Good QAQC keeps projects out of trouble

Posted in: Energy, Municipal, Water

Ship in storm on the seaAfter all project work is complete, there is often a sense of accomplishment and pride in a job done right. Nobody wants to then have to deal with additional problems requiring more time, money—or worse. The recent news headlines about two Boeing 737 MAX jets crashing within months of each other is an example of one of these “or worse” scenarios that we all want to avoid.

Avoiding these types of situations requires thoughtful planning and effort by the project manager and team members alike through a robust Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QAQC) Program. QAQC is not glamorous; however, over 25 years as a civil/structural design professional, I have seen time and time again how the QAQC formula can successfully keep a project out of trouble for the long haul.


We know that the way we conduct our daily work has a direct impact on the quality of work we produce. This influences how we organize our work, how we communicate with our associates and clients, and how we address and resolve issues. At Mead & Hunt, everyone is responsible for maintaining quality control of the work they do while simultaneously identifying ways to improve accuracy and efficiency.

QAQC ProcessLong-term project success

Adhering to the QAQC program ultimately saves clients costly errors, omissions and scheduling delays. The basic QAQC procedure includes the following steps:

  • Plan
  • Design
  • Check
  • Backcheck
  • Update
  • Recheck

Planning adequate time and budget to complete the QAQC steps is essential. The percentage of time necessary for QAQC will vary depending on the project and discipline but can range anywhere from 25% to 40%. This may seem high, but it is necessary when compared with the alternative.

The Backcheck, Update and Recheck steps are an essential but often overlooked part of the process. These steps close the loop of the QAQC process and significantly reduce the potential for necessary updates to fall through the cracks.

The QAQC process is a vital part of long-term project success. It absolutely should not be neglected. Mead & Hunt is committed to further honing our QAQC process to provide solutions that can serve communities for generations to come.

Gary Ruchti, PE

About the Author

Gary Ruchti, PE is committed to finding successful water resource solutions to our clients’ toughest challenges. “For me, the most rewarding part of this job is being able to provide successful, effective, lasting solutions to our clients.” In his time away from the world of water resources, Gary has been involved the development of more than 20 DOT bridge projects each year throughout the Midwest. He enjoys traveling, reading and running.

Read more posts by Gary Ruchti, PE

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