The following is from a friend of mine who arrived in Afghanistan mid November, 2010. This person is not in construction and does not know both sides of the story.
"You know, there's a ton of building going on here and it's a disaster: the 'new' chow hall can't open because the plumbing was improperly installed; the living units were contracted to one company who didn't interface with the electric supply company so no one is living in them yet; the road is a disaster; and there's a plumbing backup here in the jail once a week. Really high-quality projects..."
This and numerous other issues is why we have decided to offer our services to the QA/QC arena. Both the Contractor AND the QA (governing authority) will benefit from our experience.
There seems to be 4 areas of concern amongst the numerous CQC's that we have worked with.
2. Communication-We have found over the years that most QA's and a lot of QC's are just going through the motions but aren't really doing much. We have weekly meetings and don't touch on real issues...you mention the safety days, man hours, talk about the schedule and the money but the issues are basically glazed over because it might involve a little extra work. I don't know how many Preparatory Meetings that I have held that we just stick to the agenda and no one really wants to take the time to really look over the submittals, the drawings, the specifications, coordinate with other subcontractors...really think the scope of work over BEFORE it starts and we encounter issues. It seems then, when an issue arises it falls back on the Contractor...why didn't you see that coming? why didn't you plan for that?
1. Consistency-One of the biggest issues is consistency, lack of basically. It seems that there really isn't solid procedures for the QA to follow so every job is done completely different with each QA having his or her own style. Sometimes it's really hands on and other times not at all. Contractors have a set of given rules; our contracts, plans and the specifications and our QC Plan. It would help to know what the responsibilities are, what is their QA Plan. What do they need to be doing to assist us in getting these jobs done, done right and done on time. The QA is the QC's counterpart, we should be working together on a common goal and that doesn't always come across.
3. Interaction- We as the contractors are on the job everyday. The QA's should come by, see whats going on, ask questions...look around. QA's are another set of eyes for us. Sometimes it just seems like everyone is just going through the motions but not really moving forward. If we fail, then the Quality Assurance program fails, also in the end it is the end user that is suffering.
4. Knowledge - It seems sometime that the QC and/or QA does not have the knowledge required. I have seen both look at something in the field and all you see is that "deer in the head lights look". We need to be sure that the individuals involved have some knowledge of the work being put in place, how else do you know if it is getting done right.
Remember all, we are here to improve the quality of life for ALL our men and women in the armed services, lets get it right the first time.
Measure twice cut once!