Effectiveness of Quality Management System (ISO 9001- 2008) Implementation in Ethiopian Construction Consultants

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Addis Ababa University


The construction industry in Ethiopia has faced problems in delivering projects. Time overrun, cost overrun and insufficient quality are common for many projects. These problems are caused by a number of factors such as poor project cost estimation, price escalation of construction materials, poor project planning, poor project follow-up, poor design quality, human resource problem, and poor financial and equipment management. Due to this, customer satisfaction is rare for many projects. Engineering consultants are among the major construction parties responsible for critical activities and performance of projects. Therefore, this research attempts to introduce effective Quality Management System implementation approach to achieve predetermined objectives set by the consultants in delivering projects to satisfy customers. It is about developing a Quality Management System which adequately fulfills the requirements set by ISO 9001 2008 standard. Quality Management System is a tough approach which advance the way of doing things through introducing standard procedures to the company activities to achieve the best result. Procedures are developed for the company activities based on the ISO 9001 2008 standard requirements to have consistent way of doing things and make continuous improvement on the procedures to maximize the output. The aim of this research is to identify the effectiveness of implementation of Quality Management System in Ethiopian construction consultants and challenges in the application of the system and to recommend improvement actions that will make the system effective. To attain this objective, the study specifically explores the current involvement of the construction consultants in utilizing ISO 9001 2008 standard QMS, effectiveness of implementation of ISO 9001 2008 QMS in Ethiopian Construction Consultants, Quality Management System implementation challenges and measures to implement the system effectively. The study also attempts to introduce QMS principles, standard requirements and tools to establish the system. Consultants attempt on the implementation of QMS is evaluated according to the ISO 9001 2008 standard requirements.Both quantitative and qualitative analysis has been done for the survey. The results of this research have confirmed that the performance of Ethiopian consultants with respect to effective implementation of ISO QMS is poor. It is due to lack of adequate knowledge on activities to make the system effective, the difficulty to interpret the standard requirement, lack of top management commitment and engagement of employees, lack of technical expertise to establish and control the implementation of the system, lack of intensive internal audit, and lack of exhaustive surveillance audit made by the certification agent. The survey results also show that the involvement of construction consultants in the country on QMS is negligible. From the total number of 350 consultants less than 3% of construction consultants have been certified for the system. This is because QMS benefits are not clearly understood by the consultants. However QMS strongly improve the project performance as well as customer satisfaction through providing standard processes for company activities and allowing continuous improvement to these operating processes. Based on the findings this study proposed area of efforts for the improved implementation of the system.



Quality management, ISO QMS principles, ISO 9001 2008 standard requirements, standard procedures, customer satisfaction