5 Tips for Construction Quality Managers to Implement Today

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Construction quality management does not have to be overly complex. If you’re looking to make some quick improvements, consider these 5 tips.

  1. Use Photos to Eliminate Recurring Errors

Mistakes happen in the construction industry. When a mistake becomes a frequent occurrence, it needs to be addressed immediately by the construction management or construction quality control manager to avoid it becoming a larger issue. Recurring errors frustrate workers, delay construction, and consume valuable time and resources. Fortunately, all that trouble could've been avoided with the use of your camera.

Take a photo of the error and another photo of the job done correctly. These right and wrong pics are called Hot Spots, and demonstrate exactly that—right and wrong ways of completing the job. It’s a powerful visual tool that crosses language barriers. Hot Spot photos can be added to jobsite checklists and inspections, or sent to the crew leader to review with his team, or even simply printed and posted where the work is being completed on the jobsite.

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  1. Provide Checklists to Reduce Punch Lists

Punch lists are the very definition of 2nd Time Quality, meaning the job wasn’t done right the first time. They waste time and money, and consume valuable resources better spent on making process improvements. And, there’s really no excuse to have them if you are using checklists.

A checklist is a reminder to double check that no items are left incomplete, unfinished or incorrect. Checklists can accommodate every phase of construction, and can reference delivery, installation and work completion. With mobile technology, they are accessible on a Smart Phone or tablet. No paper required. Plus, mobile checklists can be easily updated and distributed to create a living, comprehensive jobsite tool. It can’t be said too many times: follow checklists and eliminate punch lists.

 

 

  1. Give Clear Directions to Minimize Delays

Poor communication is often the root cause of many delays. Whether it’s an issue on the jobsite or confusion about a callback, this uncertainty creates questions, and questions wait for answers. You can probably already hear your phone ringing. While a certain amount of waiting will always be inherent within the construction process, a large part of this time waster is ultimately due to vague direction and unclear expectations from the builder. Checklists and Hot Spot photos set expectations and reduce waiting waste. There are other Quality Management tools that can strengthen the lines of communication as well.

Mobile QM systems in the construction industry allow Inspectors, Superintendents, and construction quality management professionals to share and mark-up photos, as well as exchange comments with Trade Partners involved in construction projects. This instant and direct communication, facilitated by mobile QM systems, enhances clarity by providing added details, such as a drawn arrow pointing to the specific issue. By eliminating vagueness and uncertainty, these systems elevate the level of communication and ensure adherence to quality standards.

  1. Enforce Job Readiness to Reduce Scheduling Delays

Unfortunately, every trade is familiar with the term “dry run.” Scheduling inaccuracies produce a whole mess of headache inducing time wasters for them. But there’s more to it than just a schedule. Job Readiness includes a complex, interconnected relay. The electrician affects the drywall installer. The drywall installer affects the painter. And just about every trade is affected by the framer. When one job isn’t 100% complete and accurate, it causes additional work for the following trade. That can include cleaning-up a mess to making a repair before they can begin their work. Work inspections can reduce this waste of time.

Include job-ready scores or checkpoints implemented by construction professionals to ensure quality assurance and meet customer expectations. These scores or checkpoints act as a quick and efficient way to verify that the current job is 100% clean and complete before commencing the next one. By investing a few minutes upfront to double-check the work for accuracy, construction professionals can avoid the need to spend extensive time and effort later on to rectify any mistakes or deficiencies.

  1. Make Jobsite Cleanliness a Priority to Increase Safety

The sight of a cluttered, unorganized jobsite is so common that it often goes unnoticed by the builder. But within that area of discarded wrappers, water bottles and material parts hides a mesh of malicious time wasters and potential safety hazards. It takes longer to maneuver around a littered jobsite. It’s easier to misplace tools and extension cords. Mistakes increase. Quality and Safety suffer. Punch lists grow.

The QM system, outlined in the construction contract, plays a crucial role in improving jobsite appearance and addressing quality issues. It establishes accountability among subcontractors to ensure that they leave the jobsite in the same clean condition as when they arrived. Checklists and inspections, overseen by the QC manager, can incorporate checkpoints specifically focused on jobsite cleanliness. However, the most effective evaluation comes from the incoming trade. By assessing the cleanliness and organization of the jobsite upon arrival, they hold the previous trade accountable. Consequently, the current crew is motivated to leave the jobsite in good shape, knowing that the subsequent trade may highlight any disarray left behind.

Any one of these actions can make a significant improvement, but together they create a prevailing Quality Management System that reduces time waste and improves efficiency.

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