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Case Histories

ProjNet clients—senior decision makers and front line users alike—find that the system delivers clear benefits to their organizations. The following case histories illustrate important ProjNet features and benefits:

U.S. Federal Agency - Scientific Research Section

Senior Construction and Engineering Manager

The agency's committee for construction technology advancements is responsible for identifying, assessing and advancing new practices, processes and technologies to improve the Agency's efficiencies. In 2000, the committee identified–and continues to recommend–ProjNet as a potential source of best practices for the construction design review and approval process.

This section became the agency's first ProjNet client in 2002. The platform's DrChecks application particularly appealed to the construction and engineering managers because it responded to design review, approval and document storage flaws inherent in the section's methods. The process then used by the section, although systematic, was plagued with many inefficiencies that result from manual, paper-based procedures:

  • Lack of secure, central and complete document repository
  • Lost paper documents
  • Excessive meeting time
  • Exclusion of key stakeholders

Today, the section's construction and engineering manager identifies a number of important improvements that ProjNet DrChecks has brought to the group's process of design review and approval:

  • Improved security with clear accountability and limited access
  • Faster review and approval times
  • Meeting, follow up and communications time saved
  • Central archive containing all relevant documents
  • No lost paper documents
  • Important constituencies no longer excluded
  • Reduced travel, printing and mail expenses
  • Internet- based system requires no IT time or software maintenance
  • Ease of use with little training needed
  • Personal and responsive customer service

State Water Management District

Principal Engineer

A ProjNet DrChecks client since early 2005, the water management district learned of the platform while collaborating on a project with a U.S. Military Agency. Until that time, the group's design review and approval process utilized disparate and unconnected communications tools. Tracking and recording each step depended on dedicated maintenance of a spreadsheet. Trial exposure to ProjNet gave way to reliance on the system soon thereafter. The district's design process managers readily made the switch in order to:

  • Engage in faster, real time review and approval
  • Build a centralized complete design project database available to each designated member to the review team.
  • Eliminate manual comment collation and consolidation

Major U.S. University

Engineering Information Director

This major university's building and construction program is sizable, typically comprising more than 50 projects per year with an estimated combined annual budget as great as $150,000,000. The pressure to execute design reviews and approvals in a timely and efficient way persuaded the university to improve its inefficient design review and approval steps by creating proprietary process management software. Among the major systemic flaws that the University sought to overcome were:

  • Slow review and approval times
  • Lack of single and complete design document repository
  • Incomplete and lost records (paper and email)
  • Incomplete participation by key personnel and groups
  • Lack of transparency

Growing internal user demand upon the University's own software for more features, greater functionality and improved ease of use prompted engineering information director to seek an outside solution that would eliminate the frequent need to update and improve the institution's dedicated review and approval programming software.

After examining the ProjNet platform, the director believed that ProjNet DrChecks application would meet the university's considerable design review, approval and document storage needs. However, ProjNet's acceptance was contingent on examination and a collegial endorsement by many affected university groups and individuals. These decision-makers responded positively to the in-depth explanations and demonstrations given by ProjNet staff, and DrChecks went live at the university. Today, the director cites numerous important benefits that his institution continues to derive from ProjNet:

  • Real time design review and approval helps meet deadlines
  • Central archive containing all documents
  • Paperless system prevents document loss
  • All key disciplines and personnel included
  • No software update or maintenance work required of university personnel
  • All system improvements and updates installed seamlessly online by ProjNet
  • Ease of use
  • Very economical pricing

U.S. Military Agency - Construction Branch

Senior Design Program Official

Prior to our adoption of ProjNet DrChecks, our design reviews were paper-based, usually conducted through email. That process was difficult to manage, labor intensive, and documentation was sometimes lacking. ProjNet DrChecks brought discipline and efficiency to our review process, and greatly improved our documentation of issue identification and resolution. Manual review work that may have taken weeks – with no assurance of completeness or accuracy – has been replaced by an Internet-based system that is fast, flexible and accurate. Today, review team members can easily view and resolve design review issues and management can quickly view the status on ongoing reviews.

Our agency and its contractors operate world wide. Being Internet-based, ProjNet DrChecks allows our thousands of users to keep design reviews moving regardless of location. After initial testing, our agency adopted the system and mandated its use in policy. Originally used only for design reviews, we have now extended the system's use for conducting formal review of planning studies and other documents.

U.S. Department of State Logo

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Overseas, Building Operations

Washington, DC
Robert E. Clarke, RA, Director OBO/RM/EX/IRM

ProjNet was developed by the Army Corps of Engineers at the request of the Department of State in 2000. Until the platform's deployment the following year, State's construction review work had been hobbled by reliance on word-processed documents. Paper-based review communication was slow, incomplete and often did not resolve important design issues. Now mandated for all Department of State construction design review and approval, ProjNet enables the prompt identification and resolution of nearly all such issues.

As the backbone of the Department's engineering and design process, ProjNet use is also required of all private A&E firms and contractors who work on State projects. The agency has found wide acceptance of the platform among these private sector partners. They view it as a real asset in performing their Department of State work.

At any given time, the Department of State has roughly $2 billion worth of construction projects in process. Much of that work falls in the information category, "Sensitive but Unclassified". As such, all embassy and other similar projects must receive heightened security treatment. ProjNet, unlike any commercially available construction project management system, satisfies "Sensitive but Unclassified" requirements...

U.S. Federal Agency - Construction and Property Management

Senior Architect

This agency's design review and approval process, before it adopted ProjNet DrChecks, relied heavily on spreadsheets and word-processed documents. The likelihood of incomplete information or participation in the process produced reviews of questionable quality. The use of ProjNet, says a senior agency architect "Produces a higher quality product." He adds that it also saves the agency and its construction partners time by reducing the need for face-to-face meetings. Also of value to are ProjNet's contributions to:

  • Making the review and approval process easier
  • Keeping accurate, complete and timely records
  • Securely keeping important Federal government documents free from any extra-government influences or disruption.

U.S. Military Agency - Engineering Branch

Senior Architect

This military engineering department chose ProjNet to replace its manual design review system. Although the department had expended considerable effort to document it's own design review process, it remained cumbersome and time-consuming because it relied on letter and physical transmission of drawings and documents. Although review participants were ensured the opportunity to comment, there was no assurance of comment receipt and retention and accountability throughout the process were questionable. ProjNet now enables the engineering department to conduct its reviews quickly, with assurance that all commentary and documents are recorded and securely archived and that the accountability is present throughout the entire process.