Quality management (QM), like risk, is everywhere. It is a vital part of the design process, whether or not noticeably present or acknowledged. There is very little, if anything, about design and construction industry output that doesn’t come under the umbrella of ‘quality’.
A program of ‘quality’ in architecture equates to improving the degree to which design fulfils requirements. Managing such a program involves quality planning, review, control, and continual improvement. Together, these activities are referred to as quality management, and they are focused on the linear progression inherent in every project: inputs, processes and outputs.
If you embrace the concept of “quality” at all, especially in today’s rapidly changing world, it is necessary you accept the notion that “quality” and “continual improvement” go hand in hand. The simple way to think about continual improvement is that every aspect of practice is subject to re-thinking, to ensure the occurrence of potential quality problems are prevented.
Your only choice is implement a constant, perpetual attitude of re-thinking everything about your practice that has to do with “quality”. My recently published book Managing Quality in Architecture, 2nd Edition, which you can purchase from any good online bookstore, helps practices upgrade their quality systems to meet the global standard. Book Depository offers a good discount as well as free shipping worldwide.
Checking of design output is the lowest common denominator of design quality control, and in an area where all too often we fail. If you want a system that will ensure high quality products and services, check out the CHECKITx system at www.buildingtech.com.
Head to www.designnode.net to browse multiple articles on the topic of quality, including ‘Rethinking Quality’ and ‘Quality Management 101’.
You can learn about ‘What’s New in the ISO 9001:2015’, ‘ISO:9001 & Risk Management’ and ‘ISO:9001 & Environmental Management’ via www.mqia.com.
Charles Nelson AIA, LFRAIA, AECPM
27 April 2018