A key to achieving success is assembling a stable and strong management team. Quality is never by chance, it is the outcome of intelligent efforts that have to manage.
The essence of quality management is to apply the knowledge and to make it productive in terms of achieving the desired quality. A theory of Total Quality Management (TQM) is necessary for the modern construction era as quality has become a parameter on which we evaluate or are evaluated by others.
Numerous questions like, what is it, how it measured, how is it controlled, how to improve it, etc. are to be answered to get the required quality. The complete process that answers all such questions is often known as quality management.
What is quality management?
Construction projects involve various functions across different segments and activities, yet the one thing they all offer in like manner is their longing to deliver quality work on schedule and within the financial plan.
Quality management is the foundation for construction projects and plays a major role in defining whether the project is a success or a failure. Every construction company desires to deliver the quality of work, as it has become the judging criteria for the company and also plays a vital role in building its reputation.
Quality management in construction involves putting in place the policies, processes, and procedures to improve the approach and methods in order to deliver the aimed quality and match the required standards. For any company, establishing the internal and external principles along with the guidelines results in quality.
There are two major objectives of quality management that have to be achieved:
- To minimize the occurrence of defects in the construction project
- To identify and solve defects and issues before the project handover
What are the principles and components of a construction quality management system?
To suffice the two objectives of quality management, the process is bifurcated in two segments with each segment having the precise role to improve the overall quality. The two subsets of quality management are Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC). A famous illustration of the umbrella of quality explains the components and its importance.
There a few principles of a construction quality management system that are essential for successful quality management on a construction project.
The following are the important principles of a construction quality management system:
- Client focus
- Engagement of people
- The process approach
- Evidence-based decision making
- Relationship management
There are a number of activities that converge to make a quality management plan. These activities vary from monitoring to auditing. The following illustration shows the different activities involved in the process of quality management.
All these activities can be found under one digital solution with DigiQC.
Total Quality Management (TQM) in Construction
The concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) aims to improve the organization's ability to achieve quality and deliver the desired output to the client on a continuously improving basis.
There are a few differences between the traditional management system and the total management system.
- TQM is process-oriented rather than the result-oriented traditional approach.
- TQM prioritizes the quality, flexibility, and services rather than the cost.
- TQM involves a more horizontal organizational structure rather than the traditional vertical management system.
- TQM presumes that profits follow the quality and not vice-versa.
A portion of the advantages that can be derived from TQM incorporate; decrease in quality costs, more significant levels of representative and customer fulfillment, less remedial work, fewer deferrals, and closer associations with subcontractors and vendors.
One major drawback of establishing the TQM is that it takes time to put in place a proper environment and organizational culture with a strong work ethic.
The Quality Management Plan for Construction Projects
The very famous quote of ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is relevant for the quality management of a construction project. Preventing the defect is much more cost and time effective than correcting the defect.
It is important to establish a plan to act before the starting of the actual construction. The quality management plan should be inclusive of the following :
- Quality policies
- Clear and measurable quality objectives
- Requirement standards
- Other statutory and legal standards
As the quality management plan is both an internal and external tool, it should ensure adherence to the necessary quality standards that enable continuous improvement and ultimately good performance.
Once the quality management plan is in place, the next phase is to develop procedures that will enable you to achieve the objectives.
All the processes and methods should be recorded along with the defects and repairs, which might prove important for future endeavors. Documentation is an essential part of the construction quality management system.
To reiterate the above points and summarise, quality management is an essential part that needs to be defined well in advance and abide by throughout the project life cycle, in order to achieve the aimed quality and match the pre-defined required standards.
Achieving the quality management objectives has many benefits but none more beneficial than building a strong reputation in the market in the construction sector. There is a number of solutions to help you optimize the construction quality processes, like the software solution at DigiQC for all your jobs to meet the highest possible standards of quality.
People who are not used to quality, always chase the quantity. But they often miss the fact that quality is the best business plan and the best way to reduce the cost along with saving the time for repairs. Quality is a great investment option.
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