In my zero defects kick-off post, the ten true-or-false statements presented from Philip B. Crosby's Quality Is Free: The Art of Making Quality Certain: How to Manage Quality - So That It Becomes A Source of Profit for Your Business test your understanding of the concept of Zero Defects or “ZD.” As Crosby wittingly remarks, as is part and parcel with the concept of Zero Defects, any score with defects of less than perfect indicates the reader’s need to improve.
If you have already answered true or false to the ten statements, to test your understanding of the concept of Zero Defects, please read ahead and continue. If you haven't already answered, please take the time to go back and read them so you understand the concept of Zero Defects, related to construction programs and Enterprise Quality Management in the construction industry.
Here is the answer to the first of ten statements: “Zero Defects is a worker motivation concept.”
ANSWER = FALSE
Crosby asserts that ZD is not a worker motivation concept. ZD is a management standard.
ZD supplants the general adage of “do it right” or “do it right the first time,” which provides a wide leeway for each worker or laborer, for each superintendent, foreman, craftsman, journeyman, apprentice or other field person, to interpret the meaning of “do it right.” Without fail, the meaning of “do it right” will vary across a broad spectrum, in the mind of each worker or laborer.
The three classic pillars of project performance are cost, time and quality (…with health and safety as the fourth pillar). Standards for cost and time are grounded in exactitude and rooted in precision. At its core, standards for cost and time are inherently quantitative, and accordingly easy to establish objectives and to measure goals. Cost is measured in currency like dollars, and time is measured in months, days, hours, etc.
The construction industry needs to apply the same methodology to quality performance, as cost and time performance, leveraging quality standards and metrics which are able to be measured in a quantitative way – and not open for interpretation.
Standards for quality are generally both quantitative and qualitative, hence the name. The crux of the issue at hand is that quality standards lean to the qualitative side, presenting varying degrees of subjectivity. Quality is open for interpretation in the mind of each contractor, worker and laborer, in the mind of each architect, engineer and designer who authored the contract documents, drawings and specifications, and in the mind of the client or owner who is the final beneficiary of the construction work results, of the project itself at the time of substantial completion and handover.
Enter Zero Defects or “ZD” – an Enterprise Quality Management program for construction. ZD is a tool for contractors and construction managers to explain the quality performance standards in plain English, which cannot be open for interpretation. ZD communicates the new standard of quality performance to the project team and to the project partners, in a language that workers and laborers readily understand.
Why is it important to communicate the new standard of quality performance, Zero Defects – because management has not made its position on quality clear prior to Zero Defects.
For more information on Zero Defects or “ZD” – an Enterprise Quality Management program for construction, please read my blog entry each week.