Plan review No. 3: What does end-to-end mean for plan review?

In our previous post, we talked about one of the key themes of digital transformation: Customer experience. We connected this theme to the support we can provide to our review staff and the convenience our submitters see by moving to electronic plan review.

Customer experience is important, but you can’t deliver it without another feature of digital transformation: End-to-end solutions. It isn’t just having a web-based portal for submission or even leaving behind the paper. Customer experience goes to the core of the quality of tools you provide during the process.

There are several indicators of quality, including the ability to integrate with other solutions that staff or submitters use as well as the ability to simplify and preserve access to information required during and after reviews. The customers for your plan review solution include the people in your organization that need access to review information and final plans after the review.

The benefits of end-to-end

Consider some of the benefits of “end-to-end” and ask yourself if this would help drive efficiency for your organization:

  • The ability to leverage data from previous steps in a project’s life

Plan review is more of a middle step in the life of a project. Developers, builders and residents need permits before they can move forward. That process involves entering data, possibly working with project teams and consulting geographical information solutions (GIS) to place the project on a map and in context.

At every stage, data is entered in one of your solutions. That data should be leveraged to avoid duplicative data entry, multiple paper forms and wasted time.

  • Removing the need to bounce between applications

Your solution set should work together seamlessly, especially the solutions used in a single process. From an investment standpoint, selecting solutions proven to work together can help you create a seamless end-to-end experience that creates a good customer experience.

  • Making information available anywhere, anytime on any device

Your plan review investment should consider how a solution can preserve critical documents and connect them to other important documents like permits, licenses and photos so that field staff and first responders can access them when needed.

Going paperless makes this possible, but it needs to be supported by a secure repository, mobile access and a connection to GIS solutions. With those pieces in place, field staff can access information without carrying paper files and first responders can access plans, permits and other information that make a difference when they respond to an emergency event.

The end-to-end mindset

Considering an end-to-end solution will make your staff more efficient in some obvious ways. Solutions that talk to each other and pass data from one to the next save your staff time by eliminating data entry. They also save submitters time when data they have entered for permits and licenses can be pre-populated when they submit the actual plans for review.

End-to-end also means that solutions are connected so review staff can access all documents and permits they need easily in one place. Less toggling between solutions saves time for staff and integration can also mean less staff training.

Finally, end-to-end means thinking beyond the work of our department and remembering that plan review is unique in that it is intimately involved in creating our community. The projects and buildings we review will likely remain long after our review. It is essential to preserve the project documents in a way that others in your community can access them. Digital is one part of that answer, but the ability to store them in a repository that is accessible today and tomorrow, in a universal format and in the field is true end-to end thinking.

Terri Jones

Terri Jones

Wondering what goes into a document management or ECM software deployment in government? Terri Jones, Hyland's government marketing portfolio manager, has your answer. In her 10 plus years in both state and local government, she's managed IT departments, implemented ECM strategies and written legislation and program policies. If that isn't enough to prove her IT expertise in government, she has also designed and implemented data systems and websites to manage compliance and funding in excess of $90 million annually. Have a question for her? Contact her at terri.jones@onbase.com.

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