Overview & Background
The RFI tool, as part of Fieldwire’s Project Management, helps extend the flow of data from the Field and bridges the gap between various stakeholders. RFIs provide neutral data ownership and empower teams to intuitively build an indisputable record of RFIs.
Note: Currently, this feature is only available to Enterprise level customers.
Table of Contents:
- How to Enable PM on a Project
- PM Permissions
- The RFI Workflow
- View RFIs
- View RFIs on Mobile
- Send Feedback
How to Enable PM on a Project
After Fieldwire has enabled ‘PM’ on your account, the Account Owner and/or Managers(s), can activate Project Management on a per-project basis. To do so, from the project dashboard on the web, select the ‘settings’ gear in a project tile, and choose ‘Enable PM’:
Any Project with PM-enabled will have a delineation in the left sidebar between the ‘Field Management’ and ‘Project Management’ modules. ‘RFIs’ are nestled under the ‘Project Management’ section of the sidebar:
Once PM is enabled on your project, you can organize users by ‘Companies’ under the project ‘People’ option. Creating ‘Companies’ and organizing your users into the companies is a prerequisite to creating RFIs since the Company association will determine how an RFI can progress, and who can progress it.
All users who are originally on the Project, prior to enabling PM, will appear under ‘No Company’ under the Project People tab. These users, and any users who are not part of a company, are not associated with a ‘Company’.
Users who are not under a 'Company' are not able to create, or be assigned to, RFIs, so we advise setting up ‘Companies’ to ensure that each user on the project is able to successfully leverage RFIs.
After PM is enabled, each time a user is invited to a project, they will need to either be associated with a new or existing, company in your project:
If you are not associated with a 'Company', and you navigate to the 'RFI' tab, then you will need to "Go to [the] People tab" to be assigned to a Company:
How to set up companies
Any Project Admin can create a new company from the project ‘People’ tab. To do so:
- Click on ‘New company’
- Enter the ‘Company name’
- Enter a ‘Company Code’
Note: The Company Code indicates the original company that created the RFI and is used in the organization and the number associated with that RFI. The Company Code can't be edited after you 'add' the company.
Project Admins can move users into companies. To do so, either individually, or en masse, select the checkbox to the left of the respective user(s), and then choose ‘Actions’ and ‘Move to company’:
Similarly, you add a user to a company after clicking on the three vertical dots to the right of a user’s name:
How to manage companies
Project Admins can select the option to ‘Manage companies’ to adjust the name of any existing companies, or to add a new company to the project:
The ‘Field Access’ drop-down determines the level of access for the ‘Field Management’ tabs - Users can be ‘Admins’, ‘Members’, or ‘Followers’. Any users that have ‘Admin’ Field Permissions are able to invite users to a company, adjust a user’s Field and PM access level:
If you are a Member or a Follower, you will not be able to add new companies or new users through the RFI tab. If you attempt to do so, you will see that the buttons '+ New users' and '+ New company' are "greyed" out and disabled so you are unable to do so.
Outside of ‘Field Access’, Project Administrators have the option to adjust the ‘PM Access’ level of users. A user’s PM access level will determine how they can interact with RFI’s. All users will be automatically added as Managers when invited to the project, but this can be changed to make the user a Contributor. To adjust the ‘PM Access’ level of a user, choose the drop-down menu under the ‘PM Access’ column:
A Manager can view or edit any ‘Draft’ RFI created by someone in their company.
Managers are the only ones who can submit any RFI created by someone in their company to users in Companies outside of their own.
Managers can accept or reject any ‘Pending’ RFI that is assigned to a member of their company:
Think of a ‘Manager’ as the Project Manager or Project Engineer who may need to review an RFI before it is sent to the GC or Architect.
Users will initially have 'Manager' PM Access when they are invited to projects with PM Enabled as there is a 1 manager per project rule.
Contributors can create and view any ‘Draft’ RFIs in their company.
Contributors can submit draft RFIs to any Managers in their company, but can’t submit RFIs to users in other Companies. Contributors can accept or reject the answers in the ‘Pending’ RFIs they are assigned to and can answer any ‘Open’ RFIs they are assigned to.
The RFI Workflow
An RFI can adopt different ‘statuses’, depending on the stage the RFI exists in. Since all RFIs follow the same flow for progression, review the table below for an explanation of the different statuses an RFI will adopt:
A RFI is in the ‘Draft’ status when it is first created. Both Contributors and Managers can create Draft RFIs.
While the RFI is in the ‘Draft’ state, you can ask the question, provide suggestions, indicate the impact, add related tasks, RFIs, and plans.
Only managers can move an RFI from ‘Draft’ to ‘Open’, by assigning the RFI to another company. Contributors can only reassign the ‘Draft’ RFI to a manager within their company. This will keep the RFI in the ‘Draft’ state.
An RFI will be ‘Open’ after an ‘Assignee’ is indicated and a due date is selected. At this point, an RFI number will be assigned.
In the open stage, the Assignee will have the opportunity to answer the question, create a Related RFI, or reassign the RFI to another person in their company to answer the question, to progress the RFI.
If an answer is received outside of Fieldwire, a manager in the company that created the RFI can answer on behalf of the assignee from the 'Actions' menu.
An RFI will adopt the ‘Pending’ state, after an ‘Answer’ has been provided - the RFI will be reassigned to the creator.
In this stage, the creator can accept and close the RFI, reject the answer and send it back to the previous assignee for clarification, or void the RFI.
Once the answer is sufficient, the submitter will “Close” the RFI in order to close the workflow, making the RFI uneditable.
An RFI is made “Void” when it is no longer applicable. This is a permanent action that makes the RFI uneditable.
Similar to the “Closed” state, all stakeholders will get a notification of the RFI being void.
Create an RFI - (Draft)
Any user that is part of a ‘Company’ can create new RFIs. To create a new RFI, navigate to the RFI tab, select “+New RFI”, then enter the name of an RFI:
Note: The title of the RFI can be adjusted later on - click on the pencil by the Name in the 'Draft' RFI.
A new RFI draft is created. Filling out the “Question” is the only required Field to Assign the RFI. Supplement the question with Crop plans, Photos, or Files on your project:
Note: You will be able to mark up any photos that you take directly from your device as a new upload. Images that are attached will not have this feature available.
The RFI creator can also designate the potential budgetary and/or time-based impacts of the RFI:
If there are any existing RFIs to relate, the creator can reference these from the Project Link section:
The Creator can also choose to create a new, or reference an existing, Task from the Project Link Section:
Any Managers or Contributors in your Company will see the draft RFI; only Managers from your Company can edit the RFI. The Draft RFI can be downloaded or deleted from the ‘Actions’ drop-down in the Draft RFI itself.
The RFI hyperlink from the single page plan view allows users to create an RFI directly from a plan itself, or to attach an existing RFI to the plan:
When an RFI is attached to a plan, the associated plan name(s) populate under the ‘Related plans’ section:
Anyone can select the plan name itself to be redirected to the associated plan.
Note: it’s not possible to attach a ‘Related plan’ from the RFI itself - rather, to ensure an RFI is referenced, or an RFI will reference the plan, please use the ‘Link to RFI’ tool from the single-page plan view.
At any point throughout the duration of the RFI, but most often in the ‘Draft’ Stage, RFI ‘Watchers’ can be added to the RFI to receive email notifications on when the RFI progresses:
While watchers will receive notifications on how the RFI progresses, they will not be able to edit the contents of the RFI if they are not the Assignee or a Manager at the Assignee's company.
Both Managers and Contributors can add watchers from their own Company. Whenever the Assignee of the RFI changes, that user is automatically added as a Watcher.
The RFI creator can add RFI ‘Watchers’ from their company, (Or from other companies if they are a ‘Manager’) when the RFI is in the ‘Draft’, ‘Open’, ‘Closed’ and ‘Void’ state - The RFI Assignee can add RFI ‘Watchers’ from their company, (Or from other companies if they are a ‘Manager’) when the RFI is in the ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ state.
Assign the RFI - (Draft > Open)
Once a question is entered, the ‘Assign and Send’ option will turn blue - meaning, the RFI can be sent to another party to review and respond to, the request. Providing a ‘Question’ to the RFI moves the RFI from ‘Draft’ to ‘Open’:
After you select ‘Assign and Send’, choose the pertinent Company, Assignee, Due Date, and, optionally, add a message to provide additional details outside of the request. (Note: Messages only appear in email notifications when an RFI is assigned, submitted, or rejected).
If 'Enable assignee email reminders' is selected, the assignee will receive an email notification 48 hours prior to the due date, reminding them that the RFI needs a response:
Managers can assign the RFI to a Manager or Contributor in another company to move the RFI from ‘Draft’ to ‘Open’ - Contributors can assign the RFI to a Manager within their company.
The RFI will remain in the ‘Draft’ state until the Manager reassigns it to another Manager or Contributor in another company - this will If you’d like to have another party, outside of your company address the RFI, create a related RFI.
Answer or Forward the RFI - (Open > Pending)
Once an RFI has been assigned, the new Assignee (and the pertinent watchers) will receive an email to inform them that the RFI has changed status from ‘Draft’ to ‘Open’.
Open and Pending RFIs will be visible to all users in the two companies involved: the creator company or the company that the RFI was assigned to. In addition, any Managers associated with that company will be able to view and edit that RFI on behalf of the assignee.
Manager Open State Actions:
Manager Pending State Actions:
The Assignee themselves will have a few options to proceed with moving forward - from the ‘Actions’ menu, the Assignee can re-assign to another person in the company, void the RFI. Alternatively, the Assignee can simply submit an answer to the question:
Reassign in my company
From the ‘Actions’ menu, a Manager or Contributor firstly has the option to reassign the RFI to another Manager or Contributor in their company. The new assignee and any RFI watchers will receive an email notification after this action. Reassigning is captured in the ‘Activity’ section of the RFI for transparency - in addition, the original assignee will be added to the RFI as a watcher.
Create a Related RFI
If an RFI is in ‘Open’, ‘Pending’ or ‘Closed’ state, the Creator and Assignee, as well as pertinent Company Managers associated with the RFI, can create a ‘Related RFI’ or 'Attach an existing RFI' from the 'Related RFI' dropdown menu in the Project link section.
If a user opts to create a related RFI, the option to clone over certain elements from that RFI are presented:
- Include questions, suggestions, and impact
- Include question attachments
In addition, you can provide a new title.
Note: Creating a related RFI will not clone the same cohort of RFI watchers. The individual who created the related RFI will become the assignee of the ‘Draft’ RFI.
Void an RFI
If an RFI is made ‘Void’ it will make the RFI permanently uneditable, since the RFI will adopt a permanent ‘Void’ status. Only leverage this if you predict the RFI will no longer be pertinent.
After you select the ‘Void’ option, you can, optionally, send an email notification to the RFI Assignee and the contingent watchers to provide any other pertinent information:
After the RFI is made Void, it will appear in the RFI tab with the ‘Void’ Status:
If necessary, users can still Download a copy of the RFI, or create a related RFI from the ‘Void’ RFI:
Answer on behalf of the Assignee
If necessary, Managers in the creator company of the RFI can ‘Answer on behalf’ of the RFI Assignee from the ‘Actions’ menu:
If the creator chooses to ‘Answer on behalf of the assignee, this will unlock the ‘Answer’ field, however, the current assignee will not be able to contribute to the RFI:
Review the answer
In order for the RFI to progress, the ‘Answer’ section will need to be completed by the assignee, a Manager from the Assignee’s company, or a Manager in the creator company, who can answer on behalf of the assignee:
After the answer section has been completed, the ‘Submit answer’ option will become available to the assignee. This will re-assign the RFI back to the Creator for answer approval:
The creator of the RFI then has the option to accept, reject or reassign the RFI. If the answer is rejected, it will be sent back to the previous assignee for further clarification.
Accept (and close)
Suppose the answer you’ve received from the assignee has all of the information you need. In that case, you can notify multiple users of the content of the RFI using a built-in distribution list that will notify selected users, via email, of the closed RFI.
The distribution list can consist of users outside the two companies in charge of the RFI, however, they will need to be invited to the project in order to appear on the distribution list.
Once you have chosen your distribution list, select “Accept and close,” which will move the RFI from the Open to the Closed state. Everyone on the distribution list will receive an email regarding the closed RFI:
Reject the RFI
If the answer you’ve received from the assignee does not answer your question, you can reject the answer by clicking on the action button and selecting “Reject answer.” This will keep the RFI in the open state and send it back to the original assignee, prompting them to adjust their answer as needed.
Share an RFI
From the actions menu, the RFI Assignee, Creator, or Watcher has the option to download the RFI, independent of the RFI's current status.
A Manager at the Assignee's company can also download the RFI.
On the RFI Module, select the contingent category on the left to isolate the RFIs you are assigned to (My RFIs), are watching (Watched RFIs), or both (All RFIs):
You can also sort by the columns on the RFI tab - select the contingent column, to sort the RFIs in ascending or descending order:
- RFI Number (#): This uses the Company Code to indicate who created the RFI, and the order the RFI was created in.
- Name: The name of the RFI, assigned when it was first created.
- Status: The stage the RFI exists in (Draft, Open, Pending, Closed, Void).
- Due Date: The expected date of when the RFI should be Closed.
- Company: Is associated with the current RFI Assignee and changes as the RFI assignee does.
You have the option to Filter RFIs on the 'RFIs' tab:
After you select 'Filter RFIs', you can filter RFIs by the parameters below:
Status: The phase where the RFI is currently in; Draft, Open, Pending, Closed, or Void.
Company: The company that the Assignee is assigned to.
Assignee: The individual assigned to the RFI at that given time.
Last Updated: The last time the form has been modified.
RFIs on Mobile
RFIs can now be viewed in any state (Draft, Open, Pending, Closed, Void) on your mobile device from the 'RFIs' tab. In addition, RFIs can now be created and filled on your mobile device while in the Draft state. This includes users being able to add Questions, the Due Date, Attachments, and the Impact while out in the field. However, you currently can only change the status of the RFI using the web app.
Create RFIs on Mobile
As you can on the web, users are now able to create new RFIs on their mobile devices go navigating to the RFIs tab and clicking on the blue "+" button as shown below.
Fill RFIs on Mobile
After creating a form on mobile, users can fill out the fields for Questions, the Due Date, Attachments, and the Impact, etc. while the task is in the Draft state.
Complete RFI View on Mobile
Like on the web, you'll be able toview the content pertinent to the RFI on any RFI on mobile:
|Question||Suggestion / Impact||Answer|
From the 'RFIs' tab on mobile, you can sort the RFI's by status, number, name, and due date to help you find the desired document faster:
Status: The stage the RFI exists in - Draft, Open, Pending, Closed, or Void.
Number: The auto-assigned, unique number, applied when the RFI was created.
Name: The title of the RFI.
Due Date: The date when the RFI should be completed by.
Select the magnifying glass and type the name of the RFI to search for any completed RFIs:
We would love to hear your feedback as we strive to create the most intuitive RFI management tool: