How do civil engineers manage their time during the workday? How do they tackle challenges like avoiding re-work and cutting down on errors?
Many leading engineering firms are changing the way they work, by embracing the cloud to help them collaborate better and deliver projects faster. As you already know, infrastructure project teams, especially on major projects, often require contributions from multiple specialties and people based at different firms. So coordination and collaboration play significant roles in project delivery. But often, traditional methods of project communication, like phone calls and in-person meetings often slow down productivity, and reveal gaps where feedback falls through the cracks.
That’s why it’s essential that all team members on a project can be plugged in from anywhere, and maintain quick and easy communication to ensure everyone is on the same page. This is where cloud collaboration is a game-changer.
Here are 7 ways Civil Engineers can boost productivity with cloud collaboration:
1. Centralized Access to project information –for everyone on the team
We’ll cut to the chase–after all, you already know that wading through hundreds of emails to find specific project information wastes precious work time. But what if you, and all of your team collaborators, could access all project files in one central place, and refer back to a central ‘project wiki’ that holds all the project data you need for moving an analysis forward, or answering a question about the retaining walls.
A small wiki might contain just a few entries, contacts, meeting notes, some additional background material–but that’s the kind of information that prevents every team member from losing time sifting through old emails. It’s a one-stop, central location for all your project needs. And when you get a question that you don’t have time to answer, you can just say, “It’s in the wiki”.
2. Streamlined project coordination and scheduling
Project teams manage schedules in a variety of ways. You might keep track of everything in your personal desktop calendar. For some projects, the project manager might be tasked with regularly sending the whole team updated calendars. When done this way, participants don’t have real-time access to the project schedule–the schedule simply remains a list of milestones rather than a dynamic contributor to cross-team coordination.
Wouldn’t it be better if you and the other project stakeholders could access a master schedule to add meetings and update milestones yourself? Working in the cloud lets you make schedules more collaborative. At the beginning of a project, you create a calendar with major milestones. Throughout the project, you update it with new events & meetings. The calendar sends notifications, and keeps the whole team up-to-date on the freshest version of the agenda for the day, week, or month. They also know who’s set to deliver what when, making it more efficient to coordinate interdependent aspects of the project
3. Reduced need for paper prints
Many infrastructure teams still rely heavily on paper prints to get a total project view. That’s largely because design files are too big to email efficiently. Yes, the use of DWF and PDF files have led to reduced printing, because they allow you to share information by email more easily. But team members still request prints and unroll the sheet set when they want to check details. This creates several problems. Printing is expensive. More importantly, prints are outdated as soon as they come off the printer. Also, today’s BIM-powered designs contain object data and intelligence that prints don’t convey.
Fewer prints, more information
Cloud collaboration and coordination give you easy access to all the latest project information. You can access your cloud-based project files and view project information from anywhere. Plan sheets retain civil-design model information, so you can see project plans and underlying object data. It’s like having real-time access to electronic prints that maintain complete visual fidelity with respect to pen-weights, line types, fonts, and colors. And you aren’t the only one with access to this information–everyone on the project team can refer to project plans without resorting to printing. So you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that no team member is working from old data.
For the rest of the 7 ways Civil Engineers can use cloud collaboration to boost productivity, download the eBook below: