Exploring Quality Roles: Beyond QA/QC

WG21-01 Topic Summary
WG21 01


Industry observers know well that quality problems continue to appear in the deliverables associated with engineering and construction projects in the Downstream & Chemicals industry sector. Issues encompass a wide variety of topics, and they contribute to unacceptable performance in subsequent areas. Any level of root-cause analysis leads to the same conclusion: improved quality could have avoided the problem.

CII leadership agreed to support a research effort to address this situation. In order to facilitate an expedited response, these leaders decided to apply a new approach: an industry-led working group focused on quick guidance and a rapid path forward to identifying a more comprehensive solution. This initial effort would focus on the Downstream & Chemicals sector.

CII established this ad hoc working group to brainstorm the foundations of a path forward. The group’s members agreed that their proposed solution could step outside the boundaries of traditional QA/QC. Although the usual quality processes are essential to quality management, WG21-01 saw greater benefit in focusing on the deepest roots of typical quality problems. An overarching thought emerged: if every step in a project sequence had been done right the first time, quality problems could have been essentially eliminated. Of course, this team did not expect to eliminate all quality problems, but it hoped take a cut at improving the quality of project execution to reduce the rework that results from quality problems.

The team started by focusing on events that contribute to failure, including poor decisions and inadequate planning. The team defined the steps involved in executing a large capital project, with special focus on heavy industrial process projects and the Front End Planning phases that apply to project development. The premise was that improving each step in the project process would automatically improve the quality of all subsequent activities.

Next, WG21-01 examined suboptimal work. It identified that a key cause was failure to take advantage of lessons learned and best practices. To address this deficiency, the team expanded existing flowcharts to refer to tools, materials, and other guidance that could help project teams execute better. The working group set up an Excel spreadsheet that assigned responsibility for each project activity and linked to available tools. The project concluded with the understanding that a follow-on team would have a good template to complete as it continued this exploration.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Interactive Matrix

Members: Download this tool from Related Resources, below.

Working Group 21-01 sought to provide easy access to the references needed to do it right the first time. As an industry-led working group, this effort was never intended to produce a final product, but instead envisioned providing a starting point for future research to improve quality outcomes in engineering and construction projects (SR21-01, in press).

Reference: (SR21-01)

2 : Future Quality Research

Working Group 21-01 envisioned how future quality researchers could build upon these beginnings (SR21-01):

  • Complete the matrix.
  • Expand the activity structure to encompass additional project types.
  • Develop training for this tool.
  • Create a quality scoring system: the Quality Definition Rating System (QDRS).
Reference: (SR21-01)

Key Performance Indicators

Presentations from CII Events

Session - Beyond QA/QC – Rockin’ the Roles of Quality

Publication Date: 08/2022 Presenter: Number of Slides: 32 Event Code: AC2022

Related Resources

WG21-01 Quality Delivery Process Matrix for AC22

Publication Date: 07/2022 Resource Type: Member-only Resource Source: AC22