Coordinate, Communicate & Collaborate: A Pyramid Framework

By Shivani Soni – Solutions Specialist, Architecture

At the start of a BIM project, one must consider the Three C’s – Coordinate, Communicate and Collaborate– in order to maintain a connected BIM approach. This trio creates a healthy and interactive environment, as opposed to the “command and control atmosphere” of the past. The framework requires the balance of formal and informal assembly within the project team and the overall organization to produce an effective and timely deliverable.

We live and work in a highly complex, yet competitive industry. Construction projects demand increasingly more information and involve greater digital complexities, with BIM and digital processes expected to evolve rapidly in the next three to five years. As a result, firms must advance, embracing modern technologies and new business practices in order to survive.  In doing so, firms can better equip themselves, ensuring they stay relevant and maintain their presence within pre-construction as well as operational phases of a project.

As firms adapt, project and BIM leads must make the same efforts by updating their skills, techniques, and approaches that are used throughout the project delivery. As each project environment is unique, it is essential to maintain good practices and build a “star team.” Project leads are then able to apply the Three C’s approach and drive a project through the lifecycle.


Much like how an orchestra requires someone to unify the band, a project lead must form a synergy between all parties within the team. It is the role of an effective BIM lead to ensure he or she can identify these trends and assemble the finished product. Good coordination is a crucial element when key stakeholders partake on projects, as this drives overall project performance and is essential for an effective deliverable.


Communication is part science and part art. It is a process that transfers information from one entity to another and ensures that it is received and suitably understood. Often, communication is taken too lightly and considered as an afterthought, at which point people sometimes turn to the “blame game.” By combining good coordination and collaboration, project and BIM leads must be able to engage in a language that everyone can understand. Cloud-based platforms, such as BIM 360 Design, encourage the design team to make more informed decisions and deliver efficient projects.


A professional lead would not go about their duties without seeking input from others and openly discussing it with team members. While collaborating isn’t always easy, it provides valued information to project and BIM leads. Today, the construction industry has a number of workflows and processes that connect the various stakeholders within the core design team, encouraging a combined input. Live changes are fed back to the team in real-time and provide a connected BIM approach.


The Three C’s should be non-negotiable. These principles provide the groundwork for discussions which, in turn, create opportunities to identify potential problems, re-evaluate methods, share experiences, ask questions and encourage combined learning. The team can critique rather than criticize, as well as gather knowledge instead of engage in detached communication.

The outcomes of these values are separate yet interrelated: these processes are robust and can be used both for analysis and as a design tool that encourages projects to evolve in the right direction. In an age of rapid technological innovation, receiving the correct data at the right time helps to optimize the project cycle.  These processes help to secure the right melody that supports the team, at the right time and with the right people.