Bluebeam User Groups (BUGs) across the globe continued to thrive in the latest quarter of 2020, even as meetings remained virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
BUG meeting topics included workflows involving Studio Projects, which was bolstered by the August release of Revu 20. The latest release includes new tools designed to make both Studio Projects, the document management portal in Revu, and Studio Sessions, its real-time digital collaboration portal, more streamlined for users, especially when it comes to inviting collaborators to Studio.
Recent BUG meetings were also highlighted by the latest joint GOVBUG and COBUG meeting, which featured the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Matt Gibbs as he provided an overview on the transportation agency’s approach to implementing the use of CAD Plotting Standards to create more consistent PDFs.
Finally, the latest quarter welcomed a few new BUG Champions. These leaders are committed to driving the industry forward by cultivating a knowledge-sharing platform for their local industry peers in the community.
Among the new BUG Champs is Carolyn Stegon, who we profile in this BUG Buzz Wrap-Up.
Carolyn Stegon, senior program & design manager, AECOM
Built Blog: When and how did you first start to use Bluebeam?
Stegon: I started using Bluebeam Studio Sessions in 2010 when I had the role as design manager for the $2 billion California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Program. There were healthcare renovations at all 32 prisons in California and two new prisons were under construction. There was also a host of MEP rehab projects. With more than 30 technical reviews, client stakeholders commenting and thousands from the AE community participating, using Studio Sessions was an easy choice.
Every 3-6 months over eight years, I tweaked and improved the digital processes to include document PDF preparation standards, custom profiles, markup tools and back check menus. I also made manuals and training videos based on role and responsibility and trained consistently to them. I focused on the quality of the comments and provided writing style guidelines and set expectations of the reviewers. We conducted 4-5 reviews per week and hundreds of Studio Sessions over the years.
Built Blog: When did you first get involved with a BUG and why?
Stegon: I have presented at the Los Angeles and Orange County BUG meetings over the years as a keynote speaker. I enjoy attending the meetings and seeing the pulse of the industry.
Built Blog: What is the Bluebeam tool you get the most value out of and why?
Stegon: I love customizing back check menus in the status column of the Markups List. Comments are very easy to make but the schedule can slip quickly if there is not a process for reconciliation and close out of comments. Exporting comments from Bluebeam to Microsoft Excel has always been one of the biggest lessons learned if it is done during the review cycle as I have seen comments “lost” in tracking and close out. Teams are encouraged to stay in the Studio Session through comment closeout using all of the date stamp and tracking features the software offers. Keeping all phases of the review of Sessions also allows you to track the process or any issues that occur years later if ever needed.
Built Blog: Do you have a most memorable BUG meeting you’ve attended?
Stegon: I loved presenting as the new OCBUG Champion for this year. It is such an honor to connect with the community and share how Bluebeam Revu has helped the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel we are all very connected now after experiencing this challenging year. The community connection and networking has been rewarding.
Built Blog: What advice would you give to Bluebeam users who haven’t yet attended a BUG meeting?
Stegon: I would encourage everyone to share their experience using Bluebeam Revu and continue to challenge and evolve the way we do business. Share how Revu has helped your work and enhanced your business. Think about what else you want the product or the BUG network to help you solve. Change is hard but as a perpetual optimist I lead through lessons I learned in the trenches. There is the personal aspect and the technical aspect of change. What do you need to do in your organization to drive the benefits of Bluebeam? I think the sense of community and an interest in making the industry better is the heart of the BUG meetings.
Revu 20 bolsters user experience
In August, Bluebeam released Revu 20, which brought a number of valuable updates, particularly for Studio Projects and Sessions.
Users during an exclusive BUG member webinar designed to showcase Revu 20 boasted of some of their favorite new tools and features to come from the release.
“I love these two new tools for invites,” Grace Faoro, architectural project administrator with Goettsch Partners in Chicago, wrote in the webinar chat. “Having all the invites in one place with Studio Sessions and the ease of adding multiple email addresses to the invites is great.”
“LOVE the Joined/Not Joined feature,” Carina Clark, an interior designer with Corgan in Phoenix, wrote in the webinar chat. “Now, I no longer need to manually track who has/hasn’t been invited and who hasn’t attempted to join the Studio Session.”
“Multi-control points for leader lines?! Do you know how long I have wanted this feature?” Clark added in the chat. “Markups will go so much faster now!”
Share Your Remote Work Set-Up!
For the next BUG Buzz, we’d love to feature some of users’ best remote work set-ups. Send us your pictures to email@example.com.
Notable & Quotable
“As a new Revu user, you are in the right place, plenty of folks who can help, we have all been in your shoes! – Michael Niemer, senior plans examiner for Snohomish County, offering encouragement to another GOVBUG member that joining the BUG was the right choice for alleviating their challenges converting to electronic-based permitting processes.
“This is a great session! For us it’s all about developing a ‘minimum’ standard for our customers … minimum meaning least burdensome while ensuring that we are maximizing our downstream workflow flexibility in Bluebeam.” – Joshua Damron, quality control associate, City of Santa Rosa.