The Issue with Clear Correspondence: Are You Using Collaboration Tools Effectively?

AE Blog

One of the biggest challenges when using today’s advanced solutions is realizing the potential of all the many capabilities. That’s especially true with sophisticated programs such as Autodesk Build, Autodesk’s cloud-based platform purpose-built to support collaboration and connectivity across a project. The solution includes a range of features and functions.

Two of the most invaluable—and perhaps underutilized—tools are the Issues and Correspondence tools.

Oftentimes, end users are either not aware of the capabilities, don’t see the value, or simply don’t have the time to set up these solutions prior to a project to get the most out of them. Continuing to use conventional methods of documents and emails instead of centralized tracking systems just seem easier. However, many underestimate how much time and frustration can be saved in the long run across multiple projects by using automated workflows, even on smaller scope projects.

Here are some top reasons to consider incorporating the Issues and Correspondence functionality into your daily practices.

The Issues Module: Filtered and Focused

The Issues tool allows users to track and manage issues as they arise on a project. Users can create an issue, assign it to people or groups, give it a due date, and reference related items like RFIs, sheets, punchlists, forms or change orders. They can even have different statuses like open, in progress, or completed and different due dates. Once set up, project teams can filter issues by attributes like who they are assigned to or what item they reference. Reports can also be automatically generated and sent to stakeholders based on issue filters. It even includes a set of preconfigured categories and types under those categories to organize the issues on your project.

It’s a purpose-built tool to simplify tracking issues. Here are just a few tasks that the Issues tool handles with ease:

  • Track issues directly in a 3D model, reducing the need to redline PDFs
  • Document issues found during construction inspections and assign owners to address problems by a certain date
  • Log RFIs and have them reference the original issue, providing a chain of connected information for better visibility, documentation and communication
  • Record any non-conforming work and tie the issue to a potential change order for tracking through to closeout
  • Highlight safety hazards identified on site and assign a supervisor to implement corrective actions

The filtering and reporting capabilities allow easy identification of overdue issues or issues related to specific topics/vendors, improving project oversight and efficiency.

The Correspondence Module: Clear Communications

The Correspondence tool is a centralized project communication and tracking tool. It allows users to manage email, attachments, and communication threads related to a project. As emails are sent back and forth, their status (e.g. open, in progress, closed), due dates and relationships to other data can be tracked—no more searching through personal inboxes. The correspondence emails can reference other items in the project like RFIs, budgets, or change orders to link the communication to related documents and issues.

Once gathered, users can quickly filter emails by topic, type, or what items they reference to find information more efficiently. Further, automatic reporting capabilities prevent important conversations from falling through the cracks by flagging upcoming due dates, improving collaboration and information sharing.

A Proactive Approach to Actionable Intel

The Issues and Correspondence tools are designed to help project teams be proactive versus reactive to project actions. Yes, it takes a little bit of setup in the beginning, but the long-term value is well worth it, helping improve project visibility and accountability. Many users are finding that these tools are helping catch potential problems earlier before they become major issues and reducing the chance of costly rework. Overall, these tools help optimize processes and free up resources that can be better spent on value-added tasks rather than administrative busywork.

There are also some significant long-term benefits that continue well after the project is complete. Data collected in the modules provides a reliable record of project decisions, communications, and key issues to support continuous improvement and, if needed, resolve disputes.

One of the primary goals of using tools like the Issues and Correspondence modules is to enable a more proactive approach to project management rather than a reactive one, allowing project teams to stay ahead of schedule, on budget, and deliver quality solutions—rather than spending time putting out fires. Taking the time to configure these modules allows users to efficiently manage a project over its entire lifecycle.

If you need help using Issue and Correspondence modules with speed and ease, contact U.S. CAD, an ARKANCE Company.

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