Overview & background
Fieldwire for civil construction projects is distinct from "vertical" projects, since activities span across large physical distances and involve more stakeholders. Given the public health factors you need to control for in civil construction, there are additional levels of transparency you can leverage in Fieldwire that proactively ensure projects are completed correctly, safely, and within financial limits.
Fieldwire's documentation and reporting capabilities provide a simple solution to complex problems, especially when it comes to providing readily available information to protect your business throughout construction.
We'll lay out exactly how to leverage Fieldwire for streamlined Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and Inspections throughout the duration of your project to ensure it adheres to technical and regulatory requirements. From our work with customers in the field, we also know that the complexities of civil projects can often lead to litigious disputes between contracting parties - whenever someone claims there was a breach of contract, construction delay, defect, or various other disputes over significant costs, Construction teams need documentation and proof. So we'll also outline how particular Fieldwire tools allow you to leverage data collected during construction to easily produce reports that will have you well prepared and protected, should any legal disputes arise.
How does Fieldwire assist with Civil Construction?
Some of the most common Fieldwire use-cases for horizontal projects include:
- Field access to all pertinent construction documents, including drawings, specifications, submittals, and change orders.
- QA/QC for installation of equipment, piping, materials, etc.
- Planning and completing milestone activities.
- Tracking and resolving defects and punch list items.
- Managing and Tracking Inspections and Testing.
- Producing photo documentation progress reports.
- Job Site Safety Analysis.
Table of Contents
Configure Fieldwire for Civil Construction inspections and QA/QC
1a. Create Categories to organize Tasks based on inspection type and QA/QC discipline
1b. Define pre-made Checklists to ensure consistency and efficiency
1c. Preset Tags and Locations
1. Configure Fieldwire for Civil construction Inspections and QA/QC
Many activities on Civil Construction projects require carefully planned inspections and QA/QC to ensure the construction proceeds according to the most up-to-date plans, specifications, and guidelines. Given the complexity of the work, there are often conflicts which require evidence of decisions and progress to protect involved parties. Set up correctly, Fieldwire becomes a resource to not only manage inspections and QA/QC, but also to concurrently document all necessary information that will cover your teams in the event of a dispute or disagreement.
After you've uploaded your Plans to Fieldwire (or while you're doing so), follow these instructions to set up effective Fieldwire Tasks to track your inspection and QA/QC activities.
1a. Create categories to organize tasks based on Inspection Type and QA/QC discipline
Fieldwire Tasks serve as the conduit to manage inspections, QAQC and concurrently document all work that has been completed on-site. The first step to leverage “tasks” on Civil Construction projects is to determine how your team wants to group and organize your Tasks into Categories.
To determine the types of categories that will be most useful to your team on your project, ask yourself the following questions:
What information does your team want to track?
- Completion of Inspections for Concrete Slab Placement
- Quality Assurance / Quality Control of processes for installation and construction of Concrete Slab Placement
- Photo progress of critical concrete activities on my project.
What information does your team want to display in reports?
- Passed and Failed Status Concrete Pre-Pour Inspection Reports
- Concrete Installation Progress Reports
Which teams are going to collaborate?
- General Contractor
Examples of groups on a Civil Project, and the contingent categories they may want to create:
|Civil General Contractors categorize their tasks based on Subcontractor Discipline type:||Subcontractors or Engineers categorize their tasks based on activities specific to their work functions:||Special Inspectors categorize their tasks based on more granular specific types of inspections:|
To create your Categories on Fieldwire Web (our Mobile Apps leverage categories but don't have the option to create them), simply select the "+New Category" option at the bottom of the left sidebar:
More information on creating categories:
1b. Define pre-made Checklists to ensure consistency and efficiency
Now that you have categories, create some Checklist Templates to predefine the work items needed to complete your most common types of Tasks. Create these checklists in advance and label them clearly to ensure consistency and save time as the work is assigned.
Workers can check off each item in the checklist to track the work as it's completed; Fieldwire will date and time-stamp when the line item was checked off as well as who checked it off, directly on the Task.
To create checklists, navigate to the 'Settings' gear in the lower-left of your Project menu, and click 'Manage checklists'. Then choose to 'Create a new checklist', and add each line item. When this is complete, choose 'Save as Checklist' and give it a name - you can then add the entire checklist to any Task in just a couple clicks:
Tip: Find examples of checklists related to your work either from your internal work resources or online. You can copy and paste whole checklists from PDFs or Excel Spreadsheets directly into the Checklists window!
More information on creating Checklist Templates:
1c. Import Tags and Locations
Whatever additional data you add to your Tasks can be leveraged as powerful filters for Reports. If your team needs to locate specific information for a dispute or litigation down the road, you can get ahead of the game by ensuring they consistently use a few more key Task Attributes. Tags and Locations, like Categories, help to further organize groups of related Tasks for easy filtering and reporting.
Think of Tags as keywords for your Tasks. You can import tags in Fieldwire Web from the 'Settings' menu, and individual Tasks can include as many relevant Tags as you like. Import a list of tags at the beginning of your project to provide a consistent standard.
It's typically easiest to create tags that document common types of issues you may want to report on later. For example, some common Tags used for Tasks related to concrete pours:
You can add Tags one-by-one on any Task as you create them, or copy-paste entire lists into your Project Settings to define standard Tags you want your team to apply to Tasks from day 1. To import a list of Tags, navigate to the settings gear, and choose 'Manage Tags'. From there, choose 'Import' and paste a list of Tags from any document or spreadsheet:
How Categories and Tags complement each other
Tags and Categories should be used to complement, rather than compete with, each other. Think of Categories as your main groups and Tags as specific sub-groups with some kind of connection within or across your Categories. For example:
Here's how a real Task looks; the Category is 'QAQC', with four Tags related to concrete inspections:
More information on Tags:
Locations, similar to Tags but specific to areas on-site, are a super practical way to create location-based Task filters for day-to-day sorting and Reports, especially for large sites with distinct work zones.
Defining a list of Locations on-site helps everyone from your Field workers to the owner find information on related Tasks with a single click. Need all Tasks located at the Interstate 50 and 89 intersection, or at a specific station location? Input these Locations to check up on all the work items being planned and/or executed in those areas whenever you like.
To add locations, click the settings gear, then choose 'Manage locations'. Next, copy-paste a list of your relevant locations or add them one-by-one, and choose to 'Import locations':
Note: Both tags and locations can be updated in the settings tab, or can be added on an ad-hoc basis to tasks at any point throughout your project. Though you may want to add a few more as you go, it's a good idea to define your most important Tags and Locations from the start, so that your team consistently uses the same ones on all relevant Tasks.
More information on Locations:
2. Execute inspection and QA/QC workflows
Categories, Checklists, Tags, and Locations will keep your Tasks organized as you define and assign the work across your team to seamlessly plan and execute your day-to-day inspection and QA/QC operations.
2a. Create Inspection and QA/QC Tasks in the Field
To make the Inspection and QA/QC process as seamless and robust as possible, make sure the folks creating, assigning, and completing your Tasks leverage the attributes you've created.
Any user can drop a Task pin onto any Plan (both in Fieldwire Web and our Mobile Apps), then select the "+" icon to add a Checklist, where they can then load any of your pre-defined lists in a single click:
Simply tap your finger once, twice, or three times on each checkbox to confirm if the QA/QC item is Passed, Failed, or Not Applicable (respectively).
Two of these line items are Failed, so the assignee will also add a '#inspection_failure' Tag (that was added during project set-up) using the 'Messages' option:
Note: The first Message on a Task also becomes the task title if that's not already filled in; let your team know about that shortcut and how descriptive you'd like them to make the titles.
Next, the assignee (or assigner) will add the Category and Location for tracking purposes. Since you've already set those up, your team will have a static list to choose from to keep things consistent - select 'Edit' and then set the 'Category' and 'Location' fields:
Whoever is making and/or completing the Task can also add a photo to the task using the camera option to document anything of note. These photos can also be included in your Reports, along with any other attributes, messages, and attachments that get added to the Task:
More information on how to leverage additional Task features:
2b. Reassign to verify Tasks
Once the Task is filled out with the information you need for tracking and marked as 'Complete,' whoever created and/or completed it can leverage easy communication shortcuts to notify and get verification by various stakeholders. Use the '@' symbol in a task message to quickly reassign the task to an Admin on the Project, and/or to add other stakeholders as Watchers, all of whom get instant notifications whenever the Task is updated:
Note: You can also use the '@' symbol to set the task status and/or category.
Once the Admin Verifies the completed work, they can update the Task 'Status' to 'Verified' by clicking 'Edit' from the Fieldwire Mobile App on their tablet or smartphone:
This can also be done on the Web version of Fieldwire by adjusting the status dropdown:
More information on keyboard shortcuts and 2-step verification for Tasks:
3. Leverage Reports for progress monitoring and litigation
It's all but inevitable that your teams may deal with a dispute related to the construction activities during the course of your project. Here are some examples of disputes that might occur during construction (and may sound a bit too close to home, but don't worry Fieldwire can help!):
- A sizable defect in the placement of concrete requires a significant portion of the concrete to be demolished and re-poured.
- The rebar was not sized appropriately for a concrete foundation during design, creating a dispute between the engineer, owner, and contractor.
- There was an essential seismic restraint missing from the engineering specifications, and during construction, there was a miscommunication from the engineer to proceed before it was corrected.
- Unknown conditions underground and inconsistent soil conditions were not transparently communicated by the owner, resulting in significantly increased excavation and concrete pour quantities.
In these circumstances as well as day-to-day coordination, Fieldwire Reports are a powerful tool to protect all stakeholders on a project by proving work completion and decisions made with time-stamped data collected constantly throughout the project’s duration. In addition to being a revolutionary, holistic digital system of record, Reports are super easy to configure and even automate.
3a. Configure Reports based on Categories, Locations, Timelines, and/or Tags
Reports are completely customizable can be easily configured to include only the information most relevant to your owner, teammates, or for your own progress monitoring and review purposes.
Plus, you only need to configure them once - any Report can be run again at any time with just a couple clicks.
To create a Task Report, go to the Web version of Fieldwire. Navigate to the 'Tasks' tab, then select 'Generate Report' and 'New Report' - enter a title for the report and save it. This will get you to the popup where you'll select the filters, contents, and sorting to fit your preference:
Option 1: Full package of related documentation
- Generate a 'PDF Detailed' Report for all Task Categories related to the dispute or body of work you want to otherwise analyze.
- For a dispute related to concrete, select the Categories: 'Concrete, QAQC, Rework, and Concrete Inspection.'
- Since we'd need a comprehensive overview of everything that could be related to the disagreement, we won't adjust any other attributes on the right side.
- Use the checkboxes on the left side to select all of the Task contents relevant to your dispute or review.
Tip: Alternatively, select 'CSV' from the 'Type' dropdown (and select all Categories related to the disagreement on the right side). The ultra-comprehensive CSV Report type includes every message exchanged on all relevant Tasks (and much more) in a spreadsheet, allowing you to (ctrl + f) search for specific terms within the treasure trove of back and forth messaging captured by Fieldwire. This could be a quick way to find exactly the detail you are looking for related to the issue at hand.
Option 2: Location and date-specific Report
- If your team needs to produce a Report that specifically hones in on a certain location onsite that an incident occurred or progress is dragging, leverage the 'Locations' filter.
- If the date of the incident is specifically or even roughly known, you can set the Report to display Tasks in a specific date range by leveraging the 'Time Filters'-- specifically the 'Created' and 'Date Range' filter:
Option 3: Tag-specific (and/or Category, Location, and date) Report
- You can also create a report that identifies every task in your project that includes any combination of tags (and/or further hone-in with Category and Time filters).
- For example, if you know that the dispute is related to a '#concrete_precast_installation_inspection' you can filter only for tasks with that tag.
- You can add additional tags, such as '#schedule_delay' and '#rework' to capture those tasks as well:
Option 4: Full Export of all Project information
If you simply need to provide all project data to your client or litigation attorney, you can easily download all of the following project information from Fieldwire in just a few clicks:
Reference this article for detailed instructions:
3b. Use Filters to monitor incomplete QA/QC and inspection Tasks
You can easily view Project Tasks that were never completed to quickly investigate a dispute or issue during construction, as well as seamlessly coordinate related day-to-day activities. Hone in on the right task in a particular status, and you'll immediately understand exactly what/where/why something went wrong.
To search and filter for Tasks:
- In the main (Kanban) view of the Tasks tab, filter for all incomplete work by deselecting the 'Complete' and 'Verified' Statuses.
- For more granularity, add specific Tag Filters that indicate something may have gone awry.
- For example, filter for tasks with an '#inspection_incomplete' or '#inspection_failure' Tag. This will lead you immediately to Tasks that explain or address exactly what went wrong in that area:
Alternatively or in conjunction, use the Locations filter to hone in on Tasks only in the area(s) of your site where issues, disputes, or failed inspections occurred.
The filters you can leverage in monitoring and reporting depend on your office and Field Crews using the Categories, Locations, Checklists, and Tags you created during Project Set-up.
Configure your project according to this guide and get your stakeholders onboard with all the documentation, organization, and shortcuts Fieldwire provides from day 1, and you'll end up with an incredibly powerful system of record that enhances coordination, eliminates risk, and saves a ton of time every day throughout your project.
More information on how to sort and filter Tasks:
Find out how other companies are using Fieldwire for Civil Construction
Many Companies leverage Fieldwire for Civil Construction. Take a look at how Eagle Excavation leverages Fieldwire to streamline their workflows: