Total Quality Self-Assessment Survey

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This Total Quality Self-Assessment Survey was originally developed as a tool for the National Housing Quality Award judges to evaluate applicants. Several of the judges began using the survey to evaluate their own building companies.

September 13, 2000

 

Edward Caldeira, Director of Quality Services, NAHB Research Center

 

How do you measure up on total quality? Is there room to improve management practices that foster a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction companywide? What is the ultimate model of quality excellence, and what needs to be done to get there? Assess your own company with the free Total Quality Self-Assessment Survey and get the facts.

This Total Quality Self-Assessment Survey was originally developed as a tool for the National Housing Quality Award judges to evaluate applicants. Several of the judges began using the survey to evaluate their own building companies. On the basis of their experience, they thought other quality-minded builders could benefit as well.

The survey evaluates eight categories of total quality performance: leadership, strategic planning, customer satisfaction, construction quality, performance management, supplier partnerships, human resources and business results. The 10-page survey addresses 34 evaluation topics corresponding directly to the NHQ criteria questions. For each topic there are five brief descriptions indicating progressing levels of total quality development.

The starter level is where most builders begin their quality journey. The highest levels constitute a model of best practices that every builder should strive to emulate. Most builders are somewhere in between.

Rating involves choosing descriptions that best characterizes the company. It usually takes about 30 minutes to complete. Some builders ask all of their employees to participate and then tabulate results to learn about companywide perceptions and differences among employee teams.

Knowing where you stand on total quality establishes a reference baseline, but more important, the ratings identify opportunities for improvement. Ratings can catalyze discussions that should result in setting company development goals. If the survey is applied on a periodic basis, the data can measure progress over time.

Assessing the quality management practices can provide a focal point for making strategic improvements to the company’s quality management systems. The tools are here. Give it a try.

For a free Builder’s Total Quality Self-Assessment Survey, e-mail toolbase@nahbrc.org or call the NAHB Research Center’s ToolBase Hotline at 800/898-2842.

 

What is your Stage of Development?

Builder's Total Quality Self-Assessment Rating Table (excerpt sample)
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
6.2

Assuring Quality

Results
The homeowner is responsible for catching any defect at the final walk-through or reporting it through the warranty process. Construction supervisor/punch-out person is responsible for catching defects, but defect data are not tracked. Defect data are tracked and monitored and used to improve quality and supplier performance. In addition to Level 3, some trades use checklists to perform quality self-inspections. All contractors use checklists to perform self-inspections.

Company generally needs only to spot-check trade contractor or product quality.

6.3

Quality Problem

Prevention
Quality problems are corrected as needed. In addition to Level 1, actions are taken to prevent trouble areas. In addition to Level 2, trade contractor and supplier defect data are recorded and trends monitored. In addition to Level 3, process improvement teams utilize root-cause analysis for problem analysis and prevention of future defects. In addition to Level 4, conformance to specifications is a well-documented process.

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