How visual collaboration tools can reduce error

13 Jun 23

Visual collaboration using Mural helped Infraco Consulting identify a £1 million cost saving on a recent project, assistant project manager Dumitru Borcan told delegates at GIRI’s summer members’ meeting.

Dumitru shared insights from use of Mural on the A12 road-widening project, for which Infraco handled the utility infrastructure. “We had a lot of information to deal with and we needed a better way to visualise pdfs, so we found Mural.”

Mural is a cloud-based digital workspace that enables teams to work together visually in real time by providing a shared canvas for collaboration. “It offers four main benefits: visual collaboration through a range of features that enable teams to visualise and organise ideas in a more collaborative way. It improves productivity by streamlining workflows and providing a central platform for collaboration. It facilitates real-time communication and feedback to keep teams in sync, and enables remote collaboration.”

Dumitru shared an image of his screen prior to using Mural, cluttered with various pdfs showing everything from utilities proposals and construction drawings to topographical information. Then he showed an example of a Mural board that stitched all these pdfs together in a more structured, single view that made it possible to focus in on a particular segment or issue. “This visualisation of the project led to the unexpected benefit of saving £1 million by eliminating a proposed diversion that was only identified once the project was visualised using Mural,” he reported.

Mural can be used in various ways, and is particularly useful for linear civil engineering projects such as this. Using examples, he demonstrated how sets of drawings such as topography, landscaping, and utilities can be brought together on a single whiteboard and laid side by side. “We produced an annotated mural to finalise the route for the comms corridor, eliminating all the back and forth which costs time and money and leads to design and programming delays.”

“You can also extract and stitch together satellite images of the proposed route to identify vegetation or other obstacles that require clearing. We found that the contractor loved it, because it is visual and we are visual creatures.”

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