How BIM 360 Will Accelerate Project Management Workflows

Cassie Bustos

To say that managing a construction project can be overwhelming, is an understatement. On any given day there can be hundreds of different people onsite, dozens of meetings, and handfuls of RFI’s and Submittals created. Although overseeing all of these logistics is tedious, it is also critical to ensuring a project is successful.

When it comes to project management, efficiency is key. But when only 11% of contractors consider jobsites to be very efficient [CCI], we know that there is a lot of room to grow. By leveraging technology to improve the way your teams communicate around daily project controls, like RFI’s and Submittals, as well as streamlining the way you track and manage meetings, teams are guaranteed to start seeing big improvements in their efficiency. 

Over the past year, we have made significant enhancements to BIM 360’s Project Management toolset, including the introduction of meeting minutes, RFI creation on mobile, custom RFI numbering, mobile submittal accessibility, and contractual date tracking for submittals, in an effort to save teams time and enhance communication.

Additionally, as of today, we are excited to announce more updates to Project Management:

  • Four RFI Workflow Enhancements
  • A New Item Based Submittal Workflow
  • Meeting Minute Enhancements 

 

RFI Workflow Enhancements

Rolling out this week, as soon as a discrepancy is found in the field, Android users can now initiate an RFI in the BIM 360 app from their mobile device (already available on iOS). Several new enhancements are now available to help make RFI management simpler. 

  • RFI Permission Updates: Now RFIs that are in submitted, open, answered, rejected, and void states are only visible to the following RFI workflow roles; Creator, Manager, Reviewer, Co-reviewer, Distribution list member, and Admins. Draft RFIs are only visible to the Creator. Closed and distributed RFIs will remain visible to all project members with access to the Project Management module (web and mobile). By limiting the visibility of unapproved information, the risk of project members acting on unapproved RFIs decreases. 
  • RFI Creation on Android: Rolling out this week, as soon as a discrepancy is found in the field, Android users can now initiate an RFI in the BIM 360 app from their mobile device (already available on iOS). Providing all team members with the ability to draft a question, include photos, and initiate an RFI is critical to improving efficiency and creating a seamless workflow between the office and the field.
  • Edit closed RFIs: Project Admins can now edit additional fields in a closed RFI as well as add attachments; changes made will be captured in the activity log. This enhancement eliminates the need for teams to create a duplicate RFI and reduces confusion. 
  • Modify RFI Pushpins: Project Admins and RFI workflow roles; Creator, Manager, Reviewer, and Co-reviewer can now modify existing RFI pushpins or add pushpins to already created RFI. This is done within the RFI record by adding/editing linked documents. When adding a new document, a document viewer will open and prompt you to click a location to place the new RFI pushpin. The activity that takes place is captured in the activity log for audit purposes. ​

 

Modifying an RFI Pushpin

 

Item Based Submittal Workflow

 

Submittals play a critical role in the building process and need to follow a prescribed path for review and approval to meet contract obligations. But if the workflow is confusing and restrictive, it can bog the process down. Because of this, BIM 360 has changed the submittal workflow, removing the reliance on Packages and making the Item stronger. With this change, the workflow becomes clear and flexible, enabling teams to process submittals more efficiently. So what does this exactly mean? 

  • Submittal Item is Stronger: Items can now progress through the workflow without being associated with a Package (packaging is now optional). Since Packages are no longer used for processing, you now have full control to assign participants (Manager, Reviewer, Co-Reviewers, Responsible Contractor, and distribution list members) and due dates at the Item level. The action bar will only display at the Item level to reduce confusion and efficiently move you through the workflow. Once the item is approved, it can be distributed with a single click. 
  • Improved Status Visibility on Web & Mobile: You can now see additional status details at the top of the submittal item on web and iOS for an at-a-glance view into the state of the Item and where it falls within the workflow.
  • Updated Package List View: The package list view only displays the package number, spec section, and title. Any Project Management users can access the Packages list, but only Admins and Submittal Managers can create, update, and delete packages.  
  • Simplified Packages: With Packages no longer used for processing, they now act as an additional attribute and contain minimal information. By simplifying Packages, you have full flexibility to package items as desired. 
     

Item based submittal workflow

 

Meeting Minute Enhancements

Helping to increase visibility and accessibility to critical information, the Project Management meeting minute toolset now allows Meeting Organizers to attach documents, drawings, and models from the Document Management module to a meeting record or item. During the meeting, all you need to do is click the attachment to open it. It will open in the document viewer or the large model viewer, which means you have access to the toolbars and can view and create (depending on permissions) markups, issues, and RFIs. When exporting the agenda or meeting minutes to PDF, the attached document(s) will be hyperlinked, making it easy for invitees (who are BIM 360 project members) to access the referenced information. 

Advanced text editing is also available to help Meeting Organizers emphasize, highlight, and organize key information.

 

 

Attaching documents to a meeting record and item

 

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