JUSTIFYING is typically the initial state in a transformation programme, where research is conducted, a case for change developed and the authority and resources for a transformation programme are secured. A transformation programme might originate from a number of different sources, for example:

  • In support of a policy priority
  • To meet a demand for improved efficiency and/or outcomes
  • Internal influence from a digital ‘champion’
  • External pressure from industry or regulatory bodies
  • ‘Peer pressure’
  • As part of a wider digitalisation driver

Completion of this initial state would then commonly transition into the MOBILISING phase, to build the transformation team and develop a detailed plan of work on how this will be achieved.

The JUSTIFYING state may also be revisited a number of times during the lifecycle of the programme, aligned with budget cycles, programme phases or changes in context for example:

  • Changes in sponsors, stakeholders or transformation team leadership
  • Changes in public policies and priorities
  • Disruption causing competition for resources e.g. pandemic

The Global BIM Network Information Collection contains summaries and links to many examples of the outputs from JUSTIFYING, which were prepared by different countries, states and organisations from across the world.

See all resources in the Information Collection related to JUSTIFYING

Overview of the common considerations and outputs covered in this section.


  • Establishing a collective understanding of what BIM is and why it is of value
  • Understand the challenges and opportunities
  • Defining the strategic principles for the programme
  • Securing the authority and resources to commence or continue
  • Establishing and maintaining leadership


  • External / Peer landscape review
  • Formal approval to proceed
  • Policy / Public Commitment
    • Current State & Problem Definition
    • Context
    • Vision and Value proposition
    • Outline Approach
  • Key Milestones and Target Dates

Justifying from the perspective of the network personas

Policy / Strategy

Commonly the primary persona for this state, providing initial instruction, leadership and publishing the outputs.

This might be a proactive policy action or because of influence from industry, procurer, or owner operators to drive modernisation and efficiency of the sector.

This Persona might also identify and recruit a leader of the transformation team to take the programme into the MOBILISING state.

If JUSTIFYING is being revisited during the life of the programme, this persona might be requesting the revisit and assessing the case for continued investment.

Transformation Programme

The Transformation Programme persona generally wouldn’t be formed at the early stages of JUSTIFYING, and only beginning to form as the change moves into the MOBILISING state.

This persona might be tasked with developing the outputs for this state, working alongside and supporting the Policy / Strategy persona.

This persona would be a lot more active if JUSTYFING is being revisited as part of an in-progress transformation programme. At this point the entire Transformation Programme would be formed and active in making the change happen through the following states of change

Procurer / Owner / Operator

This persona might influence the Policy/Strategy persona to initiate a transformation programme, giving it the importance and need which can be used to develop the business case for change.

This persona could also represent the needs of the ‘problem owner’ and/or provide information on the current state to establish baseline measures and identify priority challenges and opportunities.

In some situations this persona will help to establish and maintain public leadership for change alongside the Policy / Strategy persona.

Why is Justifying important?

In most cases, a transformation programme could not exist without authority and resources. JUSTFYING builds the case for change, aligns the objectives of the programme with wider priorities and enables the programme to proceed. In addition to allowing the commencement of a programme, this state will also likely be revisited, enabling a programme to maintain its support and resources over a lifecycle which could extend over 5-10 years.

Common Considerations:

Establishing a collective understanding of what BIM is and why it is of value

The introduction of BIM through a strategic transformation programme will affect a diverse range of stakeholders across the public sector, private sector and academia. There will likely be some resistance to change within those stakeholder groups and drive to understand how the transformation will benefit distinct groups.

There is also commonly an existing level of BIM use and understanding when a programme commences, based on fragmented working practice and inconsistent definitions of what BIM is.

To ensure a solid foundation and effective commencement of a transformation programme, it is important to:

  • establish a common understanding of the definition of BIM. This is often clarified using international standards, such as the ISO 19650 series of standards.
  • build a baseline capacity in the subject, which might be achieved through a combination of research, training, and the support of external expertise.
  • clarify the value of BIM in-general and specifically for different stakeholder groups.

Understanding the challenges and opportunities

In order to build a specific case for change, and inform the scope and priorities for a transformation programme, it is valuable to develop a current state analysis. This current state analysis will help to identify what opportunities could be realised from this transformation and any challenges which may need to be addressed. This information will all help to outline the need for change and feed into the business case to begin the transformation. When looking at the challenges and opportunities the following activities may be considered:

  • An analysis of local problems and opportunities with existing project design, construction, operation and maintenance activities.
  • Research on existing BIM use and BIM knowledge across different stakeholder groups.
  • Identifying and engaging with stakeholders, consider those who benefit from, sponsor, champion, define, support and/or will adopt the transformation. This includes:
    • defining stakeholder groups
    • understanding their expertise and priorities
    • clarifying their role in the change
    • commencing engagement with stakeholder groups
  • Local context and background, including drivers, enablers and how BIM adoption might contribute to wider national or organisational priorities.
  • Discovery & benchmarking, addressing questions such as “can it be done?” and “how has it been done elsewhere?”. This research might also provide third party validation of potential benefits and identify potential sources of expertise.

Defining the strategic principles for the programme

The strategic principles are a description of the high-level terms of reference of the programme. This helps to create consensus across the team on direction and helps to give a format for discussion to achieve this. As a terms of reference, this should cover the details of the current state and the direction of how to get from this to the future state. Some of the content areas which may be defined as part of the exercise to document the strategic principles for the programme are:

  • Background: Summary of the current state. For example, a problem statement, drivers and enablers
  • Objectives: What are you hoping to achieve. For example, a vision statement, measurable goals, targeted outcomes and benefits
  • Scope: What will be included or excluded from the transformation. For example, types of assets, types of projects, types of organisations, etc.
  • Constraints: Are there any other considerations to take into account. For example, schedule, potential barriers, external dependencies
  • Roles & Responsibilities: Who will do what as part of the change. For example, sponsors, leaders, actors
  • Deliverables: What outputs need to be create. For example, key documents, decisions, plans

Securing the authority and resources to commence or continue

This consideration looks at steps required to secure authority and resources for your digital transformation program. This is about having the support and backing of key stakeholders to proceed with the programme, the vision and benefits which the programme will deliver, how it will be achieved, and the formal business case to outline the resources needed. A combination of all these things will secure the approval to commence or continue the programme.

To secure resources, a robust justification for the programme is essential, as part of this there are several questions which need to be addressed:

  • Why: Clearly state the need for digital transformation, backed by evidence of sector challenges and opportunities. Show how it aligns with broader goals.
  • Options: Present various strategies, technologies, or approaches with pros and cons.
  • Financials: Develop a detailed financial plan, including costs, ROI projections, and long-term sustainability.
  • Achievable: Assess feasibility within constraints and address risks.
  • Governance Structure: Establish decision-making processes and responsibilities.
  • Key Roles: Define roles of individuals and teams in the authorization and allocation process.

When considering and creating the business case for the programme it can be useful to reference the “5-case business case model“. The 5-case model consists of the strategic, economic, commercial, financial, and management cases, these are 5 components which should be considered as part of a robust and sustainable business case.

Establishing and maintaining leadership

Leadership is crucial in establishing a successful BIM transformation programme as it provides the vision, direction, and public figurehead needed to effectively transition an industry to modify the normal way of working and follow new BIM methodologies. Effective leadership formalises the process to set clear objectives, secures resources, and fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation, ensuring that BIM is adopted cohesively and embraced throughout the industry. Leaders play a pivotal role in driving change, managing resistance, and measuring progress, ultimately ensuring the successful adoption of BIM and its alignment with the national or organizational strategic goals which have been set out. Change leaders can be pivotal in driving early-stage interest in the change and spreading awareness through communication activities.

Common outputs at this stage:

External / Peer Landscape Review
(see examples in the Information Collection)

One of the most common outputs to see publicly available and published from the JUSTIFYING state is the External / Peer Landscape Review. This document is usually a research-based activity to look at the current state of change outside of the country or organisation. Looking at other peers can help in several ways:

  • See what is possible in other more mature countries or organisations
  • Understand the benefits and value of implementation from real case study examples
  • Convince stakeholders that the proposed change is possible by showcasing other successes
  • Define potential options for implementation by taking lessons learnt from others
  • Identify areas where outputs from others can help to accelerate your programme

Formal approval to commence or continue
(see examples in the Information Collection)

The formal approval to commence or continue the programme can take many forms and will also be dependent on whether the programme is at the start approaching JUSTIFYING for the first time, or whether this state is being revisited as part of a programme update. The formal approval to commence or continue usually follows, or is an output of, the business case where the need and justification for the transformation has been proved alongside the resources needed to move through the following states.

The formal approval may cover an overview of the current state and the problem definition as well as giving context to the change programme. The approval may also include the vision and value proposition as a summary from the business case. Finally, the document may support the approval by providing a high-level outline approach to the transformation, explaining what needs to be done and how this will begin. This outline approach along with the vision will then form the basis of the transformation strategy and roadmap in the MOBILISING state.

Policy / Public Commitment
(see examples in the Information Collection)

A key part of the JUSTIFYING state is the establishment and development of leadership support for the change programme. As mentioned, the senior level sponsorship and public leadership helps to raise the importance of the programme, and to act as a catalyst for communication and discussion on the programme at a wider level. The Policy / Public Commitment is another output which we usually see published to outline the vision and goals of the change, whilst providing the official statement on the commitment to make change happen through MOBILISING and DEVELOPING.

Case Study Examples

Case study available soon…


Please login or register

You must Login or Register to save sections.
This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.