Another aspect of reoccurring construction problems…lies in confusing design and construction bugs with quality-control. Debugging and quality-control…although closely related…are different.
Craftsmanship can be defined in quantitative and qualitative terms…how plumb and straight walls are, how flat floors are…free of humps and valleys, how many coats of paint achieve full coverage, etc. These qualifications can be defined in fractions of inches or degrees of judgment…and can be controlled by making the adjustments of taking more time to do a better job or spending more money for better performing materials.
Quality is therefore directly affected by effort, care, motivation, judgment, and resolve.
Bugs, on the other hand, occur regardless of best intentions or performance level simply because they are not known about in advance. Foreknowledge of mass-production assembly-line type construction bugs…is pure informational knowledge and has nothing to do with attitudes or motivation.
When company owners and managers talk broadly about improving construction efficiency and quality…they miss the point entirely. Technical issues cannot be resolved using a broad-brush management approach…at least not in manufacturing industries like building construction.
Real debugging and quality-control starts at the nuts-and-bolts level…then goes up through the organization. To be effective, the discussion must move from the general to the specific.
Preventive problem-solving and debugging provides the housing development company owners and managers an opportunity to impact the efficiency and quality of the construction…without themselves being construction experts. They can collect, process, organize, manage, and disseminate the debugging information so that the knowledge acquired…lessons learned…on past jobs can be applied to present and future jobs.
Housing development company owners and managers must initiate housing construction quality and efficiency for it to evolve beneficially. They are the only individuals in a position to gather and maintain the required information…and budget the necessary time to analyze it.