Quality Performance Measurements (Archived)

RT-036 Topic Summary
RT 036


Research Team 36 (RT-36) consists of four publications issued between 1992 and 1994 that are focused on methods for measuring quality performance in the engineer-procure-construct (EPC) process. The CII Quality Performance Measurement research team introduces a systematic approach for measuring quality which can be integrated into any project management system.

The research was divided into two phases. Phase one provides an overview of fundamental quality principles, including best practices. Phase two presents “The Blueprint,” a tool developed and validated by the team for measuring quality in the EPC process.

In the examination of construction industry practices for measuring project quality, the team found that companies use both hard measurements (e.g., cost, schedule, and safety) as well as soft (e.g., customer satisfaction, teamwork). During phase one, the team looked at more than 600 quality measurement examples and conducted a questionnaire/interview process involving construction industry companies from the US and Japan. The quality performance measurements derived from the research were categorized into a framework with four key elements: customer focus, employee empowerment, leadership, and delivery.

From this framework and the TQM model the Quality Measurement Matrix was developed. This matrix allows companies to examine their current measurement methods and identify supplemental techniques to improve project planning and execution. The Quality Measurement Matrix serves as a reference manual for implementing the quality measuring process called “The Blueprint.”

In phase two, the research team introduces and provides the methodology for “The Blueprint,” a prototype project-oriented process for measuring project quality. This process is designed to be seamlessly integrated into normal project execution procedures. The process includes the design, production, and analysis of measurements during project execution to identify areas for improvement and positively influence project outcome.

“The Blueprint” is a flexible process that can be tailored to any project, enabling EPC teams to determine what, how, and when to measure, and how to use the results. It also provides predictable indicators of project success.

A number of tools are introduced which facilitate the implementation of “The Blueprint.” These include “The Flowchart,” “The Project Phase Model,” “The Quality Evolution Chart (QEC),” “The Fishbone,” “The SIPOC,” and “The Critical Few Worksheet.” These tools in conjunction with “The Blueprint” provide a user-friendly process to establish quality performance measurements for use by EPC teams on their projects. This process was validated through discussions with teams made-up of quality management personnel, and piloted on three active EPC projects.

RT-36 research has been superseded by RT-254 Quality Management Best Practice Refresh which is included as part of the CII Best Practice for Quality Management. 

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : The Blueprint

The Blueprint – outlines a process that 1) identifies EPC project variables that are important in improving the quality of a specific project, 2) illustrates why and when these variables should be measured, 3) furnishes examples of how to measure these variables, and 4) suggests how the results of the measurements can be used in making project decisions. (RS36-1, p. 7)

Reference: (RS36-1)

2 : The Flowchart

The Flowchart – depicts the parties involved and the steps needed for implementing “The Blueprint” process into a project management system. (SP36-2, p. 18)
Reference: (SP36-2)

3 : The Project Phase Model

The Project Phase Model – provides an overview of the general EPC phases and their major outputs. (SP36-2, p. 19)
Reference: (SP36-2)

4 : The SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers)

The SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers) is the working level of the Blueprint that shows inputs, activities, and outputs for each EPC phase, as well as generic metrics. (SP36-2, p. 21)
Reference: (SP36-2)

5 : The Critical Few Worksheet

The Critical Few Worksheet – organizes the necessary measures and sets targets and responsibility for each. (SP36-2, p. 29)
Reference: (SP36-2)

6 : The Quality Evolution Chart (QEC)

The Quality Evolution Chart (QEC) – a tool for the systematic breakdown of general objectives into more specific ones. (SP36-2, p. 20)
Reference: (SP36-2)

7 : The Fishbone (Cause and Effect Diagram)

The Fishbone (Cause and Effect Diagram) – facilitates brainstorming of possible causes that produce a specific result. (SP36-2, p. 20)
Reference: (SP36-2)

8 : Implementation Tool #1

SP36-2, The Blueprint: A process for Measuring Project Qualityhe Quality Measurement Matrix

Provides a concise format for listing examples of quality performance measurements (SP36-2, p. 30).

The Blueprint Walk-Thru Example – Illustrates the Blueprint process by cascading through the steps for the business and project management teams (SP36-2, pp. 35-51).

Overcoming Barriers to Implementation Summary – Discusses potential obstacles to implementing The Blueprint and approaches to overcome them (SP36-2, Appendix pp. 53-54).

Phase Model Form – A flowchart form for documenting key inputs, outputs, trigger points and metrics used to measure quality and provide process feedback (SP36-2, Appendix p. 59).

Reference: (SP36-2)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved quality (reduced errors & omissions), Improved predictability, Improved customer satisfaction

Research Publications

The Blueprint: A Process for Measuring Project Quality - SP36-2

Publication Date: 12/1994 Type: Special Publication Pages: 64 Status: Archived Tool

Quality Performance Measurements of the EPC Process: The Blueprint - SD-103

Publication Date: 11/1994 Type: Source Document Pages: 131 Status: Archived Reference

Measuring Quality Performance on EPC Projects - RS36-1

Publication Date: 11/1994 Type: Research Summary Pages: 14 Status: Archived Supporting Product

Quality Performance Measurements of the EPC Process: Current Practices - SD-79

Publication Date: 10/1992 Type: Source Document Pages: 244 Status: Archived Reference