Is the Project Quality Manager Responsible for Quality?

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Project Quality Manager looking at plan

It’s a common misconception that the project quality manager or quality assurance (QA|QC) department is the only party responsible for quality on a construction project.

However, there are numerous stakeholders that play roles in producing a quality production.

Who Is Responsible for Project Quality?

Quality assurance management is necessary for a successful construction project. The project quality manager job description includes the development of standards and guidelines, planning, decision making, and reporting. There are several types of quality assurance and quality standards management in construction and each one has their own set of responsibilities.

But if you don't clearly define the roles and responsibilities for your project quality standards and quality control management systems, everybody will assume that it's someone else's job.

The fact is that quality management is an ongoing process that requires participation from the entire team, including subcontractors. Their roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined so they know what is expected. Here are some examples:


Learn more about the Six Essential QAQC Functions For Construction Projects

Quality Manager and Quality Assurance Department

  • Design, implement, and oversee quality management and improvement processes
  • Define roles and make sure everyone knows and understands their roles
  • Manage a staff of inspectors that is responsible for completing quality control (QC) inspections
  • Hold people accountable for their roles in the entire process
  • Ensure that critical inspections are being performed
  • Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the process to achieve first-time quality

Superintendents

  • Walk the jobsite daily to inspect work in progress
  • Act as the first line of defense for quality
  • Report deficiencies
  • Communicate expectations and heightened awareness issues to contractors

Project Managers

  • Interface with customers to gain an understanding of expectations
  • Ensure the project has resources to perform quality functions
  • Hire qualified contractors and personnel based on quality performance
  • Show commitment to the quality control processes and quality management systems
  • Support the roles of quality manager and superintendent

President and Senior Managers

  • Commit to the quality management program
  • Implement company wide quality performance measures
  • Evaluate personnel performance based on QM roles and responsibilities  

Every company in the construction industry has a unique structure, so these are just examples of what the roles and responsibilities could look like.

You can adapt this framework for your company as long as the key responsibilities are covered.

For example, in a smaller company, the superintendent might also take on the role of quality manager.

The main point is that you must establish clear roles and outline the responsibilities for each of them—a successful quality program depends on the entire team being engaged in the process.

What About Subcontractors?

There is a major player missing from the list above: the subcontractor. The role of subcontractors in quality management is a highly debated topic. It can be very hard to define, as subs are the people who do much of the work on a construction project, and any defects they produce will impact the quality of the project.

Given this, you can’t ignore the responsibility of subcontractors in your quality program.

In an ideal world, subcontractors would be fully integrated into your quality management process by performing self-inspections, reporting defects, and closing them out in a timely manner.

However, this is not usually the reality. A more practical approach is to use your quality management system to measure subcontractor performance and to regularly communicate with them about expectations and staying on track.

Project Quality Management Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Project quality management is everyone’s responsibility. The goal of project quality management is to ensure a successful project completion and to protect the time and resources invested by the stakeholders.

One of the essential factors in any quality management system, especially if you want to improve quality performance, is making sure responsibilities are clearly assigned and that each person is accountable for the tasks required by their roles.   

To avoid the cost of delays or mishaps in construction, it’s important for each team member to do their part. This means that each member is partly responsible for keeping quality management process on track and progressing as expected, but also for communicating with other team members.

FTQ360 is a quality control tool that can help you set up your quality management system based on your organization’s established roles and responsibilities.

  • Set up the Quality Management System that matches your companies' responsibilities and processes
  • Enable you to seamlessly coordinate with other departments for their input on the defects and deficiencies
  • Enable to track and verify that all your project’s requirements are met
  • Enable you to track and monitor progress of your Quality Management System
  • Review and approve documentation and reporting before it is sent to relevant parties
  • Ensure that corrective action plans are in place and followed upon inspection of work

If you want to see how it works, schedule a demo today.

Learn more about the Six Essential QAQC Functions For Construction Projects

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