Getting – and staying – organized with tags
“You’re able to nail exactly what you’re looking at, and [the tags] allow us to filter our issues to see trends. When I filter by the tag, I can identify trends. So if we have 20 tasks under one category, I know we have a problem with that safety issue.”
Let’s talk about tags.
Why? Because whether you’re new to Bridgit or a seasoned vet, tags can change your life by organizing your tasks, helping you find information in a flash, and enabling custom reports that reveal important insights.
Construction projects are extraordinarily complex: thousands of interdependent tasks have to be completed under tight timelines, within strict budgets, and must meet stringent quality standards, by many people from multiple different companies who are fulfilling different specialized roles.
The Regina Bypass (RDBD) project in Saskatchewan, Canada, is no exception. The project is extensive, and Josh Binkley, Area Manager for Phase One of the project, summarized it for us: “In Phase One, we’re building nine bridges, we’ve got 20 kilometres of new highway, 40 kilometres of service road and all the services associated. We’re moving millions of cubic meters of earth, placing 250,000 tons of asphalt, and placing 10,000 cubic meters of concrete.”
What does that have to do with tags? According to Binkley, “The tags help us the most in Bridgit.”
How can something as seemingly simple as tags help in a project so large and complex?
Using Tags to Organize Tasks
Let’s start with the basics: what’s a tag? A tag is essentially a label that you attach to a task – think of it as extra information about, or related to, that task.
When you create a task, there are some required fields (e.g., title, location, assignee); tags are a way of ‘extending’ beyond those default fields.
You can extend as far beyond the default as you want, because Bridgit lets you define your own tags, which makes it easy to label tasks with relevant information and to keep using the same terminology you used in projects before adopting Bridgit.
For instance, you could add a “Warranty” tag to any task related to warranties, add an “Architect” tag to any tasks that should get flagged to the architecture team, or add an “Electrical” tag to… well, you get the idea.
Importantly, tasks can have many tags, so you’re not stuck choosing between one thing or another. Got a safety issue with the electrical wiring that needs to be fixed immediately because it’s holding up the next part of the project?
No problem! Just tag the task with “Safety,” “Electrical,” and “Urgent” tags.
You can even increase speed and efficiency by adding tags in bulk to many tasks at the same time.
Among Bridgit’s customers, tags are most commonly used to:
- Flag tasks for attention from different roles: Architect, Developer, Subcontractor, Trade, etc.
- Designate the task type by trade specialization: Electrical, Drywall, Concrete, Plumbing, Mechanical, etc.
- Prioritize issues by severity: High, Medium, and Low, or Critical, Urgent, Normal, etc.
- Categorize the task: QA/QC, Punchlist, Safety, PDI, Damage, etc.
In the RDBD project, Binkley’s team uses a variety of tags to categorize safety issues under High, Medium or Low hazard. They also use tags for more specific categories, like Barricades and Fall potentials. Using a range of tags really helps the team to organize their tasks, improve onsite safety, and resolve issues faster.
But tagging tasks with information is only the first step – tags really show their utility when you need to find something.
Finding Things Fast
Out in the field, things happen quickly and you can’t waste time looking for answers. Tags make finding information a snap, thanks to the Bridgit app’s search capabilities.
Simply click the “Search” tab at the bottom of the app (or at the top of the web interface) and then enter the name of the tag in the search bar – you’ll immediately see a list of all the tasks that have that tag!
So, if Binkley wants to see the full list of the most dangerous safety hazards, then all he needs to do is click on the “Search” tab and enter “High,” and he’s instantly looking at a real-time list of the site’s safety issues.
Or let’s say you’re standing with your drywall subcontractor and you want to show the list of outstanding drywall tasks: just click on the “Search” tab and enter “Drywall.” You’ve both got instant clarity on the drywall work that still needs be done.
Gaining Important Insights
The final stop on our tour-of-tags is reports. Whether you’re generating reports for your own insights, to keep stakeholders informed on progress, or to highlight unresolved tasks, tags make things clearer by filtering information.
Creating a custom report that filters tasks by tag is straightforward; plus, you can filter by status, assignee, date, location, created by, and inspection type. In fact, you can even filter by more than one option, which lets you create reports that show exactly what you need and only what you need – perfect for reports that are getting handed out.
In Binkley’s words: “You’re able to nail exactly what you’re looking at, and [the tags] allow us to filter our issues to see trends. When I filter by the tag, I can identify trends. So if we have 20 tasks under one category, I know we have a problem with that safety issue.”
When trends like this arise, Binkley’s team may opt for some extra education on that topic to prevent the issues from happening again.
Tags are a deceptively effective way to improve your task management. When used effectively, tags keep your tasks organized, letting you quickly find exactly what you need, exactly when you need it; the tags feature also enables you to generate filtered reports that are perfect for identifying trends and keeping all your stakeholders informed.
So go out there and get tagging, and – of course – let us know if you’d like a helping hand!