource that can allow all BIM managers and designers to learn from real-life projects across the globe.

Digital Project Management

Digital Project Management is the culmination of the art of leading, planning, organizing, strategizing, and mentoring the process to ensure the successful delivery of projects on a digital medium. The goal is to set up processes and deliver profitable results. The purpose of the project has to be achieved and lived through the planning to final closeout.


To successfully deliver a project with minimal waste, the project team must clearly define the customer’s expectations. To identify and document the owner’s and other project team member’s values for a successful project, you can use the following lean practices.

Lean Integrated Project Delivery

Lean construction is a production management-based approach to project deliverya new way to design and build capital facilities. Lean production management has caused a revolution in manufacturing design, supply, and assembly. Applied to construction, Lean changes the way work is done throughout the delivery process. Lean construction extends from the objectives of a lean production systemmaximize value and minimize wasteto specific techniques and applies them in a new project delivery process. As a result, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is uniquely suited to put these principles into practice, because we have solved the contractual issues that prevent true collaboration and the sharing of ideas, materials, and manpower.

IPD, perhaps more than any other delivery model, is heavily loaded on the front end in terms of effort. Teams find that enhanced project outcomes are best supported by laying rich foundations of project data and information, management and decision-making processes, communication protocols, financial controls, risk-mitigation strategies, and performance metrics. After project initiation, the team moves through a robust validation process to test possible project outcomes against the owner’s business-case objectives. To be successful, this early validation work on a project requires cultural and group process efforts, as well as the application of a range of specific tools and techniques.

Teams also grapple with defining how they will work together, establishing organizational structures as well as establishing expectations for how they will work together in a collaborative 'big room' environment. Understanding the role of design and managing that process is particularly important in early team efforts. Target Value Design is the process employed by the team to move from inception of validation to completion of project documentation, allowing the team to optimize value through collective creativity while developing both budget and solution with a methodical approach. A risk register is typically deployed to help identify, quantify, and mitigate risks proactively across the project. Project dashboards are deployed to monitor alignment to project success criteria.

Four Phases of Digital Project Management

The project management lifecycle is usually broken into four phases: initiation, planning, execution, and closure. These phases make up the path that takes your project from the beginning to the end.


In this article, we will take the journey to help us understand the process to successful project delivery. The process involves being inquisitive about how and why we do things to ensure we stay constant and focused on purpose and results.


Objective 1: Initiate

Initiate: Development of Digital Execution Plan Based on AIA & UK Level 2

The BIM Execution Plan (BEP) is one of the project baseline documents and the governing document for the project operation and management that establishes in appropriate terms what will be done to meet the project scope and contractual requirements.

The BEP is to describe a project-specific plan strategically and tactically, addressing the most effective method to maximize efficiency in the project execution, and the project-specific actions complying to project goals and objectives, and the clear scope of work and other critical responsibilities as agreed in the contract. It also includes as a detailed project risk management plan, including risk items and mitigation plans assessed and evaluated during the proposal stage, and action plans for the project execution following the company risk management procedure. The BEP is developed by the project key participants led by the project manager. The BEP should be approved by company management before publishing or applying. The BEP is a live document and should be updated with current and future project plans and procedures.

Who: Defining Stakeholders

This list is comprehensive and includes architects, engineers, contractors, clients, and others. Essentially anyone who has skin in the game and can impact the outcome of the project should be duly accounted for with accountabilities set in the digital environment.


Why: Effective Planning Is Organized

A project without BEP is bound to have chaos, and not the positive kind. The only eventuality without a BEP is a project that shall be disorganized and full of conflicts.


The construction industry loses around 15% in wastage costs due to a lack of organized planning.


Where: Location Is Important

Below are listed some of the resources for getting started in the right direction based on country. The best thing for a digital project manager is to be creative and seek to better the existing standard in industry.





United States

U.S. General Services Administration



Scottish Futures Trust







Czech Republic



BIM Alliance Sweden



BuildingSMART Finland



BuildingSMART Korea






India Building Information Modelling Association


Hong Kong

Hong Kong Institute of Building Information Modelling





New Zealand

New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment



Singapore Government


What: Key Aspects of DEP

The relevance of a DEP to BEP is to ensure the following:

  • Implementation of BIM standards on the project

  • Importance of Level of Detail (LOD)

  • Communication between stakeholders (BIM briefings)

  • BIM technology requirements

  • The importance of employer information requirements (EIR)


The components of the BIM Execution Plan should focus on identifying the uses and building a strategy. The logistics of people, processes, and profits should align with the strategy. Every tactical engagement should stay agile but not lose focus on the holistic goals set at the onset of the project.


Benefits of BEP: Efficiency and Profitability


Seven Ds of Digital Project Management

The 7 Ds of BIM are essentially the features that far supersede the definition of BIM for being just a 3D file. They are as follow:

  • 3D: Three-dimensional rendering of the artifact

  • 4D: Duration analysis

  • 5D: Cost analysis

  • 6D: Sustainability assessment

  • 7D: Management phase of what has been achieved


How: Process Is Key

The process to create BEP or digital plans is briefly discussed in this section. The precept to create S.M.A.R.T. goals which are actionable is the key preamble of such a living document. The acronym S.M.A.R.T refers to the following listed below:

  • S = Specific

  • M = Measurable

  • A = Attainable/Achievable

  • R = Realistic

  • T = Time-Bound


North America Resources

The following are great resources for someone initiating the BEP on a project.

  • National Institute of Building Sciences

  • Penn State BIM Execution Plan Handbook

  • CanBIM Council in Canada

  • AIA E202 and E203 protocols


UK Level 2

There are several ' levels of maturity' of BIM, as described below:

  • Level 0 describes unmanaged CAD

  • Level 1 describes managed CAD in 2D or 3D 

  • Level 2 involves developing building information in a collaborative 3D environment with data attached but created in separate discipline models

  • Level 3 has yet to be defined in detail, but it is thought that it will include a single collaborative  online project model including construction sequencing, cost , and lifecycle management information

The processes necessary to achieve BIM Level 2 are set out in:

  • PAS 1192-2 Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using Building Information Modelling (now replaced by BS EN ISO 19650)
  • PAS 1192-3 Specification for information management for the operational phase of construction projects using building information modeling


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Ravi Wood is a world-renowned subject matter expert on digital design leadership and management of BIM projects across the United States, UK, Middle East, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, and India. He is a licensed architect from India VNIT and has a master’s degree from Kansas State University. Ravi Wood is an award-winning speaker at Autodesk University, Hong Kong BIM (HKIBIM), IFMA RICS Sweden, IFMA India, NY Design Expo, AEC Next, and several conferences across the USA, Europe, and Asia. He specializes in digital technology and BIM Leadership across top firms and has completed more than 100 projects worth more than $150 million, including airports, hospitals, infrastructure, stadiums, residential, commercial, and retail. 

Rina Sahay is an Autodesk Expert Elite Team member, a Revit Subject Matter Expert, an Autodesk University speaker, and a Revit Certified Professional. As the architectural BIM manager at Fishbeck, she is responsible for creating and maintaining BIM standards; project support and troubleshooting; training, mentoring, and onboarding of new hires; production of construction documents for a variety of entertainment, retail and commercial projects.