The Quality Plan is usually a document of the Quality System of a company that is managed through the philosophy or strategy of Quality.
The Quality Plan is usually a document of the Quality System of a company that is managed through the philosophy or strategy of Quality. Within the ISO-9001 Standard, it is a requirement to fulfill when the company presents certain conditions (whatever its economic activity). Beyond this regulatory requirement, it is a useful tool for the development of any project, be it a small or a large project or whether the company is implementing ISO-9001 or not.
The ISO-10005/2005 Standard defines the Quality Plan as:
"Document that specifies which process, procedure and associated resources will be applied, by whom and when, to meet the requirements of a specific project, product, process or contract."
This Standard refers to six key points in the development of the Quality Plan:
- Identification of the need for its preparation
- Required inputs
- Review, acceptance, implementation and revision of the Quality Plan.
Ultimately, the Quality Plan should detail which are the activities that must be implemented so that the project responds to the Quality agreed with the Principal and also to all the other legal requirements of the project and the internal requirements of the company that implement.
In the Construction area and for construction companies MT65 SOLUTIONS LTD that implement the ISO-9001 Standard, it is a requirement that each construction project to be executed, under certain conditions, be planned, executed and delivered to the client under a Quality Plan.
The construction industry carries out unique projects, under specific and defined contracts for their execution, which requires formally specifying the level of Control that each phase of the construction project's life cycle will have. Therefore, the Quality Plan is a management tool, which allows ordering mainly before the execution of a work, in the key aspects of the Quality of the project, in order to "Ensure its Quality".
The importance of this management tool is such that at the international level, in many cases it is required at the state level, by the respective Ministries of Housing or Public Works.
In many countries, the Quality Plan is a legal requirement to be able to authorize the government to start a construction work and cannot be submitted to a public construction proposal without attaching this document to the background folder.
In Chile, mainly due to the seismic situation that characterizes us, there is a tradition of good construction. The construction in wood, reinforced masonry, metallic and with reinforced concrete was carried out always considering a high safety coefficient or over dimensioning the pieces that made up the structure. But, in my opinion, where we have been deficient (the current reality shows it), it is at the level of Quality Management that ensures that what is projected, specified and calculated is correctly complied with, as well as all other legal and regulatory parameters.
The Quality Plan is a document that must be implemented throughout the life of the work. Those of us who have managed construction projects know that in some cases there are unforeseen events that were not contemplated in the planning stage and, therefore, we must face new challenges. Therefore, this document must first be prepared on the basis of a serious and complete study of the project and then formally updated each time changes occur. The work team that implements it must be attentive to specify the new quality variables that must be included or modified. Therefore, the Quality Plan must permanently respond to the real requirements of the project and this demands an additional effort in having to update the objectives, indicators, goals, resources, managers, new tests, certificates,
The high competitiveness in the construction industry and why not say it, the large number of legal claims and public complaints through the media that some construction companies have had to face, have led some company managers to reflect, unions and governments. The focus has been on updating the regulations, supervision and the implementation of systems that ensure the quality of project execution. The requirement that the company count and then certify its Quality Management System (be it ISO-9001 or another) is increasingly evident.
The Quality Plan is a document that is usually within the company's Quality System documentation, but one that is not can be prepared. In the first case, the Quality Plan is a subsystem within the general system and uses many of the documents and practices of this system, making reference to them in a formal way. To this base, we add the development of new documents and control systems to respond specifically to the particular contract.
This first version of the Quality Plan must follow all the formalities of a system document and, therefore, be signed by the person responsible for its preparation, review and approval. Subsequently, it must be reviewed, supplemented and adjusted to the new demands of the work, design modifications, new demands of the interested parties, legislative, regulatory or normative changes, etc .; yes, always following the formality that a document of this relevance entails. Do not forget that a Quality Plan is a planning of a Quality System for something specific, it is like making a mini system, compared to the Quality System of the company.
In case there is no Quality Management System base, the Quality Plan must become the System Quality of the Project and, therefore, address the general and particular.
The best incentive for a correct implementation of the Quality Plan in the field is to demonstrate its usefulness and effectiveness through concrete results for the project. Therefore, it is required that the data record be fast, accurate and real.
It is about making decisions based on concrete, current data and not mere subjective assessments.
If this data is uncertain, improperly recorded and analyzed or taken by people who are not trained to do so, everything that is built on this will be useless.
Another important aspect to consider is the real, effective and regular communication of the Quality Plan and its results to all project workers and interested parties. This, which seems so easy, is one of the most complex tasks, since the ultimate goal is for everyone to get involved in the implementation of the Quality Plan and become aware of its importance for the project and for themselves.