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Frontiers of Engineering Management
Understanding barriers to BIM implementation: Their impact across organizational levels in relation to BIM maturity
1. Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
2. Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
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This multiple case study of a contracting firm contributes to understanding the barriers that organizations face during the implementation of building information modeling (BIM) by providing insights into the impact of these barriers across different organizational levels (i.e., from top management to project teams) and by relating these barriers to different degrees of BIM maturity. First, we observe the dominance of barriers related to the motivation, competence, and time capacity of people across all levels of an organization. Second, the cluster of barriers at the middle-management level highlights the important role of this level in reducing these barriers. Third, only those cases with a low level of BIM maturity have struggled with lack of top management support, thereby highlighting the importance of such support in achieving BIM maturity growth. High BIM maturity situations are more prone to externally oriented barriers in attempting to further leverage the benefits of BIM. Our study provides insights on where to focus BIM implementation measures and how to enhance organizational BIM maturity.

Keywords building information modeling      implementation barriers      maturity      organizational levels     
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Sander SIEBELINK,Hans VOORDIJK,Maaike ENDEDIJK, et al. Understanding barriers to BIM implementation: Their impact across organizational levels in relation to BIM maturity[J]. Front. Eng, 20 March 2020. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1007/s42524-019-0088-2.
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Fig.1  Graphical representation of the interview structure, which covers the two main theoretical constructs. Part I includes questions on barriers to BIM implementation and use and their characteristics. Part II includes questions related to the 18 BIM maturity criteria (Siebelink et al., 2018).
Cases Interview data Archival data Observational data
Case 1
Sector: Buildings and civil
2 interviews:
- Head of BIM department
- Technical BIM specialist
- Overarching organizational strategy
- Strategic plans of individual units
- Work package plans to structure and guide specific BIM implementation and use
- Steering group meeting minutes
Two-day steering group meetings attended (11 in total)
Case 2
Sector: Buildings and civil
2 interviews:
- BIM manager
- Lead BIM engineer
Case 3
Sector: Buildings
2 interviews:
- Head of BIM department
- BIM advisor
Case 4
Sector: Buildings
1 interview:
- Head of BIM department
Case 5
Sector: Buildings and civil
2 interviews:
- BIM manager
- BIM implementation manager
Case 6
Sector: Civil
2 interviews:
- Head of BIM department
- Digital systems manager
Case 7
Sector: Buildings
2 interviews:
- BIM manager
- BIM specialist
Case 8
Sector: Civil
2 interviews:
- Head of BIM department
- BIM specialist
Case 9
Sector: Buildings
2 interviews:
- Information manager
- BIM coordinator
Tab.1  Data collection and case characteristics
Fig.2  Visualization of the data analysis stages.
Fig.3  Data structure.
Fig.4  Generic picture of BIM implementation barriers plotted against different organizational levels, including data from all cases.
Cases Average maturity Average maturity −µ Grouping
Case 1 2.7 −0.4 Average maturity
Case 2 4.0 ????0.9 High maturity
Case 3 3.4 ????0.3 Average maturity
Case 4 3.2 ????0.1 Average maturity
Case 5 2.8 −0.3 Average maturity
Case 6 2.6 −0.5 Low maturity
Case 7 3.8 ????0.7 High maturity
Case 8 3.4 ????0.3 Average maturity
Case 9 2.4 −0.7 Low maturity
Average of all cases (µ) 3.1
Standard deviation (σ) 0.5
Tab.2  Grouping of cases on the basis of their BIM maturity scores
Fig.5  BIM maturity scores per case and per criterion of the BIM maturity model.
Fig.6  BIM implementation barriers plotted against organizational levels for the low BIM maturity cases. Characteristic barrier themes are highlighted in bold.
Fig.7  BIM implementation barriers plotted against organizational levels for the high BIM maturity cases. Characteristic barrier themes are highlighted in bold.
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