The Model Progression Specification is the common language that multiple parties from different companies can use so they can work together live on a project. This collaboration requires some planning and working to a previously agreed upon specification for each downstream party to know what they are going to get and for the upstream parties to know how to create their data.
One important component of this "language" is the level of detail -- or the specificity required for a particular element at a particular stage of the project. The level of detail for a BIM model must correspond to the needs of the modeler, the project engineer, and the estimators and schedulers. LOD identifies how much information is known about a model element at a given time. This "information richness" grows as the project comes closer to breaking ground.
It's important to note that these levels of detail correspond to those in the AIA E202. Here is a sample project protocol from the AIA.
The MPS is a protocol for bringing information from all the design disciplines, estimating and scheduling, who work in separate locations and don't normally communicate effectively so that it is a completely collaborative effort. It ensures each team member knows what he needs to produce, at what point and at what level of detail and can plan accordingly.
The MPS allows all the Project Stakeholders to work more effectively together, meaning the whole project can be designed, coordinated, costed and scheduled in an efficient "teamworking" environment.
To learn more about the MPS, please navigate through these additional resources:
Webpage: The History and Evolution of the MPS
Webpage: MPS Terms and Definitions
Webpage: What is the BIM Level of Detail?
Webpage: What Is a Purpose-Built BIM Model?
Webpage: Who is Authoring the BIM Model?
Webpage: Rollout the MPS to a New Project
Webinar: Webcor and the MPS
Webinar: Using the Content Plan and MPS
Webinar: The MPS 3.0