Documentation: Examples from a Quality Award Winner

In our last Cost of Quality survey, builders and developers said that “Documentation” was an area in which they are looking for best practices, tools and insights. Here we discuss a few types of documentation you can use to manage quality within your business and provide some examples of tools at work within Veridian Homes, a National Housing Quality Award winner. To view any of the examples in more detail, simply click on the image.



Veridian’s Construction Operations Manual includes thousands of checklists and documented processes for everyone involved in each step of the homebuilding process.

Checklists are useful in tracking progress that has been made and in identifying issues. Results can be compiled as data to help in continuous improvement of quality – whether it’s a one-off fix for a particular home or a more broad sweeping change with people, processes or product. Issues discovered in checklists can then become action plans to improve quality, like the list pictured above

Here are some examples of checklists you can leverage to ensure quality.

1. Trade Partner Checklists.  Dave Evert, Production Manager at Veridian Homes, suggests having trade partners compile checklists on their own work, share them with you, and help brainstorm how to resolve any issues identified (see Dave Jones’ example to the right). It can be used at the end of each day to document where the trade is in the process, issues encountered, and when the job is expected to be complete. If the framer is not cutting roof vents for the plumber, this checklist will reveal that error, and then a solution can be found. This will allow your trade partners to become part of the continuous improvement process.

2. Site Readiness Checklists. Checklists (like the one on the left) can be used in tandem with trade partner checklists to ensure that the job site is safe and free of hazards. Photos can be taken to document that the site was clean at the end of the workday and that materials were stored properly — making safety everyone’s responsibility and reducing risk of injury. 

3. Construction Quality Checklists. These checklists can be used by someone within the business who is providing oversight of construction quality or by a third party. According to Bill, Thrive is currently working with IBACOS to implement PERFORM® tools that will allow both checkpoints to take place.



Charts and schedules can help plan for and measure progress in the construction of a home. Here are a couple of examples they shared:

1. Selection Time Chart. Veridian uses this diagram to show buyers how the selection process fits into the overall delivery of their home. They have two versions: one for a standard selection time of nine days and the other for an extended period of 30 days. The process is clearly outlined, and the timeframes for each other stage of delivery remain constant. It’s a nice way to show flexibility, while managing customer expectations regarding completion of their home. 

If buyers can’t meet those dates, then the closing date or schedule can be adjusted. Never start construction without a firm schedule.

2. Daily Schedule.  Used to obtain buy-in from all, Veridian’s chart to the right shows how work flows for a specific day, how progress could be disrupted if one trade is late, and what work can be done simultaneously without having too many workers in a house.  



Without detailed documentation as a guide from the start, you can’t be sure that the quality of the newly built home will be the quality you or your buyer expected. 

We’ve just scratched the surface with these examples and will continue to bring best practices from other builders, developers and trades.