Amy Lockyer, Senior Project Support Officer for the Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, began working with PlanGrid over two years ago when the organisation made the decision to move towards a paperless way of working for the capital development projects team.
“There was a real drive to go paperless with many of our processes,” says Amy. “We previously relied heavily on manual approaches that were lengthy, time consuming and open to human error.
“The team was already using an app for our fire safety management processes and saw the benefits of having one central resource for all project-related information. Being able to capture and store data on site was a real bonus for us as, traditionally, our project managers would fill in paper-based forms on site that they then would input into our document management and records system when they returned to the office,” recalls Amy. Once the team started working more digitally with their fire safety management processes, there was an appetite to work paper-free in all aspects of their project operations.
Amy supports a team of eight project managers who work across a variety of projects from major capital developments such as building a new ward for one of the hospitals in the trust, to smaller upgrade projects like refurbishments to existing patient rooms.
The team also work in collaboration with external contractors on their projects – their supplier partners can change from project to project. They were introduced to PlanGrid, an Autodesk Construction CloudTM solution which would allow them to access all project information from wherever they needed it. PlanGrid is now the team’s on site source of truth where they store active site drawings, snagging lists and photos related to projects. They can also mark-up drawings within the tool so all activities are effectively tracked.
“PlanGrid has helped us as a team move to a more digital way of working and if we could get more of our contractors using the software, we’d all see benefits on our projects. Nonetheless, for storing our overall project documentation, it has transformed the way we work on site in that we’ve got active site details to hand on our projects,” says Amy.
Amy continues, “Our project managers also complete the entire snagging process digitally now using PlanGrid. They use it to track and create tasks on site which replaces the paper forms the team previously used. They can now complete snagging checks in the software when they’re out on site which is captured instantly avoiding the need to manually input into another system when they return to the office. They can log things that vary in scale – from needing to replace a lightbulb to missing panels.”
“There’s still more to go in terms of embedding using PlanGrid fully,” says Amy. “Our contractors don’t use PlanGrid yet so we still find ourselves having to complete some manual processes in the design and build of our projects - especially for the tasks that our contractors have led on. Overall, though, there was a hesitancy to embrace more digital ways of working prior to using PlanGrid with some of our team but they can really see the benefits now.”
Amy believes that moving to this way of working has enabled the team to look at their current ways of working to see what else can be improved by introducing digital technologies to their processes.
Amy says: “The knock-on effect of introducing PlanGrid two years ago is that we now look at our processes and ways of working differently. We step back and see whether we can do things more efficiently in a smarter way using digital ways of working. An example of this is the way we assign keys and log activity related to this – we now have an entire digital process that manages this.” The trust’s ambition is to help their contractors to see the benefit of using PlanGrid so the teams can work more collaboratively and in the same platform on the end-to-end project lifecycle.