How to use construction quality control plans
Construction quality control plans keep your job, and the building you’re working on, from falling down around your ears.
Like the construction project itself, there are a lot of moving parts you need to bring together to ensure effective construction quality control.
It’s a bit like Jenga. Pull the wrong piece and the whole thing falls in on itself. Missing a step anywhere along the construction process can affect the end product.
This article will walk you through construction quality control using digital workforce platforms.
What is construction quality control?
You might think of final inspections when you hear construction quality control. But it is far more than simply inspecting a finished build or completing a punch list in post-construction.
Construction quality control keeps an eye on work in real-time and reports back daily on any issues. It lets you nip problems in the bud.
In any given year, a whopping 21% of construction costs are due to technical or human errors.
The quality management process ensures that problems are caught quickly instead of after completing the entire build. Catching problems early makes them easier, and less costly, to fix.
Your entire team must work together seamlessly for quality control to work.
And, while this used to require seemingly endless phone calls and reams of paper, modern workflow platforms make it easier to keep large teams on track.
The 5 essential parts of a construction quality control plan
There are 5 main parts to a construction quality control plan. Each part works together to ensure successful project quality.
Each construction project will have custom changes to the final plan. But these are the building blocks of every construction quality assurance plan:
#1: Project quality goals
It’s a mouthful of jargon, but the official name is “project quality specification determination.”
All it means is that you need to set the quality goals (quality standards) for your construction project.
This usually involves the client meeting with your quality control engineer or quality manager to make sure they are on the same page of expectations.
Project quality management teams are born here and everyone’s responsibilities are mapped out.
#2: Quality assurance monitoring
Quality assurance monitoring just means watching each part of the job to make sure everything is on track and done right.
What goes on at the job site gets matched with the specifications (quality standards) of the job.
Automation tools help a lot in this process. A platform that lets you automatically move tickets for process inspections and follow-ups as each part is completed speeds up the quality plan work and makes sure steps aren’t skipped.
#3: Subcontractors and materials coordination
This is just an industry way of saying how you’ll keep track of and check on subcontractor services and material deliveries.
Quality control isn’t just about making sure your own workers are up to snuff — You’ve got to make sure everything and everyone else lives up to expectations as well.
If a supplier drops off shoddy materials, how are you going to handle it?
Without a control plan outlining how outside work and supplies will be tested and handled if they’re subpar, you could end up having to tear out and replace parts of your project later. Which means huge delays, skyrocketing costs, and a very unhappy client.
A shared calendar with the ability to check off each job stage and delivery is a big help in overseeing your subcontractors and materials.
You can also plan subcontractor and material inspections in one of our construction schedule templates so you never miss signing off on quality before accepting a delivery or paying an invoice.
#4: Error management
The technical way to say this is “nonconformance control.”
But let’s call it what it is: managing errors. When it all hits the fan and a quality issue is found, error management is how you deal with it.
Essentially, you need to outline the process for what to do when someone installs drywall before the HVAC guy has even arrived. Or when your electrician put the outlets in the wrong places.
Our incidents management template can help you keep track of any discovered errors to ensure they’re resolved to your liking.
#5: Final inspection
After all is said and done, you have to inspect the complete project.
If everything operates smoothly during your quality management process, final inspection should be easy. But never assume anything.
Punch card lists, walkthroughs, and the dreaded government inspectors all make up final inspections.
You need to have a plan for how to handle this process, including dealing with issues that show up in final inspections.
Use our project milestones template to plan out the final inspection and make sure everyone’s ready for the big day.
Creating and using a construction quality control plan
Making a construction quality control plan revolves around communication. A workflow platform helps a lot by streamlining communication.
You know the parts, now you have to get your team on the same page.
Online templates get you started quickly and let you customize your plan for your project easily.
Open a template, add your team members, and enter the procedure steps in your project plan. Now everyone just needs to know what they are doing and when.
Using a digital checklist of regulations and quality plan tasks prompts your team members for each step so nothing is missed in a pile of paperwork.
After all, there are over 140 OSHA regulations on ladders alone. Don’t let regulation overload cause damage to your quality management.
Assigning each team member specific duties and responsibilities keeps people from stepping on each other’s toes. Software also makes the onboarding of your team easier.
Keeping steps and inspections from falling through the cracks means a lot of time on the phone or running back and forth to a job site. Or at least it used to. Now, shared workspaces and mobile apps make it easier.
Mobile apps for remote work from the job site keeps everyone in touch without the hassle. A few keystrokes and you’ve removed hours of chasing phone calls and trips to the job site.
Reports make sure someone reviews the day’s activities so any missed items are flagged quickly.
A bit like a spinning top, the process in your plan repeats and moves forward at the same time. Each job is checked and then you either fix a problem or move on to the next process.
Reports serve as checks and balances to keep everything on track. Automated workflows let you quickly reassign problem areas.
ConclusionQuality control in the construction industry is like herding cats operating heavy machinery. You can do everything manually or you can take advantage of technology to make the behind the scenes work easier.
Why walk when you can drive a car? And why drive the car when you can use a self-driving car?
A quality control plan reduces your construction project job cost from errors. A workflow platform reduces the cost of the quality controls.
Get started today with a fully customizable template designed with your needs in mind.