BIM Project Execution Plans (PxP's) have been a major pain point for me recently. I have spent too much time sitting around with pre-made tables that when filled out and then related back to a narrative are supposed to tell me how a project is supposed to work with BIM. BIM PxP's are starting to remind me of those career tests you take in high school. You spend a ton of time filling them out only
to get some vague output that does not do much to help you understand what your next step really should be.
I have never seen a functioning BIM Project Execution Plan. There might be one out there that works but I have never seen it. I know this statement might take some people by surprise. There are a lot of individuals who have spent a lot of time and effort trying to make functioning BIM PXP's. But the problem to date is that they all take the same approach.
An empty template is created that is supposed to be flexible enough to fit any situation and when it is completed it is supposed to be a tool that helps direct all audiences involved in BIM. The final product ends up being a bit of a conundrum. You can examine any part of the execution plan and the individual parts look good, but as a whole it does not work. Kind of like sports teams that look good on paper but just can't seem to perform. The worst problem is that most execution plans fail in providing what is needed most: an obvious statement of exactly what is needed and when it should be delivered.
The idea of an empty template is where these things always go wrong in the construction industry. The number of variables is not able to be accounted for in any narrative or chart. I have a sincere belief that we need to get past this idea of open flexibility and start to understand the only way you will create a functioning plan is by controlling the information that is going to be applied to the project. By being a little proactive you can seriously limit what needs to accounted for in the PxP. I know this is not always achievable but it should be put in place when it is possible.
I am sure this post will result in a lot of people telling me stories of their perfect execution plans and how they were used flawlessly by everyone on such and such project. And that might be true. I have had jobs that the execution plan does help with. I would much rather prefer to have one than not. The point that I am trying to make is that the original conception of the BIM PxP was flawed and it is time for it to change. We need a true "living" document that can demonstrate to a modeler how to proceed through the coordination process just as easily as it conveys to an owner what BIM is going to achieve for them on their project. It needs to be a document that is picked up and used for guidance on a jobsite. Not something that is filled out at the start of a job and put on a shelf only to be taken out for contract disputes.