Taking on the task of constructing a structure that will be used for years to come requires taking safety and energy efficiency seriously. With no room for mistakes, construction companies must continually strive to improve the quality of their work and build robust structures. To do so effectively, they should look into teaming up with experienced building professionals and sub-contractors as well as leveraging innovative technologies in their strategies.
Meeting the required standards of quality is essential to the success of each project and the satisfaction of all parties involved. However, construction quality management is often a complex and multifaceted process that involves a wide range of challenges. Successfully overcoming these challenges requires advanced and data-driven quality assurance and construction management systems.
Here are some of the top challenges adopting modern techniques and tools can help address:
- Ensuring that a construction project stays within budget through careful planning, forecasting, and cost control measures.
- Preventing disruptions to the schedule by implementing risk management and contingency plans.
- Ensuring that the project meets all quality and safety standards.
- Managing the expectations and needs of stakeholders, employees, subcontractors, and the local community.
- Identifying and managing risks such as potential hazards on the job site, assessing their impact, and implementing mitigation measures.
- Managing the availability and allocation of resources, including labour, materials, and equipment, is a major challenge in construction project management.
- Staying up-to-date with the ever-changing regulations and standards in the industry.
With these challenges, achieving high-quality construction typically takes more than conventional quality assurance management. Incorporating new technology, such as construction project management software, can significantly upgrade existing quality systems, which aids in eliminating risks, hitting targets, and meeting quality standards.
How to improve the quality management of a construction project
The complexity of each construction project necessitates the strict implementation of quality control. But quality management systems cover much more than that. Conforming to quality standards, construction best practices, and government regulations must be intrinsic in every aspect of project management. And for that, we’ve come up with a list of simple ways to improve construction project quality:
1. Establish clear project goals and objectives
The first step in improving the quality of a construction project is to determine the desired outcomes, the expected level of quality, and the budget and schedule constraints. Having clear goals and objectives helps ensure that all parties involved in the project work towards the same result.
- Identify the key project stakeholders.
- Define the project’s scope and boundaries.
- Establish the project objectives.
- Identify any constraints or assumptions that may impact the project.
- Create a project scope statement that clearly and concisely outlines the project boundaries, objectives, and scope.
2. Develop a comprehensive quality management plan
A quality plan is a document that outlines the strategies and procedures that will be used to achieve the desired level of quality in a construction project. It should include details such as the roles and responsibilities of each team member, the materials and methods to use, and the testing and inspection procedures to follow:
- Identify the quality standards that apply to the project, including industry standards, regulatory requirements, or the client’s specific quality expectations.
- Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals that reflect the quality standards identified in step 1.
- Identify the quality control measures that will be used to ensure that the project meets the quality objectives—inspections, testing, and verification procedures.
- Outline the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders, the project manager, the quality control manager, and the project team.
- Establish a system for tracking and documenting quality control activities and results.
- Update the quality plan as needed.
3. Hire qualified and experienced professionals
Only hire qualified and experienced building professionals. Develop a screening method that will not just sieve through the endless list of tradespeople searching for work but also feature irresistible offers to top candidates. Here’s why hiring the right people for a construction project is crucial:
- Qualified professionals have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to complete the job to a high standard.
- Those who have previously encountered and solved similar problems know how to approach tasks most efficiently.
- Workers who have received proper training and have a track record of following safety protocols can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries on the job site.
- Construction companies need workers who can meet deadlines and solve potential problems before they become significant delays.
4. Use high-quality materials and equipment
Many construction projects fail due to cost-cutting involving material and equipment purchases. Therefore, risking safety to save a little by choosing substandard alternatives should be out of the question. Here are some of the reasons construction companies must only use high-quality materials and equipment:
- High-quality materials and equipment are more resistant to wear and tear.
- Using inferior materials and equipment can be a safety hazard.
- Only high-quality materials and equipment can produce a high-quality finished product.
- While superior resources may have a higher upfront cost, they can save money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs and maintenance.
- It can help build clients’ trust and improve the construction company’s reputation.
5. Communicate effectively with all parties involved
Effective communication—keeping all parties informed of progress, changes, and any issues that arise during the construction process—is also essential to construction quality. Contractors must establish clear lines of communication to encourage open and honest dialogue among team members and stakeholders. Here’s why:
- Ensuring everyone is on the same page prevents confusion and miscommunication.
- Effective communication promotes collaboration, which can increase productivity.
- Build strong working relationships among all team members, which can lead to a smoother and more successful project overall.
- Build a positive reputation for the company, equivalent to a high trust rating.
6. Establish a system for managing and resolving issues
Problems are inevitable in any construction project. That’s why it is crucial to establish a system for managing and resolving issues in a timely and effective manner. Not only will this mitigate potential bottlenecks arising from these issues, but it will also help improve plans and strategies down the road. Here’s how you can achieve this:
- Set up a system for reporting and documenting issues.
- Make sure everyone on site knows where and how to report problems.
- Determine who is responsible for what.
- Use a mediator to facilitate resolutions.
- Create a ticketing system to track report statuses and ensure they are solved.
7. Ensure that all parties adhere to required safety standards
Construction projects can be inherently dangerous because of the hazardous materials and methodologies involved. But you can increase site safety (and improve construction project quality) by ensuring stakeholders, tradespeople, project managers, and subcontractors adhere to safety standards. Here are some steps to do just that:
- Develop a safety plan and require all team members to familiarize themselves with their roles.
- Train everyone on hazard identification, emergency procedures, and other relevant subjects.
- Inspect the worksite regularly.
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- If safety hazards are identified, take prompt action to correct them.
How going digital can reinforce construction quality assurance standards
It is essential to seek out ways to improve the quality process continuously. While the above steps can streamline a construction project, eliminate risks, and prevent costly delays, conventional strategies need a significant upgrade to meet the ever-increasing demand for quality. Incorporating digital solutions can do just that. Here’s what technology like construction quality management software offers:
- A central location for all project information, making it easier for team members to access the latest plans, schedules, and updates
- A platform where the construction team can collaborate
- Automating schedule creation, saving time and reducing errors
- Easy ways to track project costs and use of resources such as the use of resources
- Generate reports on the status of quality control efforts
- Data visualization tools, such as charts and graphs
- Advanced data analytics capabilities
To guarantee successful construction projects that meet the highest standards of excellence, companies must invest in experienced professionals and superior materials. Utilizing advanced technologies will also help to ensure their structures are safe, energy-efficient and built to last for years – all while safeguarding a positive reputation. By taking these steps now, companies can be confident they have made an investment sure to bring about remarkable results.