Construction Quality Plans: Preparing Your Organization Chart
A Quality Control Organizational Chart may strike you as a trivial part of your construction quality plan. However, without organization chart, your quality plan will most likely be rejected. Plus, when it comes to managing quality, creating a project quality organization chart is the first step in identifying who is responsible for what on your project.
Your QC Organizational Chart is typically included in the Project Quality Plan section of your construction quality plan. Your contract specifications will tell you some of what's required of your quality management organizational structure, but not everything. Therefore, it's important to follow these simple tips; they can help you correctly prepare your QC Organization Chart.
Make your QC organization chart specific to the project. Your QC organization chart should only cover the quality management portion of your project.
Include the names and job positions of all the people with key quality responsibilities leading up to the President (or company officer). You do not need a chart for the entire organization.
Pay attention to Contract Specifications. There are often both requirements for specific positions and restrictions on reporting their relationships that you need to address.
For example, some project specifications require that your Quality Manager be the point of contact for the contracting officer on matters regarding quality. In this case, define a point of contact by showing a dotted line between your Quality Manager and the customer contact.
Do not have the Quality Manager report to the Superintendent. This is a common mistake that I see often and one that will get your construction quality plan rejected.
The Quality Manager should be independent of your production personnel so as not to be subject to the production pressures imposed by your superintendent. You can use dotted lines to show lines of communication between your Superintendent and Quality Manager.
Do assign multiple job positions to one person. Your organization chart shows the reporting relationships and lines of authority for key job positions regardless of whom you assign to the position.
If your Project Manager performs the role of Quality Manager and Purchasing Manager, leave the structure intact and simply put the same name in each of those boxes. The only restriction is that the superintendent cannot be assigned as the Quality Manager – except for very small projects, with the client approval.
Do not have your Superintendent report to your Project Manager. If you assign your Superintendent to report to your Project Manager, you won’t have the flexibility for your Project Manager to act as an alternate Quality Manager (remember your Quality Manager should be independent of your production personnel). This can be important when you must have a quality representative on the jobsite while work is in process.
Have your subcontractors and crew foremen report to your Superintendent. The Superintendent should have the line of authority to control subcontractor and crew activities. Otherwise, how can the superintendent be responsible for their work without the authority to control their actions?
Show inspection and testing agencies reporting to your project Quality Manager. Your project Quality Manager is responsible for all inspection and testing, even when it is performed by an outside agency.
A QC organization chart is required for many private sector and ALL government quality control plans including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Naval Facilities (NAVFAC), and Federal Transit Administration/Department of Transportation (FTA-DOT).
Follow my simple organizational chart tips when preparing your construction quality plan, and your contracting officer will clearly see the relationships between key quality positions within your organization.
About the Author - Ed Caldeira is founder of First Time Quality, LLC, specializing in submittal-ready construction QA/QC plan templates and custom quality plans as well as construction quality inspection and punchlist software.