Digital dashboards are PDF-based document management tools that can be used across the entire construction project – from client presentations to closeout. As described in the Bluebeam StrXur article “A Digital Dashboard for All Phases,” project dashboards can be created that enable anyone on the job to find anything they need and track key performance indicators surrounding the project.
Part of the appeal of dashboards is how simply they can be created using Excel, Powerpoint and Bluebeam Revu. The process starts with icons, pictures or representations of what the user wants to show. Then a PDF is created. Hyperlinks are inserted on top of the PDF using Revu. The industry-specific markup tools and text tools in Revu make the creation of the logistical elements of the dashboard a straightforward process.
Following are four instances for using dashboards on a construction project:
Client presentations: A dashboard can demonstrate to a customer/owner how the project will proceed, what the schedules will look like and the overall logistics.
Construction documents: Some of the documents and real-time information that might be hyperlinked to a dashboard include spending, contractors, weather, schedules, and safety statistics. Construction documents can be stored in a cloud-based application or enterprise management platform, such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or Amazon Drive, then downloaded through the hyperlinks by any interested team member.
Reports: If the dashboard contains links to periodic reports – like schedule delays, coordination, updates – a variety of project stakeholders always have access to the reports that are important to their part of the project. The ideal dashboard will keep the same format, and only the linked reports will update. In this way the dashboard itself would not require much maintenance.
Closeout process: Rather than hastening to assemble a handover manual – or a wagon load of manuals, spec sheets and drawings – at the end of the project, a digital dashboard for project handover can be built as the project progresses.
The handover dashboard can then be customized over time as relevant information accumulates. Instruction manuals, pictures, a 3D model, warranties, inspection certificates, and product specifications can be added to the dashboard as they become applicable, and the completeness of the handover package can be determined using a checklist. Not only are important pieces captured using this method, but employee turnover or human error don’t result in lost pieces. The dashboard can even be shared as a Bluebeam Studio project.
Because PDF is such a pervasive file format, developing digital dashboards using PDFs promises to be germane for some time to come. With dashboards, project teams can positively affect client presentations, document sharing, easy reporting and clean handoffs. With a little upfront effort in setting up dashboard templates, everyone involved in the job can benefit.
If you’re interested in exploring how your firm can use Bluebeam Revu to develop your own digital dashboards, contact Applied Software for a quick discovery call. The Bluebeam experts of Applied will help you choose the solution that best fits your firm’s needs.