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Bridging the Generational Divide in Citizen Experience

By Avolve Software | November 16, 2023

Time and time again we are told that the underlining reason for investing in ePlan software technology is improving the citizen experience. The public sector is invested in making the lives of their communities more convenient, with plan review services easier to navigate, but how can they ensure adoption of these digital services to all citizens? 

We live in a society where our experience of technology, to a degree, is generation specific. So how can we bridge electronic plan review adoption when the community we serve is so diverse in age, technological savviness, and their ability to access computers? 

Building Simplicity at Every Step 

Critical to any technology-led service is simplicity, or ease of use. Let’s face it, even the submission of an application on paper is not always straightforward or easy to understand. This is where technology actually offers an advantage to the citizen. 

The great thing about electronic plan review is it can guide users. Not sure what to enter in a section, or what kind of information to include – technology often makes this easier by providing handy hints, or links to knowledge articles to help explain the required information specific to that request. 

Technology also enables applicants to catch submission errors in their ePlan as they are submitting. This might be a password protected page, an incorrectly rotated plan, or lacks the necessary professional stamps – all pre-set to your standards. 

The ePlan software can highlight the errors, removing the complexity of submission and any potential unnecessary delays in the eplan review process, ensuring a better citizen experience right from the start. 

Choice of ePlan Submission Method 

It may be clear to us that the benefits of plan review software are faster turnaround, more collaborative, version control, etc, etc. Yet to a generation where they have not grown up with technology or citizens who do not have regular access to computers, it can seem incredibly daunting. 

Getting those to adopt the new processes is the biggest hurdle, but one that is not insurmountable. It is all about ensuring choice and providing the means to support and guide as they submit their applications. 

We are finding that many of our customers provide the ability to do an online submittal, alongside a counter submission, where a citizen can bring a digital file, on a flash drive for example, and staff are ready to help create the digital submission. This way the citizen still gets that human contact, while ensuring all submissions are digitalized. 

Creating this choice is critical for cities and counties to succeed in moving to electronic plan review and realizing the efficiency benefits so they can maximize their resources. However, understanding and addressing the digital generational divide is fundamental to adoption success. Keep it simple and utilize the tools to provide clear guidance at every step. 

Interested in creating efficiency for your plan review processes?

Avolve Software's suite of plan review and management solutions enable your jurisdiction to reduce time to permit.

Avolve Software

Avolve Software is the global leader in ePlan Review and Management for Government towns, cities, counties, municipalities, and states.

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