How do we move from Cad to BIM?

Bim for all, and all for BIM!

First, keep the end in mind. 

Before starting any project, our advice is to document the purpose and how you will define success. What are your key goals for implementing BIM? Is it to conform with customer standards? Maybe your decision is more strategic and based on the understanding that industry norms are changing. Regardless of the reason you are making this change, you should document your objectives and the key results you expect.

Plan for Success

If you are leading this effort, we suggest you start by determining all the key stakeholders who will help you define your objectives. It is important to include in your stakeholder group, representatives that will use or be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your tool. A well defined stakeholder group includes key users, IT, as well as budget holders and decision makers if separate.

With your stakeholders determined, it is time for a general discovery meeting to document where your users are today and to start developing measurable project objectives. At this point, it is common to utilize an outside consultant or an employee from the software vendor, however you can run this process yourself as well. Typically during a discovery project we ask project stakeholders these key CAD to BIM discovery questions. This gives a good idea of the relative sophistication of the project team prior to us starting and allows the ability to provide a more tailored CAD to BIM implementation. 

IT Needs

Dependent on the size of your organization it may be preferable to hold the IT & Security Requirements discovery as a separate call. Commonly, we review a variety of needs for the project during this session such as: Network hardware and typology, Bandwidth, Workstations, Storage, Virtualization, Mobility, and Collaboration & Data Management.  

During the Discovery Meeting(s)

Document, document, document. What decisions were made and why? Later on you may wish to review what items were discussed, and what actions taken. Our tip is to designate one scribe for the meeting. If you involve a consultant they will likely do this for you in order to prepare a closeout report. 

Close Out Report

If you are working with a consultant, prior to delivering the BIM Execution Plan (BEP), they will likely prepare a closeout report detailing your "as-is" state. This report will include items such as: 

  • File Management strategy

  • Common Data Environment

  • Hardware Recommendations

  • Current BIM State 

  • Additional Implementation Information 

  • Conclusion, Recommendations and next steps. 


We always recommend conducting a pilot prior to creating a BIM Execution Plan (BEP). This gives you an opportunity to learn what works well for your team, as well as what does not. Lessons learned during this period offer critical feedback and guidance before jumping in to finalizing the BEP. 

BEP Creation

Read more in our dedicated Knowledge Base Article on Creating a BIM Execution Plan