Features of Work
Posted by Fred Freeman on 09 June 2011 10:28 PM

Features of Work (FOW) are considered to be general categories of construction work that are referenced in the contract documents. A feature can be thought of as a phase of work requiring a separate Preparatory Inspection (typically, there is usually at least one FOW for every technical specification section, with many having multiple FOW). It is important that both the contractor and the government have a clear understanding of the exact type of work the Feature of Work represents.

In accordance with the terms of the contract, Definable Features of Work are required to be listed in the contractors’ Quality Control Plan. Using the QCS program to create that list is an easy way for the contractor to meet that requirement. However, even more important, Features of Work (FOW) are tied to the contractor’s pay activities providing both the government and the contractor valuable information.

Contractor Library – Feature of Work

The first place your Features of Work should be entered is in the Contractor Library. The advantage of entering them here, along with the associated 3 Phase Inspections and Hazard Analysis, is that you can copy them into all of your contracts in the QCS program without having to re-enter everything more than once.  At the contract level, you are able to tailor the Feature of Work, 3 Phase Inspections, and Hazard Analysis to fit any unique contract requirements without affecting your library entries.

To enter the FOW, simply push the [Add] button and type in the title of the FOW. The entries you make here will be entered in a look-up window for each of your contracts.

Contract Menu – Features of Work

The next area of contract planning activities can be found in a contract under Quality Control (QC), and includes the Features of Work, 3 Phase Inspections, Hazard Analysis, QC Requirements, Equipment Checks, and Dredging Equipment as required by the contract.

This is one of the entry points for the contractor Features of Work, as is required by the contract. The contractor is responsible to ensure that the features selected represent the work required by the contract and are addressed within his Quality Control Plan. (The other entry point is located in the Contractor Library as discussed above.)

Push the [Add] button to add the necessary features of work.

From this pop-up screen, you can type the description of the Feature of Work directly in the cell or, alternatively, use the look-up and make a selection from the list that is embedded within the QCS program from the Contractor Library.

You should also enter the anticipated days after the Preparatory Inspection that the Initial Inspection will be scheduled. The planned number of days between the Preparatory and Initial Inspection should be carefully selected. The Initial Inspection always takes place following the Preparatory Inspection, but AFTER a representative sample of the work has been placed. This is to ensure that the quality and workmanship reflect the agreements reached and discussions that took place during the Preparatory Inspection meeting. By entering these days, you will be able to make better use of related Reports to facilitate scheduling of your QC Staff for the Inspection meetings.

Repeat this process for all Features of Work that are listed in your Contractor Quality Control Plan.

Neither the QCS, nor the RMS cares what the description of a Feature Type is, and neither should you. However, it is VERY IMPORTANT that the Government and the Contractor have a common understanding of EXACTLY what kind of work is represented by the feature. For example, if a feature called “Electrical Work”, the contractor could mean it to be EXTERIOR and the government could have it mean INTERIOR. When the checks are attached to the feature and printed out a report, it wouldn’t make sense. You would have INTERIOR checks attached to OUTSIDE work – apples and oranges type thing. Always discuss the features of work with the Government/Contractor to ensure a common understanding exists.

Within the QCS and the RMS programs, Features of Work are linked to 3 Phase Inspections. As such, Features of Work are an integral part to the power of the QCS Three Phase Control Worksheet and should be considered quite carefully.

You, as the contractor, will later attach (link) each pay activity to one of the Features of Work. Such pay activity can be linked to only a single feature. Yet, features can contain many pay activities.

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