Your reputation is everything and quality is the key to maintaining it. Regardless of the size of a job, construction quality management is one of the tentpoles of a successful project. Every stakeholder has their exacting standards for quality, and meeting them is critical to any project’s success. Emphasizing quality construction management at every stage of a project ensures that they are delivered on-time and on-budget with minimal errors and unnecessary reworks. To help you better understand the role of construction quality management on your job site, we’ve gathered some resources to explain what quality management is, and how it can be achieved most efficiently.
- What is Construction Quality Management
- QA versus QC
- Critical Factors in Quality Management
- Best Practices
- How OnSiteIQ can Help
Understanding Construction Quality Management
At the most basic level, construction quality management is the process through which developers and owners and construction managers ensure that a project meets quality standards throughout the project’s life. This is accomplished through monitoring, observation, and verification. Procedures instituted by owners and developers and construction managers ensure that work adheres to architects’ and engineers’ plans and specifications through quality assurance and quality control methodologies.
Quality Assurance (QA) versus Quality Control (QC)
One source of confusion in the discussion around construction quality management is the difference between quality assurance and quality control. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they have different meanings and roles in the construction process. It’s essential to understand what these terms mean and how they are applied to the Jobsite.
Quality Assurance (QA) establishes systems and procedures to ensure quality on the project or installed system. It refers to each job’s specific quality management plan and all the practices that need to be – instituted to produce a quality product that meets all established standards, is free of defects, and performs as per specification.
Quality Control (QC) is the application of that quality assurance program in the field. It refers to the day to day activities that take place during the life of a project. The field personnel will use the QA plan to assess and monitor quality and identify and rectify any defects in the installation or performance of the systems or project. QC is QA in action.
Critical Factors in Construction Quality Management
Construction quality management can be a resource-intensive part of any significant job. Still, increasingly technology is providing ways to streamline the quality management process and reduce the amount of effort required of developers, construction managers, and onsite personnel. Still, there are a few vital resources that are needed for effective construction quality management.
Access To Accurate Information
The most important contributing factor to effective construction quality management is quality information delivered promptly. Developers and key stakeholders need access to high-quality and highly accurate information to efficiently make decisions, evaluate progress, and assess the work quality. This information also needs to be delivered on time to ensure that all stakeholders have near-real-time access to the projects and can take action to manage events quickly. Finding and correcting problems early will save time and money.
While the practices that owners implement are critical to managing construction quality, procedures alone are not a sufficient guarantee. Success is inherently tied to the tools your team has available to document progress. These accountability tools allow your team to keep detailed records of their progress and regularly share those records with critical stakeholders. This, in turn, will enable developers and other stakeholders to stay informed about the status of all their jobsites, whether they are physically present or not.
The use of written documentation and detailed visual records of site progress is critical, and digital documentation tools help construction management to share all of their field data directly. This way, the documentation you wish to share is available to key stakeholders, regardless of location. This, in turn, will allow developers to perform efficient dispersal of information as needed to key team members involved with the construction process. Management can use these tools without becoming bogged down sorting through copious physical records and combining written data and photo data with miscellaneous information in various forms.
Making these images available digitally also means they are available to every member of your quality assurance/quality control teams any time they need to review the material. A shared database also allows QA teams and onsite teams to quickly consult the architect’s plans and engineers specifications during installation. Comparing those documents to installed work ensures that the completed structure matches the designer’s intent.
You can’t produce quality work without a sufficient workforce. The amount of field staff needed to complete a project on-time and on-budget and meet the high-quality standards you’ve set will vary depending on the job’s size and scope. It can be tempting to reduce costs by minimizing headcount, but ensuring that you have the right amount of staff on the job site is the best way to ensure that no details are overlooked and that quality comes first. It also guarantees that you’ll have enough workforce to produce the kind of detailed documentation your team needs.
Of course, fielding enough bodies to handle every aspect of a project can tax resources. This is one area where OnSiteIQ is ready to help. Our solution ensures that jobsite video and photo construction documentation tasks don’t fall on skilled construction managers, freeing them up to use their time more efficiently to guide the project’s execution. Our team provides 360°photo documentation of your jobsite. It makes it available for next-day viewing via our platform, allowing you to review and approve change orders, verify construction quality, and perform virtual QA walkthroughs wherever you are.
Construction Quality Management Best Practices Practices
Whether it’s by their actions or by the managers they hire, owners establish the basic framework for jobsite accountability with the decisions they make. As an owner, construction quality management is critical both to your success and your reputation. The priorities you set for your teams and the procedures you put in place to track and monitor construction quality are essential parts of the developers’ role. Owners and developers create the conditions for excellence with the tools, time, and procedures they provide and oversee, allowing their teams to focus on producing high-quality work on time and budget. We’ve compiled a list of crucial construction quality management practices to implement immediately.
Quality Visual Documentation
Construction quality management is critical, but when you’re dealing with a complex project or a broad portfolio, it’s impossible to be everywhere at once. Implementing robust visual documentation on your jobsites allows you to monitor progress and manage quality expectations from anywhere. By creating a consistent cadence of photo records through your project’s life with regular walkthroughs, you guarantee the ability to track issues, spot problems, and keep your finger on the pulse of every jobsite in your portfolio.
The most effective visual documentation should consist of high-resolution photography collected at regular intervals to capture every facet of a project that would be observable in a site walkthrough. These photos should be managed consistently and document the same areas throughout the project’s life so that progress can be compared. The finished project can be assessed against the stages of its development. These types of images are essential for managing construction and insurance claims, ensuring ongoing safety, adjudicating safety issues where they occur. They can also be used post-construction by facilities management team management in cases where critical equipment is located behind walls, in ceilings, and difficult areas without destructive investigation.
How OnSiteIQ can help
As a leading provider of construction monitoring technology, OnSiteIQ is uniquely positioned to facilitate thorough and exhaustive construction quality management. Our platform offers a set of capabilities that helps track your project’s quality and reduces the amount of effort required from onsite teams freeing up construction managers to use their valuable time and skills on other critical aspects of your project.
360° Visual Documentation
OnSiteIQ provides unbiased inspection quality photo documentation of every area of your jobsite. Our teams walk your site at a regular cadence freeing up your onsite personnel from the cumbersome task of creating their photographic records. The images we capture are available for access anywhere you are via our easy-to-use platform. As an impartial party, OnSiteIQ, provides you with an added layer of protection and certainty in the event of any legal disputes arise
Our intelligent construction documentation software maps all of your photo documentation to your building’s floor plan, allowing you to perform a virtual walkthrough at every construction stage from wherever you are. There’s no need to sort through thousands of images, simply jump to the area you need to view on the floor plan to see the latest progress or jump back in time to see how the work has developed throughout the project’s life.
Learn more about how OnSiteIQ can help you to manage construction quality across your portfolio. Request A Demo today!