Rawn Shah in his recent Forbes blog article entitled “A Road Trip Through Different Views on Collaborative Work” explored the idea of collaboration personae as a vehicle for understanding how a category of users behave when they need to collaborate. The use of personae to humanize the effort of understanding how users behave is not a new one but it is valuable. Rather than thinking about how a generic user might behave it’s helpful to give the user a name and title.
Which leads us to Larry. “Larry is the on-site project manager who works with the various construction crews, building engineers and architects.” So what would Larry do if he needed to share construction documents with his project team?
Earlier in his career Larry would typically have sent, via mail, photocopies of the original hand drawn construction drawings. Imagine a long tube with a mailing label – too awkward a shape to fit in a mail box, so mailing required a trip to the post office. So what did Larry do when there were changes to the drawings? How did Larry keep all the team members aware of all adjustments to the original design? The answer is he didn’t and he couldn’t. Out on the construction site, Larry’s team members would unfurl their copy of the construction drawings and mark with a stubby pencil any changes directly on the drawings. Using the mail and hard copy drawings added a tremendous overhead and risk to any construction project.
Fast forward to 2010 and what would Larry do? Today with accessibility to the Internet Larry is now able to share digital drawings with his team members in minutes not days. Using secure file transfer he can now send digital files up to 50GB in size, and receive a return receipt when they have been received and downloaded. At the launch of a project, all team members can receive the initial drawings, as updates are made they can be easily shared with team members. Team members can even view digital drawings in the field, in real-time on hand-held devices. Not only are there significant time and cost savings in how Larry shares information today, but also there is greatly reduced risk that any team member is using out of date documents.
Today many Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) companies use Accellion secure file transfer to streamline their work, including Carollo Engineers, EMCOR, Foster Wheeler, Golder, Kleinfelder, TMAD Taylor & Gaines, and Perini. We are happy to be helping the Larry’s of the world.
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