Making the shift from the “traditional 16 divisions” that were last current in 1995 to the numbers and titles used in all current editions of MasterFormat is a sizable task. Most software and construction industry information resources have long since made that shift, meaning that undertaking the effort to do so yourself will pay back that effort with access to more information and a wider array of resources.
How do I make the transition?
For users of previous editions of MasterFormat®, making the transition to the current MasterFormat® edition is best approached by breaking the task down into smaller steps.
First, time your transition properly. There will be a workload cost associated with updating documents and information organized using MasterFormat®, so identify all of the affected resources and estimate the time needed to make the transition for each of them before starting that work. Though it’s best to coordinate all of your resources to avoid disconnects, if the immediate cost of and time for transition is your chief concern, remember that some information resources can be updated in stages on an as-needed or as-time-allows basis.
After estimating how long it will take to make the transition and the resources needed to do so, prioritize the information resources in terms of how frequently and widely each is used in projects. Create a timeline for the transition and communicate the completion date you all agree upon to individuals inside your organization and those you do business with. By doing so, you can establish when all construction information generated will be organized according to the new version of MasterFormat®. Address how this completion date will be harmonized with existing and new project schedules. For example, projects that are currently underway will most likely require the continued use of the older MasterFormat®, and you may have to maintain parallel systems for a while. Continue the communication on a regular basis and accept commentary and information that changes your plans.
Once you have completed the transition, the final step is to do an evaluation and review any existing problems with your construction documents or business processes that may have been uncovered by the review. That way, your update will help you gain an even greater degree of control over the quality of your project information.