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The effect of the Quality Cost in the Total Quality Management in the Construction


According with the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Quality is one of their ten
process areas and it divide it two main sub areas Quality Control and Quality Assurance, in
theory both of them should assure a succesfull project but all this theory is very difficult to
implement in a project.
In order to try evaluate the process of Quality , or better, Total Quality Management, we
can mention its main components according with David Arditi and Murat Gunaidin these are
Human Resorces in first this is Lidership or Management Comminments, Team Work and
Training this last a very important topic of discussion in Project Management because
acording with Matousek and Schneider (1976) we can say that Insuficient Knowledge is the
first cause of failures in the industry, following with Arditi y Gunaidin other component is the
Supplier Involvement very important aspect because many projects fail if supplier is not
involved in, Standars and rules are oter aspect important in TQM because the conformance
with determined rules impose but the client or inclusive by govermental institution or
environmental institution are very important in this industry and they are serious aspect at
the moment of evaluate risks, a non conformance in thisaspect cacauseserious damage to
the project, Customer Service other important subject because the relationship with clients
is very important, mormally a project consider a Document Control Office and a
Communication Matrix in order to mantain adequately informed the stakeholders of the
project in special the client, the indicators of progress, costs, quality, incidents, failures, etc
are topics that must be informed with oportunity, finally and no least important Quality Cost
in which, we involve in more detaill next.

Now, what about Quaity Costs in the Construction Industry?
They are very high, normally, when someone prepare a budget in order to compite in a
licitation to a project does not consider in an adequate manner these costs and frequently
is taken account as a single percent and is normal that it will be considered as general
This picture, when the works have started , is other subject, for example in order to do a
walking in a project we need not only quality engineers but a worker equipmet too,
electricians, mechanics, topographer, etc and all the documentation as inspection
certificates, registers, test certificates, etc. All these aspects are known as Quality
costs which represent increasingly important concerns for project managers.
Another aspects are Defects or failures in constructed facilities which can result in very
large costs. Even with minor defects, re-construction may be required and facility
operations impaired. Increased costs and delays are the result. In the worst case, failures
may cause personal injuries or fatalities. Good project managers try to ensure that the job
is done right the first time and that no major accidents occur on the project.
In previous lines we mention the influence of the supplier in the project and we tell you that
is impact is critical for the project, for example a delay in the delivery of the product cause a
delay in the project, or if no exist a delay and the product was delivery just in time but with
non conformances in its characteristics we are in serious problems and in consequence in
costs non whished for the project and inclusive with penalties because of delays because
reworks and product devolutions. In order to avoid these mistakes many companies do
Quality Control inclusive in the supplier workshop.
According with Chris Hendrickson(1988) " While conformance to existing design decisions
is the primary focus of quality control, there are exceptions to this rule. First, unforeseen
circumstances, incorrect design decisions or changes desired by an owner in the facility
function may require re-evaluation of design decisions during the course of construction.
While these changes may be motivated by the concern for quality, they represent
occasions for re-design with all the attendant objectives and constraints. As a second case,
some designs rely upon informed and appropriate decision making during the construction
process itself. For example, some tunneling methods make decisions about the amount of
shoring required at different locations based upon observation of soil conditions during the
tunneling process. Since such decisions are based on better information concerning actual
site conditions, the facility design may be more cost effective as a result".
These last lines, according with the PMBOK must be controlled by a Change Control Office
or a Change Control Meeting each time a change ocurr and necessarily a Quality
Assurance Engineer must participate in it,
Finally, the Quality Plan must be present in all moment and it must be prepared before the
project start, its scope should include not only construction process ( obligatories) but all
the management process, quality management, human resources management, safety
management, Quality Politic, Corporative Vision and Mision, etc.
When a manager evaluate all these costs, he must think about the benefits, probably all of
these intangible, for example minus reworks, project deadline just in time, more adtional
works because an adequate change control system, zero mistakes in final product or a
diminished quantity of deffects in supplies, etc.