Workflow Management – the 4 phases of CDE
A Common Data Environment (CDE) is essential to the smooth running of any construction project. In this article, we explain the functions of the 4 distinct phases of the CDE workflow.Read more
As any complex construction project develops, the detail of its plans will be evolving all the time.
As work is done, documentation and drawings will be updated. As the team moves through the workflow to deliver the project, updates will be made, decisions will be taken in the field, challenges will be dealt with and work-arounds utilised – all of these will have to recorded and documented and, if necessary, the master drawings tweaked accordingly.
Relevant stakeholders will be authorised to make changes to the drawings, and everyone will then be expected to work from the revised version.
This process will be ongoing through the duration of the build and the management of these documents will be key to the overall smooth progress of the job.
The drawings for a project will change and evolve as the job progresses. The job begins with the bid set, followed by the construction set, which is then revised repeatedly throughout construction.
Traditionally, paper drawings are marked up and revised by hand, and then disseminated to collaborators and contractors by either printing and handing out hard copies, or by scanning and emailing.
With paper-based drawings, a team member must physically receive new information back from the field, mark up the drawings, make duplicates, collate, annotate and disseminate all changes to all relevant stakeholders.
Marking up plans and drawings by hand is very time-consuming and a lot of effort will go into continually revising and make sure everything is up to date. Disseminating new information is similarly time-consuming, be it printing off and handing out numerous copies, or preparing emails for sharing scans. And with email, there’s no guarantee that the stakeholder will immediately open the email to get the new version.
The result is that you end up with the up-to-date drawings in the office, but with various stakeholders spread out across the site working from out-of-date versions, unaware that changes have been made. This can lead to mistakes, confusion, duplication of work and various inefficiencies.
It can also lead to delays as those in the field await the delivery of revised drawings. Similarly, there can be a delay between a decision-maker in the field noting down a revision that needs to be done, then going back to HQ to physically do the mark-up on the paper drawings, and kick off the whole process of duplicating, printing, etc, again.
Managing your drawings and documents using cloud-based software offers many efficiencies and solutions for your project.
A cloud-based drawing management solution streamlines the mark-up process by combining and synchronising mark-ups from various authorised sources across multiple devices.
Gone are the days of printing out endless revisions, and of stakeholders unwittingly working from out-of-date versions – now everyone is in the loop as revisions are made and shared in real time.
Not only that, but using apps such as Zutec’s Elevation, stakeholders can view drawings while out in the field, and its mark-up tools mean changes can be made by authorised persons, no matter where they are, on-site or off-site.
Cloud-based platforms also allow you to access revision history of a drawing – how it evolved every step of the way. Changes and revisions are date-stamped so it is easy to follow how, when, and by whom documents were revised.
Project teams can also access annotations or text comments, approve changes, and distribute updated plan sets out to the entire project team in a matter of minutes.
The greater workflow efficiency means time is saved, there is less chance of errors, delays and miscommunications.