Over the course of Fieldwire's operational history, we've logged millions of tasks for our customers, ever refining the most efficient way to record and share information on construction projects. We have seen that smartphones and tablets are now well established field tools that can help crews put large quantities of multi-media content (360 photos, files and forms, annotations, specs…) at every project member's fingertips, whether in the field or back in the office. We've learned a lot about how to best organize and track information in a way that makes it useful to collaborators.
In a fast-paced project environment, dealing with constant time and budget pressures, it is paramount to ensure a steady flow of information, to the people who need it and from the people who have it. On large projects with teams of a hundred or more, with schedules in months, if not years, information systems need to be thought through carefully. This is our recommended checklist to evaluate your solution to field management:
- Technology adoption and ease of use
- Accessibility, online and off-line
- Organization and classification (task status, assignment, etc)
- Prioritization of work tasks
- Progress tracking and project visibility
- Reporting and learning
Adoption is a critical challenge for any technology seeking to disrupt. It needs to meet the requirements of the job while remaining easy to learn and logical enough that users can get going quickly. Legacy platforms can present particular challenges with their bloated platforms that require months of implementation.
With people in multiple locations in and around construction sites, connectivity is often an issue and information system need to be robust enough to support difficult situations with the right technology to synchronize in real-time as well as whenever connectivity is restored.
Tasks on a project are best defined as the conjunction of a location, on your drawing set, a person or team, a timeline, and potentially costs, categorizations and various additional data like photos, files, and tags. Dealing with all this different types of data that need to be joined together can be tough: think site photos on a paper binder, or a sub's name and phone number when they're not in your corporate directory.
As tasks accumulate on everybody's work plan, it can become daunting to figure out where to start, and job sites are well served by systems that enables supervisory staff to get a good overview of a project and prioritize tasks for people who lack the necessary visibility.
Progress tracking, reporting, and learning from experience all require advanced reporting tools, and those often lie in different software packages that rely on your primary system. This can make the information difficult to retrieve and disseminate and rarely is true up-to-date reporting accessible to all actors of a project.
Fieldwire is the construction platform we created to solve these problems. The key was to structure the platform in such a way that it is simple to use in the field but also organizes successfully the information of a large project (see our Loma Linda case study). The result is a tool that allows you to:
- Record structured information at the source, in the office or in the field
- Share it to a centralized location accessible to everyone, everywhere, at all times
- Track information and notify users automatically of progress
Using Fieldwire, you can keep your head free to focus on your craft and on completing the task at hand, because that is often the difference between a good and a great construction crew.
You can read more on the benefits of using Fieldwire here