Quality Management in Construction Projects


Eng. Mosab Elbashir MSc, PMP, CQE ASQ.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia



The quality as a concept has a deep root in the history, anyway the quality profession greatly evolved after World War II when suddenly people’s lives could be destroyed by poor quality products (1). Edwards Deming one of the famous quality expert and scholar emphasized that the keys to quality are in management’s hand. According to him 85 percent of the quality problems are due to the system and only 15 percent are due to the employees. In other words, with a reliable system average people can achieve good results while, in the absent of the system it is difficult to achieve quality target. Joseph Juran is other famous quality scholar, and he is like Deming built his quality reputation in America and then took his expertise to Japan in 1950s.  Juran introduced his ideas into (Juran Trilogy) which can be described as following:

1-     Quality control: monitoring techniques to correct sporadic problems

2-     Quality improvement: a break through sequence to solve chronic problems

3-     Quality planning:  an annual quality program to institutionalize managerial control and review

Quality can have different definitions in different situation, in The Certified Quality Engineer     Handbook (1) published by American Society of Quality different definition can be found. The below list contains some of these informal definitions:

  • Quality is not program; it is an approach to business
  • Quality is a collection of powerful tools and concept that are proven to work
  • Quality is defined by the customer through their satisfaction
  • Quality includes continual improvement and breakthrough events

Beside the above definitions there are many other definitions for quality. Juran defined quality as “fitness for use” while, Philip Crosby a well-known quality expert defined quality as “Conformance to specifications”. The ISO 8402 Standard has a formal definition for the quality which is “Quality: the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. Not to be mistaken for “degree of excellence” or “fitness for use” which meet only part of the definition” (1).

In construction industry the quality is an essential part in construction projects. It becomes a competitive advantage and, has a large impact in organization success and profit. There are three constraints in construction projects, cost, schedule and the scope. The successful project should be completed within the predetermined time line, cost, scope and should meet the agreed specifications.

Quality Management

The American society of quality (ASQ) glossary defines quality management as “the application of quality management in managing a process to achieve maximum customer satisfaction at the lowest overall cost to the organization while continuing to improve the process” (2).

Quality management is one of the knowledge area in the project management body of knowledge guide (3). It includes “all processes and activities of the performing organization that determine quality polices, objectives and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs of which it was undertaken”.

Figure 1 illustrate the total quality system process; it shows that the quality is everybody responsibility in the organization (2).


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About the Author

Eng. Mosab Elbashir

Sudan – Saudi Arabia


Eng. Mosab Elbashir, Msc, PMP, CQE ASQ, Construction projects management expert with 15 years of experience. Graduated from University of Khartoum (Sudan), faculty of engineering, civil engineering department in 2003 (BSc). Mosab, obtained his Master degree from Lund University (Sweden) in Water Resources in 2007. Certified quality engineer from American Society of Quality (CQE ASQ) and project management professional (PMP –PMI). Currently works as a consultant with The Saudi Electricity Company in Saudi Arabia since 2012. Interested in projects control and quality management. For more information, please visit


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