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Buildings information modelling cuts risk

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The eighth BCS Configuration Management conference was billed as the premier UK event on Change, Release and Configuration Management for ITIL and Service Management.

The BCS had lined up a range of speakers from a diverse spread of industries and expertise and the day didn’t disappoint.

The conference kicked off in London last month with a lively presentation from Mace Group’s David Philp who is currently seconded to the Cabinet Office where he is head of BIM implementation.

BIM, or Buildings Information Modelling, is the digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a building, bringing in 3D modelling, cost and time. Philp looked at the current issues around standards and consistency and spoke about the UK government’s BIM mandate.

“BIM is rocking the boat and challenging what we have always done,” he said, “by 2016 all government departments will be BIM-enabled. It’s an ambitious programme, but the government is trying to be open and agnostic. It’s not just about cool technology...a BIM-enabled job has less risk.”

He gave the example of Cookham Wood prison in Kent where a BIM-enabled extension is being built - the Ministry of Justice is saving £800,000 by using BIM.

There were also presentations from IBM’s Mark Roberts as well as Shaun Adams from the Met Office, Deborah Pitt of the Land Registry and Martin van Vliet of XebiaLabs, among others.

Roberts gave a presentation entitled “Transforming the Development Lifecycle with DevOps”. He said: “Interfaces between departments are often an area of friction and confusion. There’s often a gap between the lines of business and development teams - people treat their silos as the most important area, and there’s a lack of understanding of the respective areas and poor communication of what each area actually needs from the other.”

He examined the details and pitfalls of agile development and looked how a structured and managed approach to the development / operations interface could lead to a smoother development process and resulting high quality applications.

Pitt called her presentation “Resistance is futile”. She has been responsible for building the configuration management database at the Land Registry from scratch to its current pivotal role at the centre of Land Registry’s ISO20000 certified Service Management system.

She spoke about the techniques she used to sell a CMDB to the Land Registry, and how she achieved buy-in for the CMDB through targeting the audience and tailoring the message and by farming out responsibility for configuration items to different IT teams. ®

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