ITcon Vol. 25, pg. 193-211,

Managing data flows in infrastructure projects - the lifecycle process model

submitted:March 2019
revised:January 2020
published:March 2020
editor(s):Turk Ž.
authors:Heikki Halttula, Managing Director
Topcon Technology Finland Oy, Espoo, Finland

Harri Haapasalo, Professor
University of Oulu, Industrial Engineering and Management

Risto Silvola, Director
Konecranes Finland Corporation, IT and Business processes
summary:Productivity in the construction industry (both houses and infrastructure) has not been improving as expected, while other industries have been able to improve their productivity significantly. The appropriate use of building information modelling (BIM) technologies brings several benefits and advantages to construction projects. The main challenges of project efficiency emerge in the form of numerous requests for information during the construction project, which are considered to be waste in the processes. This highlights the need for a practical process model to plan the information flow for BIM-based projects. The main aim of this study is to propose a model to plan the flow of project information among primary stakeholders especially in infrastructure projects. Our main findings are firstly, the foundation for data management starts from defining unified one data for the product and the for the process. Unified data means one single repository of data – all stakeholders use the same unified data. It is also essential that data responsibilities and ownership are defined. Secondly, we found that the biggest challenges are that the data needs are not planned beforehand, resistance to change, difficulty receiving existing data and data must be modified before use. As a whole, it seems sometimes that the technology on data transfer is more important that what has been transferred and why. Finally our construction, the life cycle model for data flow originates from one data to all stakeholders, single data repository must be updated along the life- cycle of the object covering also the operations and maintenance, where the data has to be updated through the whole life-cycle. This new approach is intended to enable the early involvement of maintenance stakeholders in designing product data for a project lifecycle perspective. The model helps to change the current information flow and gain the benefits that a BIM-based process can offer. This study is based on case studies and is qualitative in nature and naturally needs more validation.
keywords:BIM, life cycle, data flow, infrastructure project, data model, master data, PDM/PLM
full text: (PDF file, 0.672 MB)
citation:Halttula H, Haapasalo H, Silvola R (2020). Managing data flows in infrastructure projects - the lifecycle process model, ITcon Vol. 25, pg. 193-211,