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September 21 and 22
2 days, 2 disciplines, 2 ways to participate – defining our professional roles and uniting to build more equitable, accessible and inspired communities.
In the City of Kitchener, digital transformation was one of the past year's successful projects. The process started before the pandemic, but the review process needed improved coordination, while scanning documents, communication with speakers, and record-keeping were inefficient, time-consuming, and expensive. When the pandemic happened and working from home was mandated, we were forced to accelerate the digital transformation.
The first step was finding suitable cloud-based collaboration software, and we chose Bluebeam Revu for site plan application review. Application files were uploaded and shared to the cloud, which enabled us to view other reviewers' comments in real-time and provided live collaboration and communication between reviewers. We developed standard operating procedures for digital site plans and application reviews. Tutorials and standard protocols were created. File and folder structure for consistent file management was established. An in-house training program was developed, and staff training was extended to other divisions.
This project was successful and feedback from our staff is positive. We achieve more coordinated comments because we are collaborating live through Bluebeam cloud. Review process time has been significantly reduced as we do not need to wait to deliver hard copies. The quality of reviews has improved, and with the click of a button, we can see all changes that have been made between drawing submissions. There are time and cost savings for administrative staff and circulations as well as other savings, including printing, scanning, and courier costs by both the city and speakers.
We plan to become completely paperless. We are studying the possible use of different mobile devices for site inspection to synchronize with our cloud-based Bluebeam software. We are also exploring different portals to be integrated with our cloud-based software. This will improve our communication with speakers and give them the ability to check their application status.