Conceptual Model

21. Competency-based Workflow

  Collaborative-BIM-Project-Initiation-Workflow-v2.3-OpaqueNote: the above image has been updated on May 11, 2016 -  Original Image

This partial workflow (a subtype of conceptual models) uses BIM competency items from across several Competency Sets to clarify a specific process - how to initiate a collaborative BIM project. The BPMN concepts are represented at low detail and can be expanded into several sub-processes populated with competency items at higher levels of detail.

The workflow  illustrates how individual BIM competencies are used to generate BIM workflows through a structured graphical language – shown here using Business Process Modelling and Notation (BPMN). Other uses for structured competency items include:

  1. Populating task lists for initiating projects and processes (e.g. a step-by-step guide for importing geometry drawn outside a Gehry Technologies Digital Project) or quality- checking project deliverables (e.g. a check list for auditing a model’s quality);
  2. Generating standardized mind maps, workflow diagrams and similar charts to clarify BIM implementation activities, data exchange and collaboration processes; and
  3. Establishing project requirements for the purposes of procuring services - e.g. through using competency items to populate a request for qualification or request for proposal.


20. Triple A Competency Model


The Triple A Competency Model is a knowledge engine which uses structured BIM competency items to perform three complementary actions: competency Acquisition, competency Application and competency Assessment. For example, this is a structured competency item: "“prepare a 3D model for the purpose of linking it to a Construction Schedule” which can be used in three different ways to:

  1. ASSESS (measure): Do you have the ability to prepare a 3D model for the purpose of linking it to a Construction Schedule?
  2. ACQUIRE (learn): At the end of the course, students of <<course name>> would have learned how to prepare a 3D model for the purpose of linking it to a Construction Schedule.
  3. APPLY (implement): Use <<software tool>> to prepare a 3D model for the purpose of linking it to a Construction Schedule.


19. Competency Units of Analysis

Competency Units of Analysis v1.2

This conceptual model identifies several units for the purposes of competency analysis:

  1. Individual competency is the unit measure of an individual’s ability to conduct an activity and deliver an outcome. Individual competency applies to a single person irrespective of role, position or employment status;
  2. Group competency is the arithmetic sum of several individual competencies but – as a measure - does not reflect the efficiencies gained or lost from such an aggregation;
  3. Organizational capability is the unit measure of an organization’s ability and its sub-organizational units (branches, departments, business streams, etc.); and
  4. Team capability is the unit measure of team members’ combined abilities. As opposed to group competency, team capability reflects the routines and dynamics of aggregation (e.g. team compatibility, communication and collaboration). There are at least three sub-units of team capability:
  • Work Team (WT) capability applies to a purposeful group of individuals working together to deliver a project/outcome within an organization or an organizational unit;
  • Project Team (PT) capability applies to a purposeful group of individuals working together to deliver a project/outcome across two or more organizations; and
  • Organizational Team (OT) capability applies to two or more organizations working together (through partnering, alliancing, etc.) to pursue a common mission or deliver a common project/outcome.

18. Competency Tiers

  Competency Tiers Model v1.1

There are three Competency Tiers within the Competency Hierarchy - Core, Domain and Execution:

  • The CORE Competencies Tier reflects the personal abilities of individuals enabling them to conduct a measureable activity or deliver a measurable outcome. This core tier is subdivided into the following four competency sets: Foundational traits – personal attributes inherent in an individual that cannot be acquired through training or education; Situational enablers – personal attributes related to nationality, language and other criteria which may play a relevant role when delivering a service or a product; Qualifications and licenses – personal attributes related to the existence or sufficiency of academic degrees, scientific publications, professional accreditations, trade/skill certificates or licences; and Historical indicators – attributes related to employment history, project experiences (including project types and sizes), roles played and positions held.
  • The DOMAIN Competencies Tier refers to the professional abilities of individuals, the means they use to perform multi-task activities and the methods they employ to deliver outcomes with complex requirements. There are eight competency sets within this tier:  four primary sets - Managerial, Functional, Technical and Supportive - representing the main types of professional ability; and four secondary sets - Administration, Operation, Implementation and Research & Development - identifying those abilities which are formed by the overlap of primary sets.
  • The EXECUTION Competencies Tier represents an individual’s ability to use specific tools and techniques to conduct an activity or deliver a measureable outcome. The ability to use a software tool (e.g. a 3D model authoring tool), drive a vehicle (e.g. a 30 tonne tipper truck) or operate specialized field equipment (e.g. a laser scanner) are examples of execution tier competencies. Also, the ability to employ specialized techniques (e.g. programming, drawing and plastering) is also classified under this tier.

15. Individual Competency Index


 Individual Competency Index  (v1.4 full size - older version v1.2)

The Individual Competency Index (ICI) measures both  conceptual knowledge (referred to as knowledge) and procedural knowledge (referred to as skill) which are needed by individuals in order to perform a defined activity or deliver a measureable outcome. 

The ICI identifies five competency levels (0-4):

  • Level 0 (none) denotes a lack of competence in a specific area or topic;
  • Level 1 (basic) denotes an understanding of fundamentals and some initial practical application;
  • Level 2 (intermediate) denotes a solid conceptual understanding and some practical application;
  • Level 3 (advanced) denotes significant conceptual knowledge and practical experience in performing a competency to a consistently high standard; and
  • Level 4 (expert) denotes extensive knowledge, refined skill and prolonged experience in performing a defined competency at the highest standard.

The index also identifies two competency divides: the learning divide separating level 0 from level 1, and the time/repetition divide separating level 3 from level 4.

However, although the ICI measures both knowledge and skill, it does not measure personal traits (typically referred to as attitude) which require specialized psychometric indices similar to Myers-Briggs and RIASEC. Also, the ICI only measures the abilities of individuals and - by extension, the aggregate abilities of a group of individuals -  but does not measure the abilities of organizations, organizational teams or larger organizational scales (refer to BIM Capability Stages and BIM Maturity Levels).

For a BIM perspective of how to apply the ICI in assessing BIM competencies, please refer to this article on BIMThinkspace.

11. Organizational Hierarchy


Organisational Hierarchy v2.0

Full-Size Image  (1.6MB)

The Organizational Hierarchy is a conceptual model based on the Organizational Scales' taxonomy which identifies 12 organizational scales ranging from Markets (OrgScale 1, the largest) to Individuals (OrgScale 12, the smallest). The 12 OrgScales belong to three OrgScale Clusters: Macro (1-7), Meso (8) and Micro (9-12).

The 12 OrgScales are:

  1. Global Market
  2. Defined Market (e.g. European Union or individual countries)
  3. SubMarket (e.g. regional, state or local markets)
  4. Industry (e.g. Construction Industry)
  5. Sector (e.g. Design or Construction Sectors)
  6. Discipline (e.g. structural or mechanical disciplines)
  7. Specialty (e.g. steel detailing or kitchen design specialties)
  8. Organizational Team (e.g. two or more organizations working on the same project)
  9. Organization (e.g. an engineering or construction company)
  10. Organizational Unit (a department, branch or business stream)
  11. Organizational Group (a group of individuals or a 'work team')
  12. Organizational Member (an individual)

The hierarchy is used as a Scoping Lens to isolate a specific scale of BIM Players thus enabling a more-targeted approach to BIM implementation and assessment.

10. BIM Maturity Index

BIM Maturity Levels at Capability Stage 1 - 2010

The BIM Maturity Index (BIMMI) is a conceptual model depicting five distinct Maturity Levels:



Level Name

Textual Rating

Numerical Rating


Ad-hoc or initial

Low maturity




Medium-Low maturity




Medium maturity




Medium-High maturity




High maturity



The progression from lower to higher levels of BIM Maturity indicates (i) better control through minimizing variations between targets and actual results, (ii) better predictability and forecasting by lowering variability in competency, performance and costs and (iii) greater effectiveness in reaching defined goals and setting new more ambitious ones. BIMMI apply to BIM Stages and BIM Steps at organizational or larger scales (e.g. Disciplines, Industries and Markets). 

Update (July, 2015) - below is a short video explaining the above on the Framework's YouTube channel:


8. Project Lifecycle Phases

BIM - Project LifeCycle Phases

Fig.1 Project Lifecycle Phases, and sub-phases 




Fig.2 Effect of BIM on Project Lifecycle Phases

Construction projects pass through three major Project Lifecycle Phases (PLP)s: Design [D], Construction [C] and Operations [O]. These phases are also subdivided into sub-phases which are in turn further subdivided into activities, sub-activities and tasks. This conceptual model (Fig. 2) depicts the effects of BIM on project lifecycle phases over the three BIM Stages.

7. Field Overlaps



The three BIM Fields overlap as they share players and deliverables. This overlap between fields occurs when:

(1) A deliverable requires players from two or more fields. For example, the development and  implementation of Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) across the construction industry require the joint efforts of Policy players (researchers and policy makers) and Technology players (software developers).

(2) Players pertaining to one field generate deliverables classified in another. For example, the Australian Institute of Architects is an ‘industry body’ whose members are Process players (architects) generating Policy deliverables (guidelines and best practices) rather than Process deliverables (building designs and construction details).

Legend: the letters within the model correspond to the following overlaps:

(a) Sample Policy-Process overlap: Industry body (BIM player) and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training (BIM deliverable);

(b) Sample Policy-Technology overlap: Interoperability standards (BIM deliverable);

(c) Sample Process-Technology overlap: Communities of Practice  (BIM player); and

(d) Sample Policy-Process-Technology overlap: BIM Implementation (BIM deliverable), BIM specialists – individuals and groups (BIM players).