Key Takeaways

Quality management plans should be incorporated in all phases of project development, with safety management being a key consideration during design and construction.

The entire team is responsible for applying critical thinking during quality and safety management.

Project leaders should be prepared to constantly improve management processes to promote a safe working environment.

Construction management is a process fraught with paradoxes. Improving processes requires being both deliberate and flexible (McGeorge, Zou & Palmer, 2013). Time and material resources are finite; therefore, the ability to mitigate risk may be the only assurance of a project’s success, otherwise a project may be derailed for lack of resources. For any project, a reasonable approach must first define the project’s objectives, then create a plan to ensure that those objectives are being met. The plan may be as simple as “remember the end goal.” However, values that are applied to a project, such as prioritizing safety, maintaining employee welfare or managing customer expectations, may also factor in project success and attracting future customers. If we accept Murphy’s Law, there are many ways for a project to get derailed; however, quality management posits that if one remains cognizant of the end goal, a quality management program may guide decisions, provide flexibility for adaptation, and ensure that safety remains a priority when urgent and competing interests push for project completion. This article discusses components of quality management and how it may be a tool for safety management.

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