These are some great reads for everyone involved in quality management in construction (and not only…) :
1. The Machine That Changed The World , by James P. Womack , Daniel T. Jones and Daniel Roos
Whether you in Quality or not, this is a great read for anyone interested In modern management and how the Japanese revolutionized mass production (of cars mainly) during the second half of the 20th century. It’s a great study that will finally make you wonder why all these things happened in manufacturing and not in construction industry after all…
2. Quality Management in Construction Projects , by Abdul Razzak Rumane
This is probably the very first serious attempt to capture most of the aspects of Quality Management in today’s construction projects. This work has earned Dr. Abdul Razzak Rumane a nomination for ASQ’s Philip B. Crosby Medal . It covers a lot of areas such as different contracts, handovers, checklists, associated costs and even planning. It is a great read and reference for everyone working in construction.
3. What is Total Quality Control? the Japanese Way, by Karoru Ishikawa
The title may sound out of date (who talks about “Total Quality Management” tday…?) but this book written by the guy who actually invented the Ishikawa diagram is a great read. Ishikawa has always been one my favourites because of his human approach to quality management. He has actually said: “In management, the first concern of the company is the happiness of people who are connected with it. If the people do not feel happy and cannot be made happy, that company does not deserve to exist.” Construction industry should be no exception to that…
4. The Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality, by W. E. Deming and Joyce Orsini
That’s a classic! Not much to be said about it. If you want to be serious about Quality you must have read at least one Deming book. That’s probably the best book out there and it’s basicallty a collection of writings and speeches covering the broad spectrum of Deming’s philosophy. It is amazing how valid it is still today!
5. REWORK, by Jason Freid and David Heinemeier Hansson
I left that one for the end because it has nothing to do with the rest and you have probably never seen it in a list of “Quality Books”. However, it is an amazing read for everyone who wants to think out of the box and achieve his targets. It’s a really easy read and it basically teaches you how to be more productive in ways that you have never even thought before. What this has to do with construction? Costruction has always been considered one of the most consrevative and resistant environments to anything new and revolutionary (and there are many reasons for that…). By reading this book you will probably start thinking of different ways of doing things differently and…improve after all! Great read anyways.
There are thousands of books about Quality and Management out there and a quick search on Amazon could easily tell you that. There are also thousands of books touching different subjects in a more technical point of view (welding, oil & gas, piping etc) but the 5 books above are definitely a good start for everyone who starts his career in quality management in construction.
One should not expect to become a Quality Guru by reading all of these but they are all a great introduction and reference.
What quality-(or not)-related book have you read that changed your way of thinking?
Which book do you think is a must read for a Quality Manager or Engineer in construction?