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Measure of Value

"Quality is the True Measure of Value"

A few years ago, I landed a job as a lead carpenter for a construction company in Northern Virginia. The owner of the company had a sign on his truck that read Quality is the True Measure of Value. At first, I didn't think anything of the phrase. Over the years, I'd seen many such slogans on the sides of construction vehicles.
Quality is the True Measure of Value

On a job site a few months later, I was sitting up against a tree having lunch. There it was again! Parked across the street was that truck - Quality is the True Measure of Value. I thought about that statement for a while and a few questions came to mind. How did they measure quality? How did they manage it? How did they know that they had hired someone who cared about quality? I suppose that they planned to manage the quality themselves by being on site often enough to spot and correct poor workmanship. That made sense to me - I had managed quality this way on my own projects. Perhaps being on site once a day to review the day's schedule with the lead carpenter is often enough. Discuss what is being built and the techniques that will be used to build it. By doing this, as manager of quality, you can get a feel for the confidence level of your workers, and whether or not you should return later in the day to see how things are going.

Managing quality is easy when you have good people working for you, though they aren't always easy to find. When I interview someone for any position, I look for signs that they are knowledgeable and experienced, but what I look for most is that they care about the kind of work they do. I like to see pride in their faces when they show me pictures of their work or feel their enthusiasm when they talk about something that they built. If I can sense that they really like what they do, I know they will be good quality workers. I hope that is what my boss was thinking when he made the decision to hire me.

Some time later, I began studying architecture and design. It wasn't long before I was designing and drawing blueprints for all of my projects. Quality begins with a good design. I don't think anyone would argue with that. I strived to design projects that were both aesthetically appealing as well as structurally sound. Studying proven design techniques along with some creativity of your own, you can design your own quality projects.

Not everyone can design or build a quality product without some training and practice, but almost everyone can recognize quality when they see it right away. There is quality to be measured in all aspects building, as there is with all aspects of life. Whether it be the structure of a building, a web site, or a cold beer with a good friend, there are many ways to measure quality. In construction, the more quality workmanship that goes into a project the higher degree of quality the project has. The higher the quality, the greater the value. So, I suppose the statement on the sign is correct, but it should read Quality is the True Measure of Value.


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