During the Total Quality Management (TQM) craze of the 90s, we studied what we could do to avoid several time-consuming traps that we repeatedly fell into. The result was a fairly rudimentary checklist of what needed to be done in each phase of a project. It helped a lot. So we congratulated ourselves on having mastered that TQM stuff, and moved on. Big mistake. We mistook what we could see of the iceberg as the whole problem. Now I know better, but - I'm retired. Here's what you should consider about the problem.
If the problem is quality control headaches, the lack of consistency, excessive re-work, and an unprofitable practice, what's the solution?
It has been over a year since the Best Of page has been updated. Every quarter I take a look. This is the first time in a year that there has been any significant change.
The Technical Design Diagnostic came to our attention about 1990. Unfortunately we have lost track of its origins - perhaps Fred Stitt?
The concept of the Technical Design Diagnostic is that it is a first step in getting a handle on the project. If your goal is to find the best design that meets your client's program, including budget and schedule, which it should be, then the Technical Design Diagnostic is the most direct way to do that.
The Technical Design Diagnostic also takes less time than a design study that ignores the parameters that will inevitably bring you back to just a subset of what you once thought was possible. We have found that by using the Technical Design Diagnostic, the project design concept becomes very clear in just a few days for most projects.
The Technical Design Diagnostic is intended to be followed one step after the other in roughly the order shown here. When you have thought all these issues through, then you are ready to start designing.
Specification Notes should have a role in every project. By Specification Notes [SpecNotes] I mean a section by section listing of the key requirements of every type of work, arranged by CSI Division and Section Number. The SpecNotes are placed on the drawings. We usually place the General Requirements on a G-series sheet right behind the Cover Sheet. The Architectural Technical Specs are placed on sheet A001, A002 (if needed) per the National CAD Standards. Take a look at the embedded document to download our 30+ page master SpecNotes to start your own.