Measure twice and cut once

August 25, 2011

Measure twice and cut once. I think that is probably the first thing I ever learnt in construction and I learnt it as a kid listening to my Dad and Uncle while they reviewed plans in the evening and worked on site each day. You can’t get a more fundamental quality management concept than that and it’s a phrase we use so often in the industry. The concept of course applies to all aspects of design and construction. We can consider it when drafting a home plan, estimating, material storage, construction and customer service. It’s about ensuring we are doing the right thing in the right way, whatever that happens to be. So if we are creating a new home plan we need to consider everyone involved. Focusing on customer needs and wants, but also gaining input from everyone else involved in the process, estimating, construction, customer service etc. It also means evaluating the plan from a value engineering perspective, ensuring that HVAC, insulation and other factors are taken into consideration. That’s the point, it is about considering (measuring) everything before we start, ensuring we are doing the right thing the right way, not just focusing on one aspect but taking a systems approach and realizing the complexity involved.  Git-R-Done is great as a way to remember to keep going, get work done, make things happen but you can still keep that energy while doing it right the first time.

Denis Leonard has a degree in construction engineering an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in quality management. Denis is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Quality Manager, Auditor, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has been an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners a Judge on the International Team Excellence Competition and a Lead Judge on the National Housing Quality Award. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the home building industry as well as construction engineer, site manager, and in training, auditing, and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental, and safety management awards for clients. 

Denis is co-author of The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence.