Document Detail

Title: SD-79 - Quality Performance Measurements of the EPC Process: Current Practices
Publication Date: 10/1/1992
Product Type: Source Document
Status: Archived Reference
Pages: 244
This publication has been archived, but is available for download for informational purposes only.

Stevens, Ledbetter, Glagola, Univ. of Kentucky
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Measurements in the Engineer–Procure–Construct (EPC) process are a way of life. Quality measurement refers to a measurement system employed by an organization as part of its total quality management process. The term does not imply that the system measures quality as a separate and distinct process from the organization’s normal business processes, or that the measurements referred to as quality measurements are special measurements unrelated to such normal processes.

All companies employ traditional “hard” measurements such as cost, schedule, and safety for determining quality performance on projects. Leading companies employ additional “soft” measurements, such as customer satisfaction, leadership, employee involvement, teamwork, training, flexibility, responsiveness, etc. Most believe the need for defined work processes and the interactive processes of planning, communication, and teamwork among all parties are major factors in project success.

More than 600 measurement examples were collected from a comprehensive literature search and a questionnaire/interview process involving selected construction industry companies in the United States and Japan. To understand and use these measurements, they had to be categorized in some logical framework. Key elements of the Total Quality Management (TQM) process model form the baseline for quality performance measures throughout the life-cycle of the EPC process. Those TQM processes of Customer Focus, Employee Empowerment, Leadership, and Delivery provide an excellent framework to categorize quality performance measurements during the EPC process. Through the use of the TQM model and categorizing the quality performance measurements based on process subcategories and EPC project phases from Preplanning through Final Disposition, the Quality Measurement Matrix was developed. This matrix is a useful tool for companies wishing either to examine their present measurement techniques or to look for additional measurements to help them improve the planning and execution of projects.

Over fifty key example measurements are included. The measurements presented in the Quality Measurement Matrix represent only those data that were provided by participating companies or found in the literature. It is likely that many unique and useful measurements were not discovered during this study.

The Quality Measurement Matrix should be used for the following purposes:

  • To guide in developing a quality measurement program
  • To develop additional measurements in line with those generally accepted by the industry
  • To help establish corporate quality measurement priorities which are in line with the industry
  • To come to agreement on the project performance focus at the beginning of a project
  • To provide continuity of industry effort in enhancing industry-wide understanding, cooperation, and standardization for the specific goal of continuous improvement

This report covers only Phase I. Phase II will develop a blueprint for using the Quality Performance Matrix in test the results on actual projects and project systems. The results will be documented in guide which will provide a framework for continuous improvement.