Loosen up a lot, by tightening up where it matters

Is everyone exasperated by BIM, or finally indifferent, even people who evangelize it?

BIM has become perceived as reserved for a minority of experts with little practical benefit against the cost of implementation. Just today, an architect I spoke to openly admitted: “BIM is the most boring bit of project delivery to me.” It is seen as a technical specialism rather than an essential process. Why is this?


Or take this article:

BIM is dead, long live information management!


The narrative is certainly changing.

Good, after decades of unbridled exuberant assertions, word salad masquerading as clear thought, unfounded and counterproductive claims, pie in the sky fog everywhere despite millions of words, missing the point, with no apparent point anyway, a trail of dread and pity in its wake.

Should we scorecard it?

Now it comes to this:

“BIM is dead”

According to the new narrative:

“Long Live Information Management”

Is it a good sign? Could be. I don’t want to detract from it at all, though I’m fastening my seatbelt for the next 20 years of déjà vu all over again. Let’s see if we can avoid repeating the tedious exercise.

“We’re all information managers”

Here’s my warning:

Don’t let this turn into glorification of management.

Management (original: modesty) is advantageous only through reason’s curtailing its excess, reducing it to moderate proportions.

adapted from Plutarch, re: modesty

Have a look around what happens to art, science, industry, whole civilizations, when management floods far past its channel inundating everything.

Vitality drowned, life drained out. The good sapped, the energetic skilled discharged, retired, laid to rest. Management in excess, simultaneously a flood and a drain. The result: decline and nothing else. At the flood’s greatest extent, decline inexorable, management as path of least resistance to entropy.

Let’s keep management in its channel.

Will it be possible?

Here management tells us to focus on outcomes:

The UK government’s Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030 mentions information management 37 times, as well as containing the Information Management Mandate, replacing the UK BIM Mandate that began with the 2011 Government Construction Strategy and the 2016 deadline. The Construction Playbook also refers to the importance of information management to achieving better outcomes.”


An article in 2017 put it this way:

“The time for outcomification of BIM has come”


A call to stop wasting time on things that are counterproductive!

Like immoderate management flooding everywhere draining everything?

It’s better seen as a foundation of logic than a call for over-management.

On the significance of the effect (outcome) of things, Charles Sanders Peirce made the case in 1878:

How to Make Our Ideas Clear

Charles S. Peirce

Popular Science Monthly 12 (January 1878), 286-302.


An excerpt:

“I only desire to point out how impossible it is that we should have an idea in our minds which relates to anything but conceived sensible effects of things. Our idea of anything is our idea of its sensible effects; and if we fancy that we have any other we deceive ourselves, and mistake a mere sensation accompanying the thought for a part of the thought itself…

It appears, then, that the rule for attaining … clearness of apprehension is as follows: Consider what effects, that might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object.”

Charles S. Peirce – How to Make Our Ideas Clear

Such questions should be posed to management itself.

One of the effects of management spread beyond its useful gutter is reductionist thinking.

Here’s what reductionist thinking did to our industry:

Model everything everywhere and every blade of grass, and according to classification standards, because then everything will be, er…, ah…, something something….

– management and its outcomes


Hence the exasperation and finally indifference of everyone, even its worn out proponents.

The self defeat and counter-productivity of pseudo ideas and management-speak are seen in outcome after outcome.

Pushback came, whether it was heard or not, from those doing actual design and construction work. All along they’ve said:

Stop hounding me for compliance with things counterproductive to outcome.

– sometimes said, rarely heard when said

I’m not just complaint and warnings. I describe solutions too:

Why not model what’s needed?

And what IS needed?

Important question with no simple answer.

Here’s a start though, why not model far less than everything everywhere? What’s the point of that anyway other than obeying some kind of “empire of management” (glorified reductionism)?

You can model less. And with the right tools, modeling less puts you on a direct line to better outcomes, because you can focus on what matters, and see and understand what you’re doing.

Stop tightening up on everything, everywhere. What gets us to desired outcomes is: loosening up a lot, by tightening up in places that matter

– common sense

Why not build a common standard set of features into every model-handling software in the industry (or at least those with the sense enough to do it):

The TGN rigs I propose https://tangerinefocus.com/2022/07/11/tgn-portability-openness-standardization-and-beyond-standard-deployment/ include multiple I/O nodes providing a coherent facility for capturing data from many sources and presenting them together in ways that solve THIS problem:

the requirement in all modeled environments for a standardizable FORM of ENGAGEMENT with models that builds more thorough understanding faster, that draws focused attention to things that need to be understood, and provides both CLARITY and CONTROL over communication about very complex situations in very complex models.


The idea is that these features (TGN) are for ALL apps, for every developer willing to deploy open source TGN in their modeling or drawing apps:


Software and digital media in the architecture, engineering, construction, and similar industries are mis-developed when they drag legions of people into the trench of total modeling (model every blade of grass!).

That’s a counter-outcomes endeavor. It only drains away capacity for achieving desired outcomes while demoralizing everyone who finds themselves sinking into pointless work and wasted time over-generating an increasingly unintelligible morass of information.

More meaningful (useful) approaches are necessary.

But look, if you want to model everything everywhere, every blade of grass, nobody’s stopping you. And as you do, you still need rigs built into the model to get a grasp on it, through well expressed attentive focus.

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