CHECKIT Quality Control

Checking of design output is the lowest common denominator of design quality control, and as DPIC has noted, one where all too often we fail. Checking seeks to find mistakes, not prevent them; much less eradicate cultures that tolerate mistakes.

In the last three decades, I have had a lot of experience building checklist systems. This experience has been instructive. Here are the key lessons from it, which I hope will be useful to readers who are engaged in producing firm checklists:

  • Checklists must be easily practice-definable, e.g. able to be customised to suit the practice.
  • Checklists must be project-definable.
  • Checklists must be easy to complete, without too much thinking or writing.
  • Project checklists should not include non-applicable items (to the specific project).
  • One set of checklist forms should work for multiple checking periods, rather than being re-cast for each checking period.

The importance of coordination checking

Many architects and engineers do not devote enough time to a final coordination review. Those who know how to coordinate documents tend to be very experienced. Ironically, those experienced in the process are often thought to be too valuable for such work. Result: the least experienced person in an office frequently makes the final coordination review. Sometimes designers wait until the last minute to consolidate drawings for other disciplines. Result: no coordination review at all.

– DPIC Companies (now XL Design Professionals Group)