As Prime Consultants on most projects, Architects retain prime responsibility for project quality management. Consultants work to the Architect’s quality management standards, then Contractors build to them.
Quality-Works.net was created by an Architect with fifteen years experience as a Principal and prime consultant in private practice – the application is designed to assist Architects in that challenging role. Unlike many applications that concentrate on the construction phase, Quality-Works.net considers the complete design and construction process.
Quality-Works.net starts with project startup and conceptual design, carries through schematic design, design development and construction documents, covers tendering and project award, then the complete construction phase, completion, post-completion and even maintenance phases.
The Role of the Architectural Professions
Canada’s Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has licensed to Quality-Works.net permission to integrate Canadian Handbook of Practice (CHOP) content, as well as content based on RAIC forms of contract, checklists, etc. To date, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) have also granted permission to integrate practice bulletins and recommendations into Quality-Works.net. In partial exchange, Quality-Works.net’s Architect lectures at OAA and AIBC Annual Conferences and Continuing Education Programs.
Capturing your Knowledge and Experience
Many successful Architects are older Architects, because of the time span required to grasp the complexities of the profession. Younger Architects may worry that the firm’s expertise walks out the door at the end of each day.
Quality-Works.net addresses succession planning by creating a place for the unique knowledge and experience that differentiate a practitioner from the competition. “Out of the box,” Quality-Works.net includes all of the standard Procedures required to successfully and consistently design and execute a project. In addition, Quality-Works.net makes it easy to customize Procedures around an unlimited number of “filters” – so far we have developed eleven of them, which we affectionately call the “Eleven C’s”:
1. CORE Procedures – best practices based on the wisdom of the profession
2. CLIENT requirements and preferences – each nuance may be integrated so that the Client understands that you understand the Client.
3. CONSULTANT requirements and preferences – after all, you are a team
4. CONTRACTOR requirements and preferences – ditto
5. CONTRACT variations – lump sum vs. construction management vs. design/build, P3, etc.
6. COST – smaller projects may need a lighter hand than major ones
7. CALENDAR – leisurely or fast track?
8. CLIMATE – physical geography, ecosystem and environment
9. COMMUNITY – the places you work
10. CONSTRUCTION type – steel vs. concrete vs. wood vs. composite
11. COMPLEXITY – a warehouse is different from an art gallery
Over time, as you identify Procedures that relate to these ten or your own set of filters, you can tag these variations and lodge them in one place, “on the fly”, so that both current and future projects always have “latest/greatest” intelligence about your marketplace. Because that intelligence does not walk out the door every day, you have a more tangible asset to sell to your clients and your successors.