10 Tips for Managing the RFI Process in the Field
Writing efficient and informative RFIs is essential in ensuring a successful construction project. When you are working on projects with various different professionals, it is important that managers and contractors work together in order to mitigate negative impacts and risks.
Below we will look at 10 helpful tips for managing and handling RFIs within the field of construction.
Encourage discussions during regularly scheduled site meetings
When you have meetings with architects and other contractors and subcontractors, encourage discussion. Ask questions upfront, so that you can avoid some RFIs altogether. This saves everyone time and money!
Ask one specific question
When you are requesting information from someone, it is key that you ask one very specific question. If you send an RFI with 20 different questions, it will likely cause disorganization and confusion. Combining several questions and issues will only complicate the RFI process and lead to a lack of clarity for everyone involved.
Provide drawings and pictures when possible
Including photos and drawings with RFIs can be extremely helpful for the person receiving the RFI. Graphics help to give context to whatever question or issue has arisen. Photos and drawings also help the individual receiving the RFI to better understand the question and come to the best solution. So take the time to add media! It will speed up the overall RFI process and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Use a cloud-based construction software
Using a construction software can help you to streamline your RFI process. This enables managers, workers, and subcontractors to virtually interact and work together to discuss issues, ask questions, and find solutions. Paper RFIs can be lost and are very time-consuming, whereas software allows you to instantly connect with everyone involved in the project. This ultimately means faster and more organized RFIs which leads to better efficiency.
When you receive a response, review it for completeness and clarity
When an RFI is returned back to you, look over it to ensure that it is complete and clear. There should not be any questions in the response that you receive back. The question or issue should be answered fully and a concise solution or recommendation should be delivered. If you don’t receive a complete response, send the RFI back and request a fully answered response.
Once your RFI is answered be sure to record the response and store is securely somewhere. If you are using a construction software, this will automatically save and store the RFI, but if you are using paper, be sure store the document in a safe place. It can be very easy for paper RFIs to be misplaced or lost, so stay organized!
Name all RFIs the same way
If you name all of your RFI files the same way, it will make them much easier to find when you need to search for them. This keeps your RFIs better organized!
Set specific due dates
When you send out RFIs, make sure that individuals know when you need a response by. Ensuring that due dates are known keeps people accountable. If you send out an RFI, but don’t specify a due date, it is likely that they will put it off until later and forget to respond.
Keep everyone involved
Communication is essential when it comes to RFIs. If you are using a construction software, add everyone involved so that they can view the RFI process. If you aren’t using a software, create a group email to keep everyone in constant communication. This ensures that everyone stays on the same page.
Continually update the RFIs status
Make sure to update the RFIs status as it is being resolved. You want to make sure that all the appropriate team members are aware of any progress that is being made. Once the RFIs response is complete, mark it as closed out so that everyone is aware!