How to Reduce Rework: a Proactive Construction Quality Control Plan

Like Tom Cruise’s character in Edge of Tomorrow, if you learn from your mistakes and put a long-term construction quality control plan in place, you’ll be kicking it in high gear on the job site — free from the rework cycles, and on your way to proactively managing your construction projects to higher profitability. 

If you don’t have a detailed plan of attack for everyday you're on the construction site, your day is #$%@^*!. You’re doomed to a recurring loop of pain and wasted energy. 

According to industry research, construction rework accounts for between 2% and 20% of average construction job cost. Rework is costing you big time! We always hope that projects—whichever one you’re working on right now—will finish up on the 2% side. In many cases, however, despite our best intentions, we end up on the dreaded 20% side because rework is difficult to predict and manage.

The key to reducing your construction costs is to proactively manage your projects so you don't have to rely on hope and good intentions.  Let’s take a look at how being proactive can consistently control costs and reduce rework.

Benefits of a Proactive Construction Quality Control Plan

One of the leading causes of excessive rework is reactive quality control. Consider this sequence of events:

Proactive vs Reactive - Construction Quality Control Plan

When quality control is reactive, stakes are identified and addressed after other work has been done, exponentially increasing the amount of rework and costs required.

Definition: Proactive quality management refers to a formal system designed to identify non-conformance and defects early in the project, while they are easily addressed.

Such a system achieves two key objectives:

  1. It identifies potential trouble spots ahead of time
  2. Puts in place processes to check those spots before moving to the next step

Proactive Construction Quality Control Plan


A successful proactive construction quality control plan involves a structured schedule of inspections that ensure each dependency is quality checked - before the next dependency begins. Two key tools of the proactive construction quality control plan are:

  1. Checklist Inspection Forms
  2. Inspections, test plans and completion tracking 

Checklist Inspection Forms

✔️  Push ownership and responsibility for quality assurance out to the folks on the site

✔️  Serve as a helpful guide, and hold everyone accountable to consistent standards

✔️  Drive conformance within, and across projects, regardless of who performs the inspection

✔️ Create the opportunity for reporting and analytics to identify patterns and opportunities for improvement

Checklists do come with some challenges, however. A fully developed paper checklist system can be cumbersome to carry around, and even more of a pain to search when looking for the right checklist. It’s also vulnerable to loss and theft.

Digital checklists can be a better alternative to paper because it's searchable by anyone, anywhere on the site, and enables better collaborate among everyone on the jobsite. 

Inspections, test plans and completion tracking

A proactive quality management plan includes a schedule of inspections with built-in completion tracking. Completion tracking should be documented and made available to the whole project team, and ensures:

✔️  Everyone knows which inspections need to happen when, and what work has been completed

✔️  The team shows up to work only when materials and schedule are ready for them

✔️  Everyone can see immediately when the project falls behind, why, and what has to happen to get it back on schedule 

They say prevention is the best medicine. Identifying quality issues – made easier and faster by using the proper construction apps on your project – before starting work or moving on to the next phase, can significantly reduce the amount of rework needed later on. This can have a major impact on overall project costs, streamline schedules, and increase your profitability.

This is much easier then staying locked in an endless Edge of Tomorrow-style rework cycle of Live. Die. Repeat. 

Watch this space for more tips for reducing construction rework...

☞  SUCCESS STORY: Skanska Norway – Leading the Way in Construction Technology  ☜


Construction Collaboration to Reduce Construction Rework

Check out what BIM 360 can do for your construction project team!


 How do you reduce construction rework on your jobsite?

Let us know in the comments below!


Leave a Comment