What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? Well, when it comes to the buildingSMART Domains, quite a lot.

Domains represent specific areas of the built asset industry, and they have one major thing in common. They exist to transform the way we plan, design, build, maintain and operate the world’s buildings and infrastructure. The transformation includes improving productivity, quality, assessing requirements and criticality, decision making and reducing the impact on the environment.

Each Domain is led by representatives from the buildingSMART membership community who provide their time pro-bono because, importantly, they are all employed within the industry.

That means they know what the industry needs, especially concerning openBIM© processes and a strategic overview of how to apply them along the line of sight from corporate strategies to operational working.

The role of a Domain leader is to own the mission and vision and set the 3 – 5 year roadmap. They also oversee the projects that are delivering the outcomes related to the roadmap plan.

Our Domains, or Rooms as they used to be fondly known, have modernised with the rest of the industry. The original ‘War Room’ concept, which was used to kick start a fledging buildingSMART nearly 30 years ago, is now a series of professionally managed programs. buildingSMART International has three core programs: User; Compliance; and Solutions and Standards. Program management is a method of coordinating the organisation, planning and delivery of transformational activities that will realise the strategic roadmaps.

Domains are sub-programs, within Solutions and Standards, which means they each contain a group of related projects, that are together delivering strategic change, mostly in accordance with their own roadmap, but also with a strong link to the bSI strategic plan.

Coordinating the organisation at bSI is achieved through a multifaceted approach aimed at maximising efficiency and alignment. Key elements include:

  • Governance: The organisation maintains a well-defined governance structure that outlines roles, responsibilities, and decision-making processes. This ensures clear accountability and facilitates effective coordination.
  • Strategic Plan: Extensive consultation and integration of the strategic plan are essential in guiding the organisations activities. Regularly reviewing and adapting the plan based on emerging needs and challenges help maintain relevance and long-term vision.
  • bSI Process: Adhering to the bSI Process framework establishes a consistent and standardized approach to work. It defines methodologies, tools, and best practices, fostering efficient collaboration and streamlining workflows.
  • Summits: Bi-annual summits serve as crucial platforms for sharing progress and achievements across the industry. These gatherings facilitate knowledge exchange, foster collaboration, and strengthen relationships among stakeholders.
  • Domain Steering Committees: Well-defined agendas and plans within the Domain Steering Committees help ensure focused discussions and decision-making processes. Regular meetings enable the identification of common themes and alignment with both each other and the broader bSI Strategic Plan.
  • Domain Leaders Conferences: These conferences provide opportunities for Domain leaders to share common themes and insights, fostering cross-domain collaboration and synergy. Sharing experiences and aligning strategies contributes to a unified and cohesive organisational approach.
  • Domain Projects: Domain projects are held fully accountable and subject to regular monitoring. Tracking progress and outcomes in a transparent manner allows for timely adjustments, efficient resource allocation, and the identification of areas needing further attention.
  • Effective Communication: The organisation places great emphasis on widely communicating the progress and outcomes of its initiatives. This ensures transparency, promotes engagement among stakeholders, and maintains a shared understanding of achievements and challenges.

All these aspects are continually being refreshed and improved as demand and learning increase. To hear directly from the Domain Leaders, then tune in to the podcast series ‘Domain Chats’.

Alternatively, be with us at our next Summit in Norway and consider joining the membership community for more direct access to the Domains so you can contribute to this important and invigorating mission.

Date: 16th June 2023

Author: Richard Kelly, Operations Director, bSI