This may seem obvious, but since we're building a great task management application that is flexible enough to work for any team but has enough structure to work on a construction site, we can easily run Fieldwire on Fieldwire. As such, I thought I'd share my personal journey in adapting, and then describe how the team uses it.
Joining Fieldwire: a new kind of work
So, by way of introduction. I'm the new kid on the block, Dania. After spending 5 years with Turner Construction in Boston, I decided to put aside my vest and tool belt and learn how to make a tool that I didn't want to use to poke my own eyes out. I added a few letters onto my title and flew to San Francisco to join a killer tech team that shares my passion and vision for construction technology.
When I first got to Fieldwire, I vowed to use the clean slate as an opportunity to reach zero inbox status. (A lofty goal, I know.) The first few days were easy obviously: one contract here, a software download there. But then to my surprise, it got easier. Once I got all set up, I perked up in my seat, ready to tackle the sure stream of emails to follow, and then, there was radio silence…
Honestly, I thought the team was leaving me out of things or I just hadn't gotten onto the secret stealth listserv that they were all using. At first, it was pretty unnerving. I soon realized that there was extreme elegance in our clutter free work environment and I was much much happier when I didn't have to focus my energy putting my emails in folders and archiving them. Since we use Fieldwire so heavily, we generate almost no internal mail.
For us, we use categories to represent different work streams, like iOS, Android, or Web App, much like you might use these for different trades. We also have categories for business development, recruiting, and operations that help keep our business running. Keeping all of our company activities on one project helps us get organized about each teammate's tasks while still giving us a great big picture view on what is happening in the company on the whole.
We are an agile team which means we often have quick standups (much like your foreman's meetings) to work together on tasks. Instead of shooting emails back and forth that get lost in the sauce, we just communicate directly around the task at hand. When trying to explain the UI for the new feature, we attach screenshots and comment on what needs to be done. We often change responsibility or priority on the task and pass the it around until it's complete.
Of course, since we're super users, we know all the secret shortcuts like typing @Person or @Category or into a comment will give the task a proper title, category, person, and priority. We also have some secret #Action that we use to identify larger goals and milestones or cross reference other tags. Yves claims he can make tasks with photos in 4 seconds flat. Try to beat him, if you dare!
On top of communications, we use Fieldwire to track who is racing ahead and who could use a bit of help completing their tasks. By breaking up our goals in to daily tasks and prioritizing them for ourselves and teammates, we can help each other tackle what's important and keep our workload balanced from day to day and week to week. The best part is the satisfaction of completing a task and marking it fixed. Call us old fashioned, but it sure feels good to cross items off the list!
I've personally fallen in love with our construction app because my email inbox is no longer a problem. Too often on the jobsite people hide behind their email and simple tasks devolve into cumbersome, frustrating processes. Instead, we have quick chats and in 10 seconds (4 if you're Yves) we've kept track of everything discussed.
A lot of you commented that the platform is moving very fast, and the reason is simple: we use it every day. Fieldwire is my homepage at work: it's my to-do list and my inbox; it's the first thing I open in the morning and the last thing I close at night. Just like my move out west, using Fieldwire represents a new way of working. It gets technology and stodgy processes out of the way so we can at last achieve zero inbox and go home knowing that we crossed off a few things off our lists.
If you're interested in using Fieldwire with your team, sign up for Fieldwire here — it's free to try! If you're already using Fieldwire with your team, we'd love to hear from you— How do you and your team use Fieldwire? What do you love? What do you want us to add? If you hate it, let us know that too. We certainly don't want anyone gouging out their eyes with Fieldwire tools.
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