Construction project quality management is an important component of any successful project. Quality management processes help ensure that the project meets all contractual requirements, technical specifications, and safety standards. It also helps to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction as well as ensuring that the work is completed on time and within budget.
A key step in getting started with construction project quality management is to develop a quality management plan. This should be tailored to the specific needs of the project and include measurable objectives, performance standards, corrective actions, and approaches for managing risks associated with the project. The plan should also outline how communication regarding quality assurance will be handled throughout the duration of the project.
In this article, we explore various ways you can guarantee that your next project reaches the highest level of quality. This includes what quality assurance is, how construction quality is determined, what can block progress in terms of a quality assurance program, and which processes you can put into place to achieve the best results possible when it comes down to the final product.
What is construction quality, and how is it determined?
The definition of quality in construction means that a project meets the pre-outlined expectations set in the Scope of Work. This guide acts as guardrails for the project, based on what the owner wants, and highlights how to carry out the project so it satisfies these standards. The Scope of Work is your key to attaining successful construction quality outcomes – one of the primary tools you can use to guarantee your project’s success from day one.
Consistent and detailed quality control measures should always be applied throughout the construction project. This includes inspections, testing, or reviews of materials and equipment used in the construction activities. It is also important to monitor the progress of the project against predetermined performance criteria. Regular reviews should be conducted with stakeholders to ensure that their specifications are being met and their expectations are being achieved.
To gauge the success of a construction job, there are several indicators you can look at. The first is whether you managed to complete the project on time and within budget while still meeting the owners’ requirements. Another important factor is following through with the contract’s specifications without any disputes. And finally, once everything is said and done, it’s crucial that your final product does what it’s supposed to do.
What creates construction quality assurance issues?
The key to turning your construction projects around lies in understanding the elements that contribute to quality management issues, and then taking active steps to change them. Common contributing factors include using damaged or subpar materials, suppliers and vendors falling through, subcontractor mishandling, failing to document changes and practices, scope creep, miscommunication between teams complexity of designs, a lack of project management system ,and ignoring audits ad tests.
By avoiding these common factors that occur throughout the project life cycle, you can do stringent due diligence against defined standards for every aspect of the project. Creating and staying true to these standards requires implementing a number of construction quality processes.
What are quality assurance and quality control processes in construction?
Your construction project’s success lies in incorporating both quality assurance and quality control processes.
Quality assurance isn’t just concerned with the final product of a project. Instead, it takes a process-based approach that examines all planned and systematic activities carried out during the course of a job to meet quality requirements.
In contrast, quality control is a process that contractors use to make sure their work meets the quality standards and specifications of those involved in a job. The quality control process can include subcontractor qualification, bid and submittals reviews, and providing job site supervision.
Quality control is more focused on the end product than the process. quality control looks at whether a job was completed correctly and if it meets all requirements. The process measures the quality of the finished project against standards, then identifies any mistakes so they can be fixed.
Quality assurance and quality control demand two different approaches and necessitate various project stakeholders. Quality assurance is audited and tested primarily by owners or their representatives. Depending on the owner, measuring quality assurance can be quite stringent, sometimes to a point where financial implications prevent a true examination of quality from taking place.
How to improve build quality in construction projects
Now that we understand what quality is, why it matters, and how to measure it, here are a few ways to improve construction quality and set your next job up for success.
1. Work towards project closeout earlier in the build
Begin by creating a centralised punch list that you can use as you progress. The closeout process should not be put off until the end of the project—it’s actually more effective to do it throughout. Utilize a punch list format at the start of the job so that everyone understands what is expected of them and every stage of the project is accounted for. Construction management software, like custom punch list templates, offers flexible and practical tools to ease quality processes on any project. End of project procedures affect everyone from your clientele to your staff to your company’s net income, and can even determine future work prospects – so it is sensible to allocate time at the start of a project for this stage instead of putting it off until later. As you’re working on a project, it’s important to touch base with the owner and other people invested in the outcome frequently. That way, you can stay ahead of what needs to be done before handing it off, and make sure all expectations are being met. The punch-list-as-you-go method is an efficient way to wrap up a project faster by letting key stakeholders know of your progress along the way.
2. Focus on high-quality project workflows
To create a process that guarantees construction quality improvement, set up your task management workflows at the beginning of your project. Defining roles and responsibilities is crucial to effective management, and relying on punch lists alone won’t cut it if everyone isn’t aware of their part in the success or failure of the project. It is vital to delegate quality management tasks to individuals or groups at the beginning of a project, with concrete deadlines and objectives to hold them accountable for results. The right cloud-based software can help you assign and notify stakeholders, as well as track their progress – making it simpler to streamline quality workflows and guarantee that teams are on task and productive during every phase of the job.
3. Conduct frequent construction site risk assessments
Regularly assessing construction site risk is one of the most important things you can do to keep a construction project on track. With so much at stake, it’s more important than ever to monitor risks closely and address them quickly. Performing regular risk assessments is essential to keeping a project on track and avoiding potential problems. This process involves identifying any potential threats or concerns related to the job, reviewing the project regularly for possible liabilities, and developing strategies for mitigating all issues you identify along the way. Common challenges that can be addressed through risk assessment include legal risks, zoning issues, cash flow concerns, worker training, deliverable transfer, and other factors that could cause delays or disruptions down the line.
4. Standardize data collection and documentation
Learning from our past projects is a smart way to improve future work quality, but only 47% of contractors do this. Adopting better standards for data collection and documentation on all construction sites will help lower risks and build cleaner structures in the future. Not to mention, companies that are either already using or considering using smart construction tech, advanced analytics or digital project management tools know that these solutions can be revolutionary in terms of proactive risk detection and prevention. Think about incorporating tools that might help predict and manage risks so you can streamline project closeouts and improve the quality control of your work product.
- Projects completed within the guidelines established by the Scope of Work are considered to be high quality.
- Quality management is all about finishing the project on time, meeting the requirements of the agreement and staying within budget.
- The quality of your work affects how much money you make; if you do a good job, customers will come back to you and may recommend you to others. Additionally, high-quality projects are less likely to need repairs or fixes.
- Poor or insufficient construction quality can cause a project to fail, and up to 60% of general contractors agree that it negatively affects profitability.
- The issues of quality assurance typically arise from different site problems, such as utilizing low-quality materials or not documenting changes that are made.
- There at two ways to improve quality in construction: quality assurance and quality control.
- Construction businesses can further improve quality control by working towards closeout earlier, focusing on using quality workflows, conducting risk assessments frequently, and standardizing your processes.
There are a number of strategies you can employ to manage, assure, control, and improve the quality of your construction projects. Using a digital solution like construction management software can help ensure that all of your jobs meet the highest possible quality standards for construction.
It is important to establish a culture of quality assurance within the project team. This means that team members should understand and be committed to meeting quality standards. Regular meetings should be held throughout the life cycle of the project in order to ensure that all team members have the same understanding of roles, responsibilities, and expectations when it comes to quality control.
Finally, it is critical to document all quality assurance activities to provide a clear record of what was done and the results that were achieved. This can be used for future reference and should be incorporated into the project’s final report. By taking these steps, you will ensure that your construction project meets the highest standards for quality management.