Agile BIM barriers to adoption #3

Who were present?

  • François Muzard Linkedin / Architect, information and BIM manager for Enia (agency of 80 people). Author of a master thesis on BIM. Co-founder of Bricks

  • Julien Berujeau Linkedin / Architect project manager at ENIA

  • Souleau Camille Linkedin / Self-employed architect at Lumus and before that at atelier 234

  • Laurent Coydon Linkedin / Agile IT Coach

  • Sébastien Lucas Linkedin / Architect, Web developer and co-founder of Bricks

  • Yannick Ramon Linkedin / Digital transformation consultant

  • Henri-Jean Gless Linkedin / Research engineer and teacher in Nancy / Author of a doctoral thesis

The discussions

The advantage of BIM

The Con:

  • More expensive, especially with monthly licenses, training, etc.

  • Long at start-up (forces are shifted upstream of design), but fast modification (see MacLeamy curve)

MacLeamy curve, interpretation by Henri-Jean

The Pro:

  • a design tool: we think about what we want and then the tool allows us to make it without going into too much detail;

  • teamwork: everyone has the model and makes it evolve;

  • a communication and coordination tool: a time saver because it allows you to talk to different people, from the mayor to the worker. A tool that allows universal communication. A plumber clearly sees what's going on;

  • rapid modification (vs. long to model at the beginning).

  • Is BIM also used outside the architecture?

Yes, the industry, for example the nuclear industry

In the more industrialized wood industry

  • Is BIM suitable for small agencies?

"I've adapted everything in Revit's operation for a small agency. But not enough people working in BIM." (Camille)

I do my BIM "all by myself" because engineers don't make plans at my level (for small agencies).

How does the use of BIM fundamentally change the way of working?

  • We have always worked on a common project but before the project belonged to only one person. While now the project almost really exists (see the work of Sylvain Kubicki and the "Digital Twin" conference of 19/11 at Lux).

  • The BIM requires good organization, library management, template, reservations. We're talking about eliciting thought (see HJ thesis).

Agility at different phases:

In the design phase: the subject of Bricks' study and Henri-Jean's thesis

In the construction phase: the more mature lean, several examples including

Example: Last planner system: a reverse planning.

And the serious game that puts it into practice: le Villego.

The objectives of the Agile BIM group


  • As a researcher, I would like to take advantage of the interest we all have in agility to carry out experiments in agencies, with a view to one or more scientific publications: testing agile practices.

  • As a teacher, immerse myself in the professional environment to adapt my courses as accurately as possible.

  • Finally, expand my agile network with a view to a future migration to Paris, Luxembourg or Geneva.


  • Common base to share

  • create an agile BIM Ecosystem

  • understand agile practices and try to apply them in Bricks


  • Controlling project times / How to control time / No cart

  • How to reinvest the gain in quality gain / How to sell the quality gain

  • Create a more horizontal management system in architecture


  • Federating a community that is expanding, particularly internationally

  • List what is and is not applicable in architecture

  • Exchange on real use cases

  • Document best practices on agile in architecture


  • Identify the specific problems that you want to solve / value creation vs value capture. Competition on who captures the value


  • Provide the building actors with the benefits of agility

Comparison with the adoption of BIM

Internationally, and a fortiori in Anglo-Saxon countries, almost all projects are in BIM. The bosses were happy to say they were doing BIM. Employees were reluctant. Many small agencies. It's hard to reach small agencies. The bosses see this as an advantage.

A big gap between large and small agencies. On the BIM the Autodesk control.

What are the obstacles to the adoption of Agile

Architects' reluctance to change

As soon as you have to migrate to the design, you're blocked. They don't want to waste time to save time. We need people who are willing. Architects are a little reluctant (compared to Lean, which works well in construction). (Henri-Jean)

Agency size

90% of agencies are made up of 9 people or less

But associated teams of small VSEs that always work together as a result reconstitute a larger team.

And team archi + project owner + engineer...

Closed the eco-system

Profit comes from competitiveness, so it is also necessary to limit the diffusion of practices to keep its differentiating. (Yannick)

Horizontal structure of agile vs. vertical companies

Main brake: conflict between the need for the agile method to work horizontally and the hierarchies that are everywhere.

Boxes have been built on all levels: Spotify, ING... (Yannick)

Liability and insurance issues

Legal barriers: project insurance can be a barrier. Normally should be a single model. But legally the architect remains responsible. So his model is studied by the insurance companies in case of problems. (Camille)

The MOP law (a french law that structure architecture projects)

The MOP law divides into phases, but with BIM we can already process the downstream phases, because we have more details.

2 solutions :

  • test on projects where the law does not apply;

  • to interface with the law but to organize differently.

Engineers don't have many fees in the upstream phase

The design office cannot start working before obtaining the building permit because it is at risk. As a result, it is difficult to get him to contribute earlier.

What makes building permits fail?

  • political refusal

  • neighbour's recourse

  • ....

Engineers can intervene on an ad hoc basis but no more.

The path of least resistance: abandoning public projects. Neighbours, costs but we can go beyond that so we can budget the risk

What could already be done in Agile

Feedback (François)

A thermician gives an interesting feedback. Feedback that can produce reusable templates.

Another example is an urban farmer using a soil pollution control system. Gives an idea to start with the input of engineers.

To do for the next meetup

  • Create a shared trello

  • Create a group email (especially to invite to the trello) and put on the site

  • Invite engineers, project owners

  • Invite the MAF (Architects' Insurance)

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