Marketing and Empathy Psychology
Decoding RFIs: Impact, Abuse, and Winning Strategies for Construction Projects

By - James G. Zack, Jr., CCM, CFCC, FAACE, FGPC, FRICS, PMP

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Webinar Overview:

Explore the origins and evolution of Requests for Information (RFIs) in the construction industry, and understand their widespread application. This webinar delves into the significant impact RFIs have on construction projects, using data from a global construction software provider and various studies to analyze their effects on both small and large-scale projects. We’ll investigate the misuse of the RFI process, particularly how it has been exploited for profit, a trend that has become ingrained over the past few decades. Through a detailed case study of a laboratory building at a wastewater treatment facility, we’ll illustrate how the RFI process can be manipulated and discuss the legal implications of cumulative impacts caused by numerous RFIs. Additionally, we’ll explain how owners inadvertently enable RFI abuse by neglecting to implement contractual safeguards.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn about the origin and intended purpose of the RFI process in construction.
  • Understand the impact of RFIs on projects through data analysis of approximately 1,400 projects, including average review and response times and costs.
  • Recognize how the RFI process can be abused and the resulting implications.
  • Review legal cases that have used the number of RFIs as evidence for delay and cumulative impact claims.
  • Identify critical definitions that should be included in construction contracts to mitigate RFI impact.
  • Examine a proposed RFI specification to be included in contracts for better management.
  • Discover the benefits of electronic RFI tracking and monitoring systems.
  • Learn about best practices for managing the RFI process effectively.

Course Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Target Audience:

  • General Contractors – Project Managers & Executives
  • Owners and their representatives
  • Design professionals involved in construction services
  • Construction managers
  • Attorneys representing owners and contractors

Why Attend:

  • Gain insights into the time and cost impacts of RFIs on construction projects.
  • Understand how RFIs can be misused to create claims.
  • Learn strategies to mitigate the negative effects of RFIs through effective contractual mechanisms.
  • Discover the advantages of using electronic RFI tracking and monitoring systems.
  • Familiarize yourself with best practices for managing RFIs and enhancing project outcomes.

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Speaker Detail


James Zack is the Senior Advisor, Ankura Construction Forum™ – the construction industry’s global resource for thought leadership and best practices on avoidance and resolution of construction project disputes globally. Jim was a founder and former Executive Director of the Navigant Construction Forum™. Previously, Executive Director, Corporate Claims Management, Fluor Corporation; Vice President, PinnacleOne and Executive Director, PinnacleOne Institute; and Senior Construction Claims Consultant, CH2M HILL, Inc. With 47 years’ experience, he is a recognized expert in mitigation, analysis and resolution or defense of construction claims. A Fellow of AACE International. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and the Guild of Project Controls, Mr. Zack is a Certified Forensic Claims Consultant, a Certified Construction Manager, and a Project Management Professional as well as an internationally known author and speaker on construction claims.

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