They are project quality plan, quality assurance, and quality control. 2. Project Quality Plan A quality plan is a document that is unique to every construction project (Chunk, 1999). In the construction industry, the owner, or his perspective representative’s, such as the architect or engineer, indicate in the contract what must be included in the quality plan (Chunk, 1999). A quality plan should be drawn up, or at least a draft of the plan, should be drawn up and submitted to the client with the bid documents. Chunk (1999) feels that this ill show the client the contractors’ dedications to quality in the project.
He also believes that the key elements of the project quality plan is the companies’ quality manual, quality procedures, statutory regulations, inspection and test plan, and procedures specific to the project. When drafting the project plan, the project manager must keep in mind that the quality plan should be updated periodically to ensure it encompasses contract changes (Chunk, 1999). 2. 1 Quality System Standard Rumen (2010) describes a quality system standard as documents used to define conditions or behaviors that meet an acceptable criteria.
These standards ensure that the finished product meets specifications and is safe for use (Rumen, 2010). Standard setting should be one of the first issues, when developing a quality assurance System. In the past most companies developed their own set of standards, however, with globalization, most companies are now using available standards, such as ISO 9000 (Rumen, 2010). Although there are many organization that produce standards there are eleven that are best known. The best known in the United States construction industry are International Organization for Standardization (ISO),
American Society for Quality (ASS), American National Standard Institute (ANSI), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning (SHARE) (Rumen, 2010). The standards that will be used on a project are generally identified in the project plan, according to Rumen (2010). 2. 2 Inspection and test Plan (IT P) In construction the inspection and test plan, show what verification measures must be taken during a process and gives a criteria for acceptance of each inspection or test (Chunk, 1999).
A good example of what may be on the inspection and test plan is the testing of concrete. Generally, several test cylinders are taken during the placement of concrete and sent to a lab, where they are tested at different specified period to see if the concrete meets specified strength. This testing would fall under the ASTM standards in most cases. Other construction process that may be on the inspection and test plan include, but are not limited to, steel erection, plumbing and drainage, waterproofing, and installation of fire-fighting equipment (Chunk, 1999).
In addition, Chunk (1999) states that these test are generally the responsibility f supervisory staff and depending on the project, by the quality control manager. In most cases the reports that are generated from the TIP are sent to the architect and engineer for review and sign off. In some case they may even be required to be present during the inspections and testing (Chunk, 1999). Chunk (1999) states that any document generated from inspections and testing are a part of the quality system and must become a part of the permanent record, once they have been reviewed and approved. . 3 Quality Management Review The quality management plan, like any other project management plan would be reviewed and updated regularly. Chunk (1999) says that the review is generally conducted with those who are concerned with the project. This would include, but not be limited to, the project manager, site foreman, engineer/architect, and certain sub-contractors. It is also important to include anyone who has had any violation of the inspection and test plan that were laid out in the quality plan (Chunk, 1999).
The changes in the scope of the project should also be reviewed at this time to ensure that any changes have been incorporated into the quality plan (Chunk, 1999). 2. Quality System Document When writing the quality system document, there are really no printed rules. The one thing that must be remembered by the project manager or his designed is to make them as simple and straight forward as possible (Chunk, 1999). The project manager must also keep in mind that these are living documents, so they must be updated regularly (Chunk, 1999).
Since they are living documents Chunk (1999) suggest that if the company is using hard copies that they be kept in a three ring binder making them easy to remove for updating, he makes a strong recommendation that they be kept electronically, which makes updating easier and efficient. 3. Quality Assurance Human (2010) in his paper “Dynamic Quality Management in Complex Construction Projects” says that the terms quality assurance and quality control are often used interchangeable. However, Human believes that they are two complete different concepts.
Hung states that quality assurance is designed to give a customer confidence that the contractor will supply a product with what the customer feels is an adequate degree of quality. Human makes the comparison that quality assurance is concerned with “what has to e done” and quality control is concerned with what is expected in the building process to reduce mistakes and rework. Regenerated, Clarke, and Andrews (2012) give a simpler definition of quality assurance, they say that quality assurance is the “activities that validate the effectiveness of quality control.
Meaning that quality assurance is use to review quality control practices. In the construction industry one of the best examples of a quality assurance is the one run by the Army Corp. of Engineers. The Corp. of Engineers starts their quality assurance efforts before the project even egging. This is done by attending different pre job meeting to gain an idea of how quality assurance will be implemented, this is also when they begin to write the quality assurance plan (Hart, 2005).
The Corps quality assurance efforts shifts to a review of the general contractors quality control plan, after the contract has been awarded (Hart 2005). The Corp. of Engineers approach to quality assurance has led many companies to copy their practices on private projects (Smith, 2014). 3. 1 Responsibility In many cases the responsibility for quality assurance lies with the contractor. However, the owner/client, engineer and architect also have responsibility when it comes to quality assurance. Regenerated et al. (2012) say that quality assurance is everyone’s responsibility. . 1. 1 Contractor Responsibility Hart (2005) a senior construction engineer with the Corp. of Engineers says that the main role of the contractor in quality assurance is that they are responsible for controlling construction quality and they are also responsible for the inspection of work for compliance with the specified quality requirements. According to Hart (2005) they are also responsible for repairing the quality plan and assigning the quality control staff, this includes the quality manager. These are the responsibilities for contractors on Corp. of Engineer projects.
On project that are not covered by the Corp. of Engineers the contractor may be the supervising authority for quality assurance and quality control. In this past the contractor would be responsible for taking the clients expectation Of quality and incorporating them with contractors existing quality plan (Human, 2010). Human (2010) says that the contractor would appoint the quality assurance manager, establish a quality assurance am, review current practices, and in some cases hire a quality assurance consultant. . 1. 2 Client Responsibility Chunk (1999) believes that quality assurance starts with the client. The client main responsibility in any construction project is to clearly define their quality system requirements. In addition they should ensure that their expectation have been clearly communicate to the architect and engineer for the respective project. This will enable the architect and engineer, who in many cases are the client representatives, to incorporate these wishes into the blueprints and specifications.
Chunk (1999) states that it is also the clients’ responsibility to indicate in the contract document, whether the contractors quality system should comply with ISO 9001 /9002 in part or in full. If only in part, it is the clients responsibility to lay out which parts the contractor should comply with in his quality plan. It is also the clients’ responsibility to specify what quality-relate documents will be used and what dates the documents should be submitted. The client also has the responsibility to communicate project requirements in the contract documents, this should include quality assurance requirements (Chunk, 1999). . 1. 3 Architect and Engineer Responsibility In quality assurance the responsibility of the architect and engineer is to ensure that they have communicated the clients’ expectations of quality to the contractor (Chunk 1999). The main responsibility for the architect and most especially the engineer is the review of the inspection and test documents (Chunk 1999). A good example of this is the concrete strength test discussed earlier. The engineer would review these documents and ensure that the concrete strength is in compliance with the specifications for the project.
The architect should ensure that he has reviewed all shop drawing that he or she has for the project and made sure that they are correct before being released (Chunk, 1999). 3. 2 ISO 9000 VS. Total Quality Management When you think about quality and the different methods uses, one would think that ISO 9000 and Total Quality Management would be competing systems. However, according to Alkyl (2014) in his article “The Relationship Between ISO 9000 Certification, TTS Practices, and Organization Performance,” shows that some research shows that ISO 9000 certification is a step leading to Total Quality Management.
He further states that the hypothesis that ISO 9000 and Total Quality Management are the two most prevalent approaches to quality. Furthermore, he states that research has shown that when organization adopt ISO 9000 and then continue with Total Quality Management achieve a higher level of performance. This research indicates that one system compliments the other. To get an understanding of the two concepts they are explained in the following sections. 3. 2. 1 ISO 9000 Description ISO 9000 came about through the Department of Defenses Mil SST 9858 which was the first quality program (Holly, 2007).
Holly (2007) says that it really cannot be determined when the concept of ISO 9000 were derived, since the principles of inspection according to standard have been around since the Pyramids in Egypt were built. Holly (2007) says that ISO 9000 standards are criteria that when applied, as they should be, allow an organization the capability to create and keep satisfied customers. Holly (1998) in the “ISO pocket Guide” states that ISO 9000 consist of 19 international standards for quality systems, consisting of the 9000 series, certain standards from the 1 0000 series, and ISO 8402.
ISO 9000 comprises wow types of standards, ones addressing quality assurance and those that address quality management. Holly (1998) says that when applying the ISO 9000 Family of standards, there are two ways to accomplish this task, management motivated and stakeholder motivated. The stakeholder approach revolves around the quest for certification, while the management approach focuses on an effective management system that brings about conformity, while preventing nonconformity.
Holly (1998) also believes that for ISO 9000 to work it takes commitment form top management, middle management and the workforce. In the construction industry, Chin and Valued (2003) believe that ISO 9000 has been easily implemented, because of its generic nature. In addition they believe that revision to the ISO in 1994 had made it easier to apply ISO 9001 and 9003 in construction firms. They also recognize that while ISO 9000 has been accepted in the European market, it has been slow to be accepted in the United States.
They also have concluded that ISO 9000 has brought advantages to those companies that are certified, these companies have also had difficulties implementing ISO 9000, and these problems are mostly related to the documentation requirements and Internal assessment of procedures. Some of these barriers are what is causing non certified construction companies form gaining ISO 9000 certification. 3. 2. 2 Total Quality Management Regenerated, et al. (2012) defines Total Quality Management as “a management approach to long term success through customer satisfaction. Total quality management involves everyone in the organization, and must be based on continuous training to succeed (Jonathan, Sunday, Bombay and Robes, 2012). They say that the this continuous training is needed for the following reasons, to train new employees, improve performance, train to changing environment, increase moral, and it is an investment in human resources. The goal here is that by having a well trained staff, the company reduces errors in production and improves quality. When it comes to the construction industry, many companies have been reluctant to adopt Total Quality Management.
According to Sue Phone and Toe (2004) in the article “Implementing Total Quality Management in Construction Firms” say the reason for this is the fact that each construction project is unique, the high number of collapses of companies during economic down turns, and the countermanding of cost of quality. They believe that construction firms only see Total Quality Management as an added expense to their project cost, they fail to see the rewards of the implementation of a Total Quality Program.
They further state that in order for Total Quality Management to work in the construction industry, the construction company must have a construction team, which includes the main contractor and sub-contractors who would be totally dedicated to quality. They would also have to develop and maintain and attitude of true quality. Sue Phone and Toe (2004) show that research into Total Quality Management in the construction industry relies on the total commitment of the top management as well as the rest of the construction team, for the implementation to be successful.
The also show that construction companies that have gone through the ISO 9000 certification have an easier time in implementing Total Quality Management. This goes to the point made earlier that ISO 9000 and Total Quality Management complement each Other. 3. 3 Management Assessment Chunk (1999) says that the key to a successful Quality Management System is for management to continually access the system. They say that no matter what kind of quality system a company has in place, senior managers and section managers should review the system at least once a year.
This review, according to Chunk (1999), will ensure that the quality system is still suitable and is effective for satisfying the companies’ quality policy and objectives. During this review internal as well as external qualities audits should be reviewed. This is also the time to assess amendments made to the plan, from the last review and this review also show the continued commitment of management to quality (Chunk, 1999). 4. Quality Control Regenerated et. Al. (2012) defines quality control as “individual activities, such as inspecting and testing by which conformance to the project specifications is validated. In the construction industry, when looking at quality control, the best place to look is at the united States Corp. of Engineers program. In the Corp. of Engineers program, the contractor is contractually responsible for quality control. This means that the contractor is responsible for all testing and inspection during the project In addition they are responsible for all sub- contractors on the project and must make sure that their work meets pacification (Hart, 2005). Hart (2005) also states that the contractor is responsible for appointing the quality control manager and ensuring that they have the proper training and certification.
The Corp. of Engineers has a certification process for all quality control managers that work a project controlled by the Corp.. 4. 1 Seven Basic Quality Tools Sakes (July, 2002) in the article “Organize Your Quality Tool Belt” talks about the seven basic tools used to access the quality control process. He says that these tools generally analyze a discrete process and produce quantitative data. It is important, according to Sakes (July, 2002) that the quality manager matches the right tool to purpose. In the next seven sections a brief description of these tools is given. 4. 1. Cause and Effect Diagram According to Rumen (2013), these diagrams are to identify the possible causes and effects in processes. They are displayed in a graphical manner. 4. 1. 2 Flow Chart Rumen (2013) describes a flow chart as a pictorial tool that represents processes in sequential order. Its main objective is to see if steps used in a process are logical, used to uncover problems in communications, define mandarins of a process, and develop a common base of knowledge about the process. 4. 1. 3 Check Sheet Rumen (2013) says that a check sheet is a structured list.
This list is made up of collected data and it indicates how often each item occurs. The main purpose of the check sheet is to collect facts in an efficient manner. 4. 1. 4 Parent Diagrams The Parent Diagram is a graph which has a series of bars that reflect the frequency of the occurrence. It is arranged in descending order of height. Its main purpose in quality control is to determine which steps to take next (Rumen, 2013). 4. 1. Histograms The histogram is used to record the frequency distribution of data. It is similar to a Parent Diagram. Except it generally deals time (Rumen, 2013). 4. 1. Control Charts This chart is used as a fundamental tool of statistical process control. This graph is used to show how processes react over time. There are many types of control charts, each designed for specific types of data of processes (Rumen, 2013) 4. 1. 7 Scatter Diagram Rumen (2013) describes the scatter diagram as a plot of one variable against the other. Both variables relate to same event and can be used to find the tot cause of a problem. 4. 2 Quality Control Training The key concept behind any Quality Control System is training. ISO 9000 and Total Quality Management both require personnel to be properly trained.
Chunk (1999) says that the key to any quality system is to ensure the personnel are trained as to their role and what the quality system is about. A good example of quality control training is being used by the United States Corp. of Engineers. This program/training is a two day course for quality control managers, and it covers principles and the requirements expected of the quality control manager (Hart, 2005). . 3 Qualifications for Quality Control Personnel The Corp. of engineers has its requirements for a quality control manager, as was mentioned above, with the two day training course.
In addition, there are other qualification that other professionals recommend. For instance, Holly (2007) feels that anyone conducting inspections or tests, should at a minimum be a qualified engineer in that field. For example, if a person were conducting a test of an HAVE system, then the person conducting that test, or witnessing the test should be a qualified engineer in that field. Holly (2007) also feels that at a minimum the person conducting the inspection or test should have extensive knowledge and experience in the field. 5.
Summary One of the most important parts of any project is the quality of the product or service given to the customer. It is important in the construction industry to have a Quality plan established for all projects and to ensure that all personnel have the proper training into what the company expected, as far as quality is concerned. It is important for every company to have a quality system in place. Management must show their motivation to any system that s adopted by the company and do at least a yearly review of their Quality Management Plan.