Drawing Management on Construction Projects (Part 5)

This is part 5 of a 7-part series of articles on Drawing Management on Construction Projects. (Back to Part 4 – Workflow Information, to the Table of Contents)

New Revisions and Change Control

New drawing revisions are made for a variety of reasons:

  • Adding detail as the design evolves
  • Scope, schedule, design or other changes (change orders, variations)
  • Responses to technical queries and requests for information
  • Corrections of mistakes and omissions

In each of these cases there will be discussions, followed by decisions and instructions. The work can include:

  • Updating other affected drawings and documents
  • Issuing site instructions
  • Issuing notices to the owner and project management
  • Issuing notification of changes to vendors and suppliers
  • Work related to schedule changes

Most changes have cost and schedule implications, so you must keep careful records. The core issue is to have a formal process for handling all change control, regardless of how it is initiated. The process may differ slightly for different initiators or types of changes, but the basic process and record keeping responsibilities are the same.

Record Keeping

The basic information you must record is:

  • Original communication that initiated the change, which may include supplementary documents and emails
  • Project component(s) affected
  • Workflow information (see below)
  • The decision, e.g. text describing what is to be done, including who pays for it, who does it and the deadlines. This should additionally include:
    • List of drawings and other documents to revise
    • List of notifications and instructions to issued
  • All the discussion, e.g. meeting minutes, emails, discussion notes, etc.

The workflow information tracks the decision making:

  • Date of initiation
  • Initiator (person or organisation)
  • Planned date for the decision
  • Actual date of the decision
  • Person is responsible for the decision
  • Current status of the decision

Once you have initiated the change order many parties must be informed. You can use a modified form of the drawing distribution procedures described previously, using the document distribution matrix. Like transmittals, this should include making a record of exactly what was sent, when it was sent and to whom.

Continue to Part 6 – Drawing Scheduling.