Development of a governance framework for delivery of collaborative and security-minded BIM projects

Mamun, M 2021, Development of a governance framework for delivery of collaborative and security-minded BIM projects , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This study explores secure-collaboration for BIM projects in response to concerns as to whether project environments concerned with critical national infrastructure are able to govern digital security-risks whilst also reconciling tensions between collaborative motives, leading to difficulties in sharing enough information to ensure stakeholder efficiency whilst not exposing sensitivities and elevating security-risk. This research aims to address these issues by: Devising a conceptual process and data governance framework to enable secure collaboration for BIM projects. In achieving this aim, the study captures the framework’s requirements by answering the first research question: What is the nature of tensions between collaboration and security motives within security-minded BIM projects that are barriers to achieving secure-collaboration? This question’s answer is central to answering the second question: What is the nature of the process and data governance framework that is required to resolve existing tensions and enable securecollaboration? This thesis captures requirements via a thorough study (primary and secondary) in the context of security-minded BIM projects. The design-science methodology was adopted to guide the framework development and evaluation; semi-structured interviews with 13 experts were used to diagnose the tensions concerning: security-risk governance, BIM process and technology implementation, alongside BIM governance limitations. Based upon findings, the framework’s requirements for comprising process and data governance concepts were developed. The framework was evaluated with 8 experts via a qualitative feedback categorisation technique to assess its capacity to facilitate secure-collaboration. The outcome of the diagnostics process revealed that tensions arise within projects due to a lack of a holistic security-risk governance approach, and a misalignment between project collaboration and security requirements. This leads to a cascade of incompatible project implementation xviii choices, which limits the efficacy of information governance to appropriately secure critical assets, whilst diminishing collaboration capacity to ensure a timely and cost-effective project-delivery. Stakeholders are also constrained by security-measures which are not integrated with their informational needs, resulting in issues such as securely coordinating sensitive information amongst partners, or professionals being unable to access information due to inaccurate sensitivity classification and clearance constraints. These tensions are also linked to divergent cultural pressures for increased digitisation and openness, versus the need for security-minded approaches which are accompanied by administrative, commercial and contractual burdens. These tensions are the sources of great frustration within security-minded environments interviewed in effortlessly achieving secure collaboration, whereas a bleaker picture is present for the broader AEC sector as to whether organisations can support the secure digitisation needs of inexperienced clients and protect their assets within an evolving digital security-risk landscape. Alleviating such tensions requires clients to apply holistic security-risk governance approaches and define integrated project requirements that reconcile security, collaboration and efficiency motives. Findings also indicate that information-flow tensions are present for professionals to be able to seamlessly share and receive only the necessary information, when and to who necessary, at an appropriate and secured level of detail. Alleviating such tensions is difficult as they are tied to the limitations of BIM-based governance approaches utilised within practices. To resolve such information-flow tensions, findings propose that the key elements to be integrated into the process and data governance framework are considerations for information planning, transaction and governance concepts. At an overarching level, this is by ensuring practitioners securely share and receive only the atomic information-sets which are necessary for them to deliver high-quality project outcomes. The proposed framework has been validated via a high-level qualitative technique as the framework is conceptual in nature. Therefore, future research is required to implement and validate the framework in real-life project settings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Fernando, TP (Supervisor) and Simpson, MF (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Depositing User: Mohammed Mamun
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 09:50
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 14:47

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