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Quality can be defined in a number of ways. According to Zero Defects guru Philip Crosby, quality is “Conformance to requirements.” Father of the Quality Control Handbook, Joseph Juran defines it as “Fitness for use.” ISO-9000says it’s “The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements.” Noriaki Kano, creator of the Kano model of Customer Satisfaction, stated it is “Products and services that meet or exceed customer expectations.”
Quality always has a customer element, in construction we look at quality in two ways:
- Conformance to requirements (for example, how well the constructed facility conforms to design specifications), and
- Customer satisfaction (or how happy the customer is with the result)
As the customer specifies the requirements, quality is what the customer wants, expects and is willing to pay for. The design is created based on fulfilling those expectations.
Therefore, quality on a construction project means: understanding what the customer wants, designing projects to deliver those features and building a product that conforms to that design criteria. It may be for a house, a bridge, a shopping mall or skyscraper; big or small; expensive or inexpensive; the definition of quality stays the same.
Simply put, the customer expects the project to be completed on time, in full, within budget, to expectations. That is delivering quality.
The process of quality management means what your organisation does to ensure your products or services satisfy your customers quality requirements; comply with any regulations applicable to those products or services; enhance customer satisfaction and achieve continual improvements.
The School provides a range of tools and resources to enable you take quality way beyond obtaining ISO9001, here are just some of the key terms and tools we will explore in the e-learning and throughout our resource library.
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Key terms: Total Quality Management or TQM, EFQM, Six Sigma, 7 Tools of Quality, Kaizen, Balanced Scorecards, ISO9001, Non Conformance, SQDME, Right First Time or RFT, Design Failure Modes and Effects and Criticality Analysis or DFMECA, Define Measure Analyse Improve Control or DMAIC, Plan Do Check Act cycle or PDCA