Lifecycle of an Item

Items in Join allow the ability to track ideas to be explored and decisions to be made. After adding an item in Join, its status is used to track decisions that are made throughout the lifecycle of an Item.

The lifecycle of an Item generally follows these steps:

  1. Generating ideas to be considered
  2. Gathering information to inform a decision
  3. Making decisions
  4. Incorporating accepted ideas into the project

Generating Ideas

The first step in the lifecycle of an Item is to come up with an idea that could enhance the project and then add that idea as an Item. Items can be any idea that the team comes up with that may involve further discussion, design, pricing, etc. before being implemented into the project. These ideas are often related to value engineering, constructability, project risks, schedule impacts, etc. By default, all teammates in a project can create Items and showcase their ideas.

After adding an Item, it is important to fill out as much information as possible in the Create New Item window such as name, description, assignee, due date, Milestone, and Categorizations. This information will be helpful when making decisions, grouping, sorting, and filtering the Items List, and creating reports. When an Item is created its default status is Pending, and the status will evolve as decisions are made and as ideas are incorporated into the project.

Tip: The Not Applicable status will allow Items to be used without affecting the Cost Trendline.

Gathering Information

The next step is to gather all the information that is necessary in order to make an informed decision. Documents and files such as drawings, sketches, 3D models, specifications, cut-sheets, photos, etc. can be directly attached to an Item. An item estimate can be added to the Item if it is anticipated to have a cost impact to the project. 

This step typically involves collaboration from multiple teammates. The owner may set requirements or provide input on what they want. Designers (architects, engineers, consultants) may provide drawings and specifications. The general contractor and subcontractors may provide constructability, schedule feedback, and cost data.


Now that all the relevant information has been compiled into a single location, it’s time to decide whether an Item will be accepted or rejected. If no further discussion is required, a decision can be made and the status can be updated at any time in Join. If further discussions are required, teammates can use the Item Change History section on the Item’s detail page to discuss the Item. This will significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to make decisions without the need to wait for the next meeting.

Tip: Leave comments in the Item Change History section on the Item’s detail page and @mention other teammates so they will automatically receive an email notification informing them that a response or action is required by them.

Changing the status of an Item from Pending to Accepted will adjust the values of Accepted Changes and the Running Total. This will occur in the project sidebar as well as the charts on the Dashboard. Changing the status of an Item from Pending to Rejected will update the Items chart as well as the min/max available range in the Cost Trendline chart.

Incorporation Into the Project

Once an Item is accepted, it can be incorporated into the project. This means updating the contract documents (drawings, specifications, etc.) with the necessary changes. When the contract documents have been updated and reissued, the general contractor and subcontractors can update their estimates for the new Milestone. Now that the accepted Items have been included in the current Milestone Estimate, the status of the Items can be changed from Accepted to Incorporated which will remove all costs for that Item from the Running Total.