SETTING UP THE FIELD OFFICE
The field office, often referred to as the “job shack,” should be envisioned by supervisors as their management headquarters for the duration of the project. Accordingly, the setup and organization of the field office merit planning and careful attention.
Careful consideration should be given to communications in the field office. Any or all of the following may be employed: wired telephones, wireless phones, facsimile machines, intercom systems, radios, and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Additionally, computer facilities for the field office need to be planned for, and obtained, and installed. Desktop computers, laptop computers, notebook computers, and tablet computers, as well as peripheral equipment such as printers, scanners, plotters, and digital routers may play an important role in the supervisor’s management plans. Other electronic devices, such as digital still cameras, digital video cameras, liquid crystal diode (LCD) projectors, and so forth, may be included in the supervisor’s planning.
Along with planning for computer hardware, the supervisor should give consideration to the software that will be needed on the computing equipment at the job site. Training may be necessary for proper use of the software.
Provision for the storage, handling, and layout of drawings, specifications, and other contract documents will need to be considered. A list of contacts, organized by company, by service or product, and by person, will need to be prepared. A list of telephone numbers for emergency services (police, fire, ambulance, and medical) likewise must be prepared and posted. A bulletin board, announcement center, and message center will need to be provided.
One of the most important aspects of field office setup is the filing system that will be employed for organizing and storing project documentation and information of all kinds. The supervisor’s company may have a standardized set of files and file names that the company uses for job site files. If so, the supervisor should, of course, use the company system. Additionally, the supervisor should add to it and customize it, so as to make it efficient and workable so that it meets his or her needs.
If the company does not have a set of standard files, supervisors should build a filing system of their own to meet their needs. The project manager may be able to provide insight and assistance in this regard.
The examples in Figure 17.1 are provided to assist supervisors in determining what types of files they might find useful. While not intended to be comprehensive or