CEIQ: Quality Control at CEI Architecture
By Scott Chatterton, BIM Manager
Over the past few months, CEI Architecture has been working on defining and implementing a comprehensive new quality control system, which we’re calling CEIQ: Quality Control and Project Management Procedures.
The precursor to CEIQ was a document and system outlining the firm’s Flow of Operations. It was solid, but changes in the industry and in our firm meant that an update was needed. The existing system and documentation didn’t go into a lot of detail regarding our BIM process, and several recent wins on major P3 projects—including the recent announcement that our team, Affinity Partnerships, is the preferred proponent for the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Hospital Acute Care Centre—meant that our quality control procedures have expanded.
As the BIM manager, I already had a number of existing documents and processes that I put in place, but I still found it difficult to share certain information and make everyone aware of its existence and apply it to their projects. We have some great content related to quality control, but it’s no good if people are not aware of it and aren’t putting into practice.
Part of the process in the creation of the CEIQ Quality Control system included interviewing our staff, asking pertinent questions about existing processes and getting their thoughts on how we can improve our quality control and project management. We got great feedback!
There were a few themes that came up in most interviews, one of which was a desire to have a clear, comprehensive and fully approved project roadmap. People want guidance on the “how,” “where” and “what do I do next” on a project. Even though we already had these in the existing Flow of Operations, as time progressed our systems needed updating and we needed to re-instill a sense of accountability.
A living system
We consider CEIQ a living system, a set of guidelines, processes and beliefs that will evolve as the company and industry does. We expect it to be updated during the initial roll-out period, and to adapt to changes over time. Our goal with CEIQ is to improve efficiencies and create consistency in every aspect of our service and deliverables. The ultimate goal is to ensure that efficient systems are in place to free up the creative capacity of our talented designers, so they can focus on what they do best: creating spaces that work well for our clients and communities.
Better BIM management
CEIQ includes a section on BIM management, which we hope will give people working on a project clear guidance on their roles on projects that use Revit. One of the biggest challenges in implementing this type of structure in any business is getting buy-in—not only from the staff but from senior levels of an organization. Fortunately the leadership at CEI Architecture has been the driving force behind the initiative, which makes the adoption process much easier throughout the organization.
After we roll out CEIQ, I will periodically blog about sections of the process and explain the benefits of developing your own project management procedures.