Maintaining Quality Control during COVID-19

quality controlMead & Hunt’s goal is to exceed our clients’ expec­tations. The intent of our Quality Control Program is to provide clients with high-quality project deliverables. Client satisfaction is achieved through applying a client-focused approach to every aspect of the project development process, including marketing, contract development, administration, project management, sur­veying, various plan review submittals, reports, public involvement, environmental documentation, agency and utility coordination, right-of-way plats, construction administration and final submittals.

Our company quality philosophy rests on developing quality services for each project and client regardless of the size or importance. Our quality policy is rooted within Mead & Hunt’s values statement:

We are empowered to:

  • Take care of people—including our clients and employees.
  • Do the right thing.
  • Do what makes sense.

To this end, our commit­ment to quality starts at the highest levels of leadership and extends to every employee. Through establish­ing a quality culture, each and every Mead & Hunt employee is responsible for quality and continuous improvement.

2020 brought a lot of challenges to our industry. Working remotely has necessitated changes in how we accomplish many things, from workflow to quality control. Although no one predicted working remotely for most of 2020 and beyond, we used many strategies to continue to provide high quality and efficient services for our clients. The backbone of our Corporate quality program goes back many years, and this program received additional emphasis and scrutiny in the past three years. For example, out Transportation Group has well-established and rigorous quality control process that was used as a model for other groups’ quality program. In addition, our IT team’s heavy investment in technologies such as Panzura cloud file system, Workspots, and Bluebeam Revu for markups prior to COVID-19 provided IT infrastructure that facilitated a quick transition to working remotely seamless and the results were fruitful.

Three months into our COVID mandated remote work, as part of a company-wide semi-annual project quality review, our corporate quality facilitator, discipline leaders and group quality facilitators performed quality reviews on randomly-selected projects submitted in the last six months. These project reviews covered projects both in their preliminary and final submittal stage. This was done to check for compliance with our quality control processes. These project quality reviews provided an opportunity to coach the project manager and design team on the proper QC process and check that electronic documentation of the process is saved appropriately and available for later use. They also provided a check on how well our remote quality systems were working. After completing the review, the team prepared and shared a summary of the project quality review with the project manager, department manager and design team to solicit feedback on the results and gain suggestions of how the process can be improved in a remote working environment.

As the pandemic continued into the Winter, we conducted internal surveys, additional semi-annual quality reviews and solicited client feedback to obtain additional information on our project delivery during these trying times. We use this information to learn how we can further improve our services.

While our quality control processes had to be adjusted to account for the significant challenges this past year brought, we were able to maintain a high level of quality for our clients. Ultimately, this success rests on our people-first values as a firm.

Louie Husseini

About the Author

Louie Husseini is a project manager and structural designer serving the transportation sector. He also serves as a Transportation Group Quality Facilitator responsible for implementing the Transportation Group QAQC standards. When not at work, Louie enjoys the outdoors taking part in Jeep off road trips and spending time with family.

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