Implementing the Scottish Futures Trust Standard Information Management Plan

by BIM Academy | June 24, 2022 |  6 min read

Implementing the Scottish Futures Trust Standard Information Management Plan
Home / Insights / Project Management / Implementing the Scottish Futures …

Established by the Scottish Government over 10 years ago, Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) is an infrastructure centre of excellence, working in collaboration with partners across the private and public sectors to innovate and deliver world class infrastructure programmes for Scotland.

Since 2017, and the release of the Scottish Governments Building Information Modelling (BIM) mandate, SFT has led the adoption of BIM across the public sector in Scotland, including the sector transition from BIM level 2 to the BS EN ISO 19650 series (information management using BIM).

Part of this vital work sees SFT working closely with public sector organisations and industry partners to develop improved guidance and resources to support the implementation of the international standard and delivery of target outcomes and benefits across infrastructure projects.

As part of this work, SFT launched the Standard Information Management Plan (SIMP) resource, which is currently being adopted on a £2bn Learning Estates Investment Programme (LEIP), delivering new and refurbished schools across Scotland.

From the outset, BIM Academy has worked closely with SFT and other industry partners to implement the resource on the new LEIP schools and provide vital feedback to further improve its development for use on other public sector projects, and across the wider asset lifecycle.

We recently spoke to Ryan Tennyson, Associate Director at SFT, who talked through the details of the SIMP and its benefits. Here is what Ryan told us about how the resource works, who was involved in its set up and how it is being used.

What are the objectives of the Standard Information Management Plan?

We developed and released the resource in June 2020 to support contracting authorities in Scotland establish and ensure the delivery of appropriate project and asset information using BIM in accordance with BS EN ISO 19650. It has three primary objectives:

  • The first is to provide a consistent approach in how public bodies specify BIM and how information is delivered.
  • The second is to enable delivery of accurate ‘as built’ information models and digital O&M manuals to support quality handover and continued lifecycle asset management.
  • Thirdly, we wanted to ensure projects comply and align with international standards in the adoption of BIM.

How does the SIMP work?

The SIMP is made up of three constituent parts – the dashboard, workbook and a series of supporting templates.

We have produced a dashboard which asks clients to enter information about their organisation to help them understand and develop an information management strategy for their project. The dashboard has two parts, the input sheet which collates key project data, and the dashboard which summarises the high-level strategy.

The tool covers the client’s common data environment (CDE) setup and information exchange requirements, as well as identifying areas where they might need to engage with other internal departments to establish what asset information is required. We encourage clients to use the dashboard early on, before an information manager comes on board, so that they know what areas of expertise and support is needed.

The workbook, appendices and associated guidance are aligned to BS EN ISO 19650-2, and establishes the project information standard, production methods & procedures and an information management assignment matrix. The appendices are used to schedule out the project, asset and information exchange requirements and to assign these to relevant project parties.

Finally, the templates support the implementation of the workbook, providing a structured approach for a client information container set-up, delivery of a digital operations and maintenance (O&M) manual and asset register at the project handover stage.

Who was involved in the creation of the SIMP?

Building on previous industry examples, SFT took the lead on the project and created the initial resource proposal, which then underwent extensive peer reviews with public sector stakeholders and industry groups, such as designers, contractors and BIM consultants. Finally, we commissioned a peer review of the full resource by an ISO 19650 expert.

As the Standard Information Management Plan has been rolled out, we have continued that close engagement with the initial stakeholders and working groups, including BIM Academy and other information management consultants. We formed a Project Information Handover working group in 2021, which has enabled LEIP local authorities and contractors to closely collaborate and produce a baseline standard for sequenced asset information delivery.

What are the benefits of using the resource?

There are three high level benefits:

Firstly, using the resource supports the delivery of high-quality, fit for purpose record and O&M information at project handover. This helps ensure the clients and operators have the necessary asset information to manage the new facilities from day one. Poor information handover is a widely known industry issue and risk; if you don’t have accurate information from day one, how can we expect anyone to maintain, monitor and measure the asset performance from the get-go?

Secondly, it offers a standardised and consistent approach, which can be easily adopted and repeated on other projects. A lot of local authorities do not have the in-house expertise to specify their information requirements using BIM, and to quality check the information deliverables at key project stages. On LEIP, there is a requirement for each client to appoint a client-side information manager (IM) to provide this service. Many of the involved local authorities have evidenced the benefits of using the Standard information management plan and IM support and are continuing to specify both across their wider capital programmes and projects.

Finally, after initial adoption, the populated workbook and templates offer captured sets of project and asset information requirements, aligned to the clients’ organisational needs, which can be easily adopted, refined and used on other projects. Going forward, this can offer designers, contractors and their supply chains a more consistent approach and clarity on what information they need to deliver, much earlier in the project.

How is the resource adoption going, and what does the end goal look like?

Currently the SIMP resource is being adopted on over 50 projects, including the 37 LEIP Phase 1 and 2 schools.

On the live projects, we have started to notice contractors and local authorities engaging more closely, well in advance of handover and a natural collaboration is beginning to emerge. Within the Project Information Handover working group, there is an incentive to openly work together to further develop common resources and standardised delivery processes, which is very rewarding for all involved, and is naturally building greater trust and resilience across the network. Virtual meetups during the pandemic have also proved to be beneficial, maximising the use of everyone’s time, particularly those involved in project delivery.

Through continued engagement and feedback from BIM Academy and the other appointed information managers we have also been able to identify common technical delivery issues which have benefited from additional guidance and improved resources.

We have also been able to evolve and enrich the SIMP resource around specific areas such as asset naming conventions and tagging, model handover tolerances, and the automated production of an asset register for project handover.

Through group collaboration and expert support, we have also developed a master list of 400+ typical school assets, which have been mapped to Uniclass table codes, IFC export values and SFG20.

These additional resources further support a whole life approach to information management and can provide the means for the delivery teams to produce more consistent, quality models and information on projects.

Subject to final pilot testing, we are aiming to release a version two of the SIMP in July 2022.