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  Quality Management

When researching the origin of QUALITY( www.wikipedia.com ) it is evident that the topic has evolved rapidly from that of the ancient craftsmen’s limited guarantee of “Let the buyer be aware” to today where using statistical analysis we typically predict defects per million.

As a result of increased mass production requiring consistent quality in the last 80 years, various systems or methodologies have been developed that encompass all spheres of the manufacturing value chain. This ranges from business process re-engineering to project management and the quality requirements of “the product” being manufactured. This has brought its own acronyms i.e. SPC, TQM, Six Sigma, CI, QMS, etc…

Regardless of the system used there are common concepts relating to quality.
1st QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) means that the product / solution should SPECIFY some form of UP FRONT QUANTIFIED GUARANTEE. 2nd depending on the type of product “produced” it is common to perform QUALITY CONTROL (QC) AUDITS against the aforementioned specification criteria by only checking CRITICAL CONTROL POINTS or RANDOM SAMPLES.


While not directly related to quality the concept of student syndrome or PARKINSON’S LAW i.e. “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” has a direct impact on quality and budget (TIME = MONEY). In 1998 the Standish Group studied the traditional rigid schedule project management method and found that typically only 44% of projects finished on time while most were completed at 222% of the original planned duration, 189% of budgeted cost and 70% fell short of their planned scope.
Of the projects started 30% were cancelled before completion.

In 1997 E. M. Goldratt introduced Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) based on his Theory of Constraints (TOC) algorithms. This places more emphasis on resources and the use of buffers. In their analysis of 78 CCPM case studies Mabin & Balderstone found a 69% reduction in lead time, 50% reduction in inventory levels and 68% increase in revenue.


Quality ManagementBy developing SPECIFICATIONS that encompass both scope and required QUALITY prior to the award of “systems” projects, and subsequently measuring conformance to these specifications during execution and using complience as a requirement for payment.

Traditionally payment would be based on the completion of milestones (Design Specification, Factory Acceptance Test etc.) with no cognisance taken of the requirements specified in the Quality Control Plan (QCP).

Traditionally a client would witness a test without the required test criteria and procedures been specified leaving both parties exposed to risks such as technical incorrectness, variation orders or delayed time lines.

From the graph it is evident that the most value is added due to upfront specification and these translate to short term savings such as a possible reduction in the contracted price. The long term value is derived by using quality to drive both progress and performance. If there is no base line specification the project manager has a frustrating task ahead. By focusing on the “GOLDEN THREAD” and implementing the correct hold points for payment risk is mitigated and results improve significantly and client satisfaction is significantly improved.


It is the mission of AI2SA to be responsible for “Optimally Scoping and Managing Industrial Systems Projects” for strategic clients who may lack the capacity to perform this internally as a result of skill shortages or due to significant growth.

We are vendor independent insuring objectivity and all our experience is based on 1st principles ensuring that best practices are adhered to. We have case studies proving how clients can save between 10% and 25% on projects using our methodologies, quality systems and templates.

For more information please feel free to phone the author on +27 (0) 82 559-7437 / +27 (0) 12 993-3637 or mail him at petrus.klopper@ai2sa.co.za, feel free to visit our web site at www.ai2sa.co.za for information on the host of strategic services we offer industry.