Request for Information - An Overview
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    Request for Information - An Overview

      Article summary

      In the course of construction, many queries arise from people involved in various levels of work. These need to be cleared on time to eliminate ambiguity and let people make appropriate decisions. RFIs (Request for information) serves to get clarification from the responsible individuals/organizations and cross the obstructions that occur in their workflow.

       RFI's can arise for various reasons, including but not limited to:

      • Design coordination - Architects, engineers, owners/developers, etc., get clarifications on the designs, architectural plans, drawings, and other documents.
      • Construction coordination- Project managers, foremen, etc., get clarifications on procedures, schedules, safety items, and more.
      • Construction issues - Problems that arise when a contractor feels that the design or a plan from a document is impossible and could not be achieved.
      • Sequencing - Change of order of activities due to material/resource availability constraints, value engineering, etc.
      • Design alterations - Whenever there is an improvement or correction in the initial design.
      • Clarification in design - Project managers or foremen seeking more information for a better understanding of the design in the document.
      • Material change - Builders' requests for replacement of materials specified in the design document for various reasons, like lack of availability, improvement, and value engineering.
      • Deficiencies in plans or design documents - Errors or omissions in plan drawings, specifications, etc.
      • Site conditions - The design conflicts with the actual condition and measurements on the site.

      Linarc's RFI tool provides a simple communication platform for workers on-site and off-site to exchange queries and clarifications quickly. RFI's can have:

      • Attachments like plan sheets with/without markups, PDF documents, photographs, etc., for better explanations of the questions and clarifications. 
      • Links to scheduled tasks, budget line items, plans, other project documents like other RFIs, Change Orders, Submittals, which might be the source of the RFI

      Linarc allows you to apply custom workflows to RFIs and automatically routes them across the designated parties, like the owner, general contractor, subcontractors, and architects/engineers, for review, clarification, and approval at successive stages. The RFI module monitors the due dates for each step during the workflow and sends alerts and notifications to responsible parties for overdue items, and ensures on-time actions. This provides transparency in information transfer and makes everyone involved in the channel informed about the requested item. Once an RFI is answered and closed, the general contractor publishes and shares it with the involved parties. Participants can view the clarifications and even download a PDF version of the RFI. 

      Ad-hoc workflows - During the workflow, the ball-in-court party assigned to respond, review, or close can create ad-hoc workflow steps to route the RFI to other stakeholders for their response and reviews, should they need further clarification or approval. Once the item passes through the ad-hoc workflow, it returns to the original ball-in-court person for their action and forwarding to the next stakeholder as per the primary workflow.  

      Watchers - You can your team members who need to be notified on the progress updates and should be able to access the RFI as watchers.

      Comments - The participants can add their comments, notes, and remarks on the question and responses throughout the lifecycle of an RFI

      Context based group chats - Any member can also use chat sessions to make announcements, ask for or get clarifications, advice, and more from the parties involved in the RFI throughout its lifecycle. You can select only the required participants for a conversation, enabling the secure sharing of sensitive information only with intended persons.

      This section of the guide explains how project managers of general contractors and subcontractors can create, route, answer, and approve RFIs.

      Read the following sections to know more about:

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