Conference paper

Quality management is a significant component of any construction project and the cost of quality can constitute a sizable part of total construction cost. US state highway agencies are in constant pressure to do more with less. Applying Lean construction management principles can be a viable way to eliminate waste and inefficiencies and maximize value and efficiency in quality assurance (QA). State highway agencies have implemented various QA practices and processes which include different QA standards and specifications, varying testing methods, central testing lab vs. on site testing, performance based vs. prescribed quality assurance practices, implementation of innovative quality assurance practices, etc. Therefore, there is an opportunity to assess different QA strategies and recommend lean QA practices that are cost effective. A survey was conducted among state highway agencies, which provided a detailed mapping of various QA practices and processes used as part of QA programs and identified areas where agencies can focus on for cost savings. The survey found that QA sampling and testing plans, optimization of sampling plans, optimization of QA standards and specifications, and implementation of innovative test methods and processes are the main areas the agencies should focus on to lean the current QA programs.

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