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Modernising technology to improve efficiency and collaboration

FCDO Services’ Architecture and Interior Design team is involved in a range of construction projects globally, from existing building refurbishments and whole compound masterplans to designing new buildings across the estate. The process for creating, sharing and editing drawings was inefficient and the team needed a solution to modernise processes and improve collaboration.

As part of their day to day work, architects and designers share drawings with their team, key stakeholders and customers.

For meetings they were printing the designs, manually adding changes and notes, scanning them back into the system and then creating the next version.

In addition, due to technology limitations, travelling staff were taking two laptops on trips to access different platforms required to do their jobs.      

Understanding service improvement requirements

In 2022, experts from Technology and Operations spent time with the architecture and interior design team to understand the problems they were facing with their existing technology and gather requirements to improve the service.

The team needed to work from a single platform, share designs and edit them in real time, travel with just one device and have newer hardware and software. Easier collaboration was a key requirement. 

Through building a good relationship with the team and listening to their challenges, our specialists designed a solution. 

The solution

The solution was delivered in three parts. Firstly, the team received new high specification touch screen laptops and digital pens, the pens made designing and editing on screen easier.

With these new devices, the teams were moved onto one single platform, particularly impactful for travelling officers who now take just one laptop on trips.  

Next they provided a large touch screen device on wheels. This is a shared resource that sits in the London office and can be wheeled into meetings.

The screen allows real time edits on documents, removing the need for printing and scanning. It also acts as a digital display for visitors, and generates great interest from FCDO customers and stakeholders as they walk through the office. 

The final part of the solution was the introduction of modern desktop hardware. The new hardware has screens that rotate 180 degrees and fully functional digital pens that enable the engineers to draw and scribe.  

The result

The team is now able to access most functions on a single Remote Access System. As a result, file transfer time is significantly reduced and travelling officers commute with just one laptop rather than two, accessing everything they need from a single device.

The new technology supports ‘team huddles’ in the office and meetings when the team need to look at work together and changes can be made in real time. 

The team are now able to work more efficiently and collaboratively. 

The Technology and Operations team really understand our needs and work hard to improve our IT platform, enabling us to deliver output more efficiently. They are collaborative, working closely with us, not just when we have an emergency or problem, but listening to our needs and coming up with innovative solutions. This service improvement has really boosted morale in the team.”
Head of Design, FCDO Services