Total Quality Management: A Future in Chinese Architecture Practice A dissertation submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Cincinnati In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE In the School of Architecture and Interior Design of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning By HAO SUN B. Arch, Architecture Zhejiang University, China, June 2001 Committee Chair: Dr. David G. Saile Prof. Gordon B. Simmons Abstract With the economy booming at miraculous speed in China, building industry, particularly architecture, has grown rapidly.
While Chinese architects are enjoying the opportunity to build their own monuments, they are also facing the challenges of international competition and economic cycle. The operation and management system of architectural firms should adjust to meet the challenges. Total Quality Management, a system created within Japanese corporations, is a solution to build the overall competitiveness of design and service firms. The thesis will introduce the basics of Total Quality Management, and apply it to current Chinese architecture practices as one possible solution to their demand for better management models.
Keywords: architectural practice, architectural service marketing, globalization, Chinese architects, management, quality control, social aspects, Total Quality Management iii iv Table of Contents Abstract iii Table of Contents v Introduction 1 Chapter One: A Brief Market Analysis of Chinese Architectural Practices 1. 1: The Rising Demand for Architecture Services 1. 2: Opportunity and Challenge for Architecture Firms 1. 3: Changes in the Structure of the Chinese Building Industry 1. 4: Heated Competition in the Building Industry 1. 5: Conclusion 4 5 8 12 18 20 Chapter Two: Total Quality Management in Business 2. : Defining Total Quality 2. 2: Summary of Total Quality 2. 3: Total Quality Management Systems 2. 4: Building Quality System 2. 5: Action: Building and Sustaining Total Quality Organizations v 21 21 24 31 47 49 2. 6: Conclusion 54 Chapter Three: Evaluations of Architects and Architectural Firms 3. 1: Culture of Architects: From Artist to Social Professional 3. 2: The Definition of Design Excellence 3. 3: Successful Firm Lesson One: Balance Between Ideology and Business 3. 4: Successful Firm Lesson Two: Models of Firms that Deliver Quality Designs 3. 5: Growth of Architecture Firms 3.
6: Conclusion 5 55 60 66 73 74 81 Chapter Four: Adopting TQM in Architectural Practice 4. 1: How TQM Principles Can Improve Practice 4. 2: Possible Benefits of TQM 4. 3: The Barriers to Establish a Quality Management System 4. 4: Establish a TQM Step-by-Step 4. 5: Techniques for Managing Quality 4. 6: Feedback Circle for Future Improvement 4. 7: Documentation 4. 8: Start Right Now 4. 9: Leadership 4. 10: Conclusion vi 84 84 86 88 89 96 104 105 106 106 107 Chapter Five: Additional TQM Strategies for Chinese Architectural Firms 5. 1: Cultural Barriers to TQM 5. 2: Building a TQM Process 5. 3: Build a Successful Team 5. : Conclusion 109 109 111 114 117 General Conclusion 119 Bibliography 121 Appendix A: ABC Architects Administrative Procedure Structure by Nelson Appendix B: Techniques for Managing Quality by Nelson 122 124 vii Introduction The building industry boom in China today has been nothing short of miraculous. During two decades of economic reform, which included the privatization of home ownership, the construction industry has grown rapidly. In 2008, construction-related industries accounted for 7 percent of total gross domestic product (GDP) in China, with an annual growth rate of 18. 6 percent (OCN, 2008).
This is a brave new world for Chinese architects. There are an almost infinite number of projects available for them to design and manage. Meanwhile, it is a great time for them to build their own monuments. As social wealth increases, quality projects are becoming both more affordable and more desirable. The operation and management of architectural firms should also adjust accordingly. This thesis will examine Total Quality Management (TQM) and apply it to the current practice of Chinese architectural firms. Chapter one introduces the current architecture practices in the Chinese market.
It discusses, in economic terms, how globalization and industrialization are two major forces that make quality projects affordable, desirable and a definite trend in the building industry. In addition, the privatization of home ownership also demands a total improvement in building and property management. Under these circumstances, TQM, with its distinct advantages of individual motivation and emphasis on quality and customer-oriented service, has become an applicable model for Chinese architectural firms. Chapter two explores the major principles of TQM. It defines total quality and describes the evolution of understanding of quality.
TQM philosophies, frameworks, customer-focused strategy, leadership and organizational behaviors are introduced. 1 Chapter three focuses on the nature of the architectural practice itself. Characteristics of successful firms are briefed from existing studies of architectural practice in the American market. In reading the various studies by sociologists, architecture firms should always be reminded to balance their efforts in design with the business side of the practice. As a firm grows, the complexity of projects also grows, sometimes beyond the architects’ full control, thus the firm has to be more rationally organized and custom-focused.
The star-centered leadership style, a derivative of leading architects’ diversified utility function, should be constantly adjusted to align with a firm’s conviction and agenda. Chapter four synergizes TQM into architectural practice. It creates a strategy guide of tools that has been proven to work in the U. S. architecture industry. For firms interested in quality projects and quality teams, it is important to realize key issues in the practice and to suggest applicable solutions that can enhance their design success. Chapter five suggests other factors that influence TQM application in Chinese firms.
Expanding on chapter four, it provides some precautions and applications in the Chinese business background. Background knowledge in this study is drawn from publications by business experts and sociology scholars. The general framework of TQM is borrowed from “The Management and Control of Quality (2001)” by James R. Evans and William M. Lindsay. Sociology studies focusing on the nature of the architectural practice come from Robert Gutman’s “Architectural Practice (1988),” Dana Cuff’s “Architecture, the Story of Practice (1991)” and Judith Blau’s “Architects and Firms (1984). ” The conditions of the Chinese building market described come from my own personal experience, news articles and anecdotal evidence gathered from conversations with young architects. Finally, it is important to emphasize that management enhances practice, and practices raise issues and open up opportunities that create demand for better management. In the interaction of management and practice, what is discussed in this study is really just the beginning of a greater dialogue. 3 Chapter One: A Brief Market Analysis of Chinese Architectural Practices In 1978, economic reform in China started with the opening up of manufacture outsourcing.
Gradually, the wealth generated in manufacturing moved to other sectors. This “Chinese miracle” has benefited from three main factors that are results of globalization: cheap labor, infrastructure investment and the incorporation of existing technology. The Chinese government has been investing heavily in its infrastructure. In accordance with the booming economy, the demand for building has grown fast. Young architects are leading large projects, and their designs frequently appear in professional journals. Meanwhile, they are facing competition from architects abroad.
When Chinese architects examine the difference between their practices and those of their foreign colleagues, they realize that innovative thinking in design is one thing but that what clients really want to buy from foreign firms is beyond mere design ability. The required skills for the architectural profession are quite mature. With more Chinese architects pursuing their education overseas, their skills are comparable at certain levels. However, quality in architectural education does not translate to quality in their projects, nor does it translate into competitiveness.
Some argue it is the architectural culture and social culture that make the difference—or that it is the legal system or the developers’ mentality and preferences. There are a lot of differences in the architecture practices and conditions that make their design quality different, but Chinese architects have to work in whatever condition they inherit and play in the battlefield that is available to them. Among the many management 4 strategies, Total Quality Management (TQM) is a solution that could be used to meet the current challenges.
This study discusses the practices of firms that want long-term growth, to build their reputations and be able to pass the legacy along to the later generations. American studies and experiences are valuable for Chinese architects to borrow from, but it should start with a comparison of architecture practice between China and the U. S. 1. 1: The Rising Demand for Architecture Services There are several macroeconomic forces that are creating new development in China. In the private sectors, new real estate development is booming.
First, home-ownership reform created demand for privately owned residences. Second, more people have started to work and live in cities as a result of industrialization and urbanization. Third, new infrastructure has expanded the scale of cities, as has development along the new transportation lines. Fourth, the price of property has increased dramatically as a result of urbanization and a global trade surplus, which has encouraged consumers to invest in real estate. In the public sectors, GDP is the major evaluation method to determine local officials’ political achievement.
Under this political drive, government-consumption projects, such as opera houses, museums and college campuses, are attracting the attention and talents of architects from all over the world. Leading international design firms have become competitive in large-scale public projects. Local large, semiprivate design institutions are competitive in midsize projects, both private and public, and also as joint ventures with international design firms for construction documents. The small private firms’ model is a good comparison with the lower end in manufacturing, which provides below-average price and service for small private projects. 1. 1. 1: Growth in Real Estate Development From 1999 to 2007 there was an explosion in China’s real estate market. Since 1999, investment in development has increased dramatically. In 2006 alone the gross investment of new development exceeded 4. 0975 trillion RMB (about 0. 58 trillion USD), with the annual increase rate at 18. 6 percent. In the first three quarters of 2007, the quarterly increase rate reached 22. 7 percent (OCN, 2008). Secondly, besides the overall amount of capital invested into real estate, the proportion of real estate also accounts for an extremely high rate in fixed capital investment—21. 1 percent in 2005. Compared with the average level of 10 percent to 15 percent internationally, the rate in China is amazingly high. Thirdly, the growth of real estate investment is far higher than that of GDP. In 2006, the average of increase rate of real estate development was 18. 6 percent, which was about twice than that of GDP. Consequently, the proportion of real estate development in GDP also increased. In 2007, 7 percent of total GDP was generated in real estate, compared to the average level of 5 percent internationally (OCN, 2008). The comparison in the U.
S. is the booming period of 1972 to 1982. In Gutman’s Architecture Practice: A Critical View, there are three trends in the rising demand for architectural services. The first trend is the rise in the number of architectural and architecturalengineering firms, especially firms with more than fifty employees. The second trend is the increasing receipts. The total profit in this decade increased more than three times—for large firms the increase was nearly four times. The market share of large firms increased despite small firms’ share of half the market in 1982.
The third trend is that architects’ share of every dollar spent on construction is increasing. These trends help explain the rise in the number and the increased complexity of building types and stricter building regulations. Architects today are 6 regarded more as professionals than geniuses or artists, which explains why this profession shows that clients and the public need more extensive services. In China, architects do not have as many legal costs or risks as those in the U. S. However, the architect’s share of every dollar in the whole investment of the project decreases because of competition. . 1. 2: An Economical and Political Study in Real Estate Growth Economic reform is a movement of industrialization and urbanization. With GDP growth in the double digits, peasants are leaving their rural homes and becoming industrial workers. Increased population in urban areas upped the demand for new urban spaces, both residential and commercial. Thus there are three major phenomena that directly affect the booming building market. First is the reform of home ownership of 1991. Since the reform, residences have become privately invested, traded and purchased. Before the reform, mployers, who were mostly in publicly owned buildings, built residences for their employees. Housing quality was equally as poor as the economic standing for the whole society. Residences were designed and assigned by need for survival, with no concern for comfort. As the economy has grown, the need for good housing has increased as well. After the reform, the private housing market opened up, and the wealthy few started to demand better housing. This was when real estate development really took off. Second, consumption increased with the rise of middle- and high-income classes.
The residue value generated from the use of low-cost labor meant managers and staffs grew rich. As a ripple effect, the middle class increased in population size. What’s more, they tend to like 7 lifestyles found in the West and the city skylines in developed countries. Quality designs have also become more desirable and affordable. Finally, real estate is highly leveraged with low transaction cost. It has become a good investment tool for the public. This has encouraged developers to obtain more land and to build fast. 1. 1. : Growth in Public Development With the rapid growth in the private real estate market, public development is also increasing. First, there were not enough public buildings meeting the demands of the public, including those for more libraries, museums, opera house, plazas and institutions. Second, cities want to attract investment and population. Public projects are considered to be both a social infrastructure and a marketing tool. Moreover, GDP is the most important determination of a local government’s performance, and so there is an incentive for them to invest in public buildings.
For the amount of money poured into large-scale public projects, international design competition is required by current policy. Both central and local governments are willing to pay generously for a better design. Considering the financial challenge Eseinman faced when he had to sacrifice profit for the opportunity to build his design monument, the DAAP building at the University of Cincinnati, Chinese architects seem to have a much better financial standing. 1. 2: Opportunity and Challenge for Architecture Firms In Gutman’s definition, architecture firms can be classified in terms of size—large, midsize and small firms.
If classified in their social roles, all firms can be divided into strong 8 design firms, strong service firms and strong delivery firms. The classifications overlap each other in situations described below. 1. 2. 1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Large Firms Similar to Gutman’s categorization, Chinese architectural firms can also be classified into three categories in terms of scale. The first is large firms, which are publicly owned and managed as “design institutions,” carrying the name of the city or province.
They have been in the market for a long time, with a state-backed reputation to provide comprehensive services. First, they are large and have more licensed architects than private firms. Second, they offer complete services from the beginning to the end of the project process. Architects, engineers, city planners and value engineers work side by side. Third, they are more experienced in design than all the new private firms. Clients come to them for their state-backed reputation, so they do not have to solicit jobs. They have the ability to manage large and profitable projects.
However, there are a few factors that hinder their practice. First, since they were publicly owned, staffs earn good salaries and receive pensions. There is a quota for the total number of employees that discourages employees to join and leave the firm. The generation gap creates some tension between the old engineers and the new architects. Second, the heritage of the precomputer period leaves the firm with more engineers but not enough architects. The low proportion of architects affects design quality. In Blau’s study of design merit, the awardwinning firms always have a high proportion of architects.
The cultural conflict between architects and engineers also affects design innovation. The third disadvantage of these large firms is that they are too bureaucratic. According to Blau, bureaucratic firms are less likely to deliver high-quality design (Blau 1984: 141). This situation usually happens in large firms. In big 9 Chinese firms, it is the same situation, and perhaps even more serious. There are more administrative staffs than required. The over-produced administrative staffs produce unnecessary office work and some may be uncomfortable with the production group. 1. 2. : Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Firms Small architectural firms are mostly privately owned, and the principals come from three areas. First, they are previous employees of large public firms. They may connect with their previous employer as franchisers. They put their name under the design institute’s title for their own studios with their own name and pay a portion of their revenue to the design institute. Second, there are architects who have studied and practiced overseas and come back to get a share of the market. Third, they are previous employees of private firms.
These firms are usually less bureaucratic and have a higher proportion of architects with a lower average age. They either become a strong delivery firm or a strong design firm. Strong design firms market themselves as joint ventures with large public firms for large projects. They can serve as “shooters” for design competition and even later in preliminary design. Strong delivery firms market themselves as low-end, low-price and high-speed designers. Both of them react to the market quickly. In 2003, an architectural journal in China, the Architecture Times, held two conferences for private architectural firms in Shanghai.
The topic that attracted the most attention was social recognition of their practice. Principals of these firms concluded from their own experience that, compared with comprehensive large design institutes, private firms had a better environment to support innovation, and staffs were more responsible. However, the market is not catching up with their progress. Privately owned firms carry a full spectrum of quality, but some of them cannot guarantee it, which affects a private firm’s social image. It is even harder for them to build up 10 their reputation in this social context.
Moreover, they have some difficulty communicating efficiently with government agencies such as planning departments because they do not have a long enough track record with these agencies. These principals believe that some of these problems can be solved when they adjust their own work as they mature, but some issues should be taken care of by the government. That is to say, the government should have explicit laws and regulations to follow. The final problem has to do with these architects themselves, as most were apprentice architects in large firms and all the business side of project management was taken care of by dministrative staffs. When they become bosses themselves, they have a hard time starting the most trivial tasks (Architectural Times, 2003). Almost all the private firms start with a strong service conviction. Since they are playing in an extra-tough battleground, they have to contribute more to guarantee approval. The dedication they contribute in every project is not just an advertisement of their own capability but also a promotion of private firms to the general public. The management in small firms is more direct, less formal and less expensive.
These principals believe that, given a good market approach and legislation support from the government, small firms will exceed large design institutes in both design quality and profit. Legislation from the department of construction requires private architectural firms to take full responsibility for their work, which excludes being hired as a joint-venture team in large publicly owned firms. As a result, the scale of the project has to match the size of their firm, which prevents some of them from getting large projects. Since these private firms are rather new, they are much smaller than publicly owned firms.
They usually use a flat organizational management system. Some principals are looking forward to monopolizing in niche markets, but 11 there are some ambitious firms who want to deliver comprehensive services and become real competitors with publicly owned firms. They may face an inevitable change in organizational behavior in that their firms will become more rational and bureaucratic. Another important factor is the new labor legislation of 2008. Under the new laws, employers should provide tenure employment for employees who have served for more than eight years.
As a consequence, growing private firms will face a similar challenge as publicly owned firms. In the following chapters, Total Quality Management (TQM) will be discussed as it relates to the architectural practices examined and as a viable solution for the challenges posed. For the privately owned firms, the organizational culture is aligned with the personality of the firm founders. It is fine when the firms are still young, but as they grow how successors can continue the legacy of the principals becomes a challenge. Culturally, founders prefer to pass the firms to their children.
However, this transition of power may not be smooth. Similar challenges have already occurred in the manufacturing sector. Gutman says that small offices are seen as the backbone of the profession in the U. S. , and many architects prefer to work in this kind of setting. It is widely considered to be the source of design innovation. As privatization trends in the architectural profession continue in China, and keeping in mind that professionalism is at a rather primitive stage, let us consider the new generation of professionals and use the TQM to support their growth. 1. : Changes in the Structure of the Chinese Building Industry As China develops its local market, the building industry is shown as increasing in complexity. Other professions are also getting involved in the building process. The architect’s 12 role is changing from that of generalist to coordinator. The competition between architectural firms becomes so heated so that architectural firms have to define their own niche market to keep a monopoly. It is therefore important to examine the changes happening in the profession itself. 1. 3. 1: Growth in Complexity In Gutman’s study, in the previous few decades before 1992 in the U.
S. , the largest trend in the building industry was the increase complexity of buildings. That same trend can be seen in China today. Globalization and outsourcing enable Chinese manufacturers to produce quality products and building technologies with much cheaper prices. In accordance with wealth accumulated in industrialization, complicated buildings become more affordable. Increased building complexity needs cooperation with all careers in the building industry. The greater scale the complexity, the more urgent there is required to involve a wider variety of new disciplines and professions in project design.
Meanwhile, China is in transition, moving from a folk society to a civil society. People need to be educated to work with others and become a niche in the macroeconomy. In Gutman’s study of American architects in a similar stage, some architects attempted to “limit and manage the trend of increasing share of technology by making technology into a subject for esthetic manipulation, but this strategy cannot really increase architects or hold over the building process” (Gutman 1988: 42). The second way is that architects use their education as generalists to bring related specialists together, and they become the project managers.
The third way is to accommodate themselves to a more confined esthetic role as architects, because the modernist doctrine in the arts argues that this dimension is autonomous for the architects. In this trend, some firms will continue to be more specialized, some will become more comprehensive and some will share responsibility with other professions. 13 Besides Gutman, other architects also face the concern that with the growing complexity of building technology, architects cannot hold a monopoly on their projects.
In Dana Cuff’s Architecture: A Story of Practice, she argues that the architectural professional practice is “a series of dialectical dualities [and] an apt model. ” She thinks architects tend to favor one component of each duality while neglecting other parts, thus creating an imbalance: The first duality counterposes the individual with the collective, tapping into the contrast between architecture’s fundamental respect for the autonomous artist and its use of teams of professional to do the actual work for any project. A second dilemma counterposes design against business of art against management in the architectural office.
Third, in the issue of design as decision making versus design as making sense of a situation, there comes the question of whether architecture is best created by a mosaic of specialists or is inherently the comprehensive task of qualified generalists. (Cuff 1991: 11) In Cuff’s study of major architectural firms in the U. S. , more than 40 percent of the design fee is generated from work drawings (considered a non-artistic part of design). However, to keep a monopoly status on building, architects have to keep the aesthetic aspects of building as their niche.
As architects move further from their idealized professional role, the ideal becomes more important for role maintenance. The same trend will be seen in China as well. With increased inflation, the currency-exchange rate to the U. S. dollar and a tendency toward recession, the growth rate of the building industry will slow or decrease. This will be a time of adjustment. Culturally, since Chinese economic miracle is highlighted by cheap labor in the chain of globalization, Chinese architects believe a lower fee is a competitive advantage. However, low 14 ost means more work and less recharge, and this can produce surplus supply of architects competing in the low-end market. It is fine during an economic boom, but the volatility inherited in low-end competition will harm them during a recession and adjustment. Chinese architecture firms should build their expertise in a niche market defined by the diversified needs of the customers. Even though architects are trained to take design-as-art as their primary expertise, during a recession, a high-design approach would be risky. A better solution is to use a quality practice and service as their marketing tools.
Architecture, like other arts, produces “culture capital” by which people display their status through their tastes and possessions. But the architects’ services alone do not produce the works of art. Moreover, architects, more than other professionals, remain tied to their clients. With specialized consultants and influence from developers, architects now act like translators, employing design to mediate between function and the final form. Architecture should become a social art in which clients, planners, consultants, building departments, draftspersons and designers must arrive together at some agreement.
Then the key element of the architects’ role as social artist can be better developed and marketed. 1. 3. 2: Drawbacks and Advantages of Commission out of Locale A few years ago, Chinese architects were complaining about aggressive developers, who, as these architects described, pushed them too hard to build fast, low-quality buildings with less long-term consideration or planning. It is understandable, because they finance their development with high interest rates and do not know if they can survive in the long run. Meanwhile, building codes lag behind the needs of the consumers.
In the recent years, the competition of quality design in the real estate market is heated, which is shown in commission 15 patterns in large real estate development corporations, who hire international architects to work on concept and schematic design. This does not mean that Chinese architects cannot produce similar quality. This is because consumers do not believe Chinese architects can reach that standard and vision under the current working environment. This is to suggest that the high-end design is to be had at the international price.
As they said at the conference held by private firm principals in Shanghai, they declare there is a crisis on international commission in terms of design quality itself, which coordinates with what Cuff indicates about the consequences in building complexity. With the complexity of building growing, changes in the client population changes the role of architects in design. With competition expanding beyond the local environment, architects find themselves designing in places and for cultures unlike their own.
The client giants send representatives to client meetings who then report internally to some higher authority, such as a board of directors, vice president, or department head, thereby removing the ultimate approval process from architects’ immediate control. With such complex clients, many architects enter the design process expecting the arduous project management will mean they must battle to maintain design quality. In this context, the client with whom the architect works and to whom he or she is legally and financially responsible, is not the client who will use the building.
Instead of first-hand observation of real people and their needs and aspirations, the architect is given statistical data with which to work. It can be predicted that architects’ isolation from their “real clients” precipitated a trend toward more formal, abstract and less humane design. The ethics of the individual architects were replaced by the ethics of the architectural office, and the more the architectural office resembled business in general the more its ethics resembled those of the business world. 16
Chinese developers select international architects based on the prevailing style of the firm. In my interview with a project manager in Vanke, the largest real estate developer in China, who had been working with GBBN, a large size architectural firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio, for a few years, she claimed that the reason they select firms in terms of their style is that they want to market their project as international standard and quality. With this objective, they select foreign firms as specialists in their pre-selected style.
They develop their target market first, and then choose an architectural firm that best fits their standard. 1. 3. 3: Lack of Specialization and Complexity in Service Available A related concern appears in the discussion of private firm principals. They suggest that private firms should be more specialized and differentiate from large publicly owned firms, to give clients more choices so that mid-end developers can choose local architects. Given that large publicly owned firms have already occupied a comprehensive middle-end market, if small firms want to compete n the same market as these large firms, they either have to compete in price or become boutique designers. As the complexity of the building industry grows, these private firms also face disadvantages in their practice. At the conference in Shanghai it was claimed that there were only nine civil-engineering firms in the city compared with 36 architecture firms. It sounds like the normal proportion of architectural firms to engineering firms, but the case is that none of these firms take supporting roles for architects. To architects, there are literally no engineering firms they can choose.
Whenever they need a consultant, they have to come to publicly owned comprehensive design institutes. Further, there are no mechanical engineering consulting firms in Shanghai. Even if they would like to associate with civil-engineering firms, they still need to 17 go to a design institute for help, which is not as cost-efficient as hiring a design institute at the start. In the long run, this is a problem of survival for engineering firms, which will reduce the private sector of the whole building industry, and finally harm the growth of architectural firms. 1. : Heated Competition in the Building Industry As mentioned in Cuff’s book, the reason that the architecture profession cannot have the same social status as other professions—such as law and medicine—is that architects cannot take full responsibility of their projects. The only aspect they are born to carry is the vaguest and most mysterious part of the building. Aesthetics do not have a rational price. The price of architects’ aesthetic work is highly subjective to buyer. The heated competition between building professionals is a competition for clients’ recognition. In Gutman’s study in the U. S. the competition between professions is the result of pressure mostly from interior designers and other building professionals. To compete in the interior-space market, architects can work between consultants responsible to the architects or work as in-house architects for both the facility management and the clients’ organization. Some architectural firms work beyond the conventional field and expand their work into the environmental design. The most serious pressure comes from non-design building professionals, such as contractors, construction managers, producers of industrial building and facilities managers.
These building professionals control the capital and have a whole view of the project, so it is inevitable that the architects become their employees and they no longer need to work on the function of the building. Gutman points out the loss of building process outside design is critical because so much of the economic and political influence on building projects, and therefore design, is concentrated in these functions. Some architects become facade architects and start to work on their previous 18 identity, and they design the building shell as one solution.
As a result, firms that are regularly engaged in soliciting work are welcomed by purchasing departments and managers of facilities divisions who are determined to develop less risky, more rational methods to solve their problems. As described in the previous section, the booming architecture market in China is a link of the whole macroeconomic chain. The building industry has been boosted by the 2008 Olympic Games but is facing risk as appreciation of the Chinese currency would hurt the major economic driver—the manufacturing sector.
As the trade surplus skyrockets, real estate prices have been rising to a high level as a result of an excess supply of currency. In early 2008, as the effects of the subprime crisis and the speculation of rising inflation, the capital market and real estate market both went down. It will not stop, as the Chinese government is still investing heavily in infrastructure. However, it is reasonable to expect that the building industry will enter a stage of adjustment. This phenomenon can be seen as a turning point in the housing prices in early March 2008.
If the economy goes into stagnant period, over-produced building professionals will be washed out, as only the most competitive firms will survive. The publicly owned firms have a great advantage over private firms, because they can take government jobs with higher priority. This will be even tougher for private firms. Lower prices will still be a must, as clients will have to shrink their budgets. This is not unlike the economic slowdown in the U. S. in the 1970s. Clients will evaluate value per price as their highest priority.
If firms reduce cost but do not sacrifice quality, such as increasing efficiency and reducing waste, they can survive in the overheated competition. 19 In this challenging situation, architects will finally begin to realize the other side of the coin—the practical side—and begin to organize their “business development” program, including marketing and public relations. Most architectural firms will have to be managed and evaluated in a more quantitative way, and the financial problem is the top one to deal with.
Some firms will have to take a rational and safe way to do less complex building and which are more profitable, so they can finish the job quickly and do more projects. 1. 5: Conclusion The booming architecture market in China is the result of political and macroeconomic progress. It is a period of change for the architecture firm’s structure that new privately owned firms are allowed to register and compete with the large publicly owned design institutes that deliver a full service of design process.
Although these private firms are more innovative and service-oriented than large design institutes, they need a long time to build their reputation to compete with publicly owned firms. As the complexity of building increases, these firms are facing a heated competition with other professions in the building industry and other architects. None of these private firms are specialists in any building types or styles. As they cannot hold a monopoly for a niche market, they compete on design fee most of the time.
Principals of these firms realize this competition will eventually harm the practice itself, and they hope organized management can help them. In the macroeconomic picture, architects will have to increase effectiveness and quality of their practice to prepare for the coming recession. In the following chapters, Total Quality Management is examined as a modern organizational management theory that can help Chinese private architecture firms prepare for the adjustment period. 20
Chapter Two: Total Quality Management in Business The term Total Quality Management (TQM) was introduced in the 1980s by Deming based on his experience in Japanese corporations. As a people-focused management system, it aims at a continual increase in customer satisfaction at continually lower real cost. This chapter considers the basic knowledge of TQM as a management method in the general business field and provides a knowledge background for further discussion of the applications in architectural practice in later chapters. Before moving on to TQM in the business context, a definition and history should be addressed.
After, this chapter will summarize principles, processes and tools to build a TQ system. 2. 1: Defining Total Quality The meaning of the word “quality” in Total Quality Management is not limited to the definition in the dictionary. In different domains, quality can refer to different characteristics. Thus TQM and related definitions of quality should be addressed. This subchapter will define quality as it is used in the dictionary and then define total quality in its business context. 2. 1. 1: Quality as It Is Defined in English and Chinese Dictionaries Discussions of total quality should first address definitions of total quality.
The English word quality comes from the Latin “qualis,” meaning “of what kind,” and later through French as “qualite. ” In the Indo-European language, the word came from “what” and “how. ” Its root, qualis, refers to character, behavior and condition in general. 21 In modern English, as defined by American Heritage Dictionary, quality signifies a feature that distinguishes or identifies someone or something, similar to property, attribute, character and trait. As a human trait, quality refers to an inherent or distinguishing characteristic of something and also the personal characteristic of a human.
Second, quality means character with respect to fitness or grade of excellence. Third, quality means high social grade, superiority and excellence of man. Four, quality means accomplishment and attainment (American Heritage Dictionary 2001). In modern Chinese, the translation of quality is a compound word with two characters: one is quality in the ancient language and the other is measurement. Quality first means excellence of product, work and other affairs; second, it means personality, natural endowments and intelligence of man. It means measurement of quality in its ancient form.
In old Chinese, quality is man or stuff shown as collateral, or the action of collateral. Extended meanings include (1) contract, trust and honesty; (2) judgment and measurement; and (3) target of arrows (A Chinese-English Dictionary 1997: 1630). In Chinese quality needs a fulfilling of the written goal correctly, accurately and honestly. Since quality is only meaningful in measurable trading, problems in trading such as customers’ needs and the service they can get matters very much. 2. 1. 2: Quality in Business Background In The Management and Control of Quality, James Evans quotes a study of eighty-six firms in the eastern U.
S. to define quality as follows. Perfection, consistency, eliminating waste, speed of delivery, compliance with policies and procedures, providing a good, usable product, doing it right the first time, delighting of pleasing customers, and total customer service and satisfaction. (Evans 2002: 11) 22 In Evans’s definition, quality is viewed from different perspectives and can be divided into five perspectives: judgmental criteria, product-based criteria, user-based criteria, valuebased criteria and manufacturing-based criteria.
Under these criteria, quality should be quantitatively measurable, functional, competitive and conform to specifications. The sense of quality is subjective to different interest groups from different positions in the productiondistribution cycle. 2. 1. 3: History and Evolution of Total Quality Management In the pre-industrial age, quality assurance was informal and personal; it has been defined as “any action directed toward providing consumers with products of appropriate quality. ” In the industrial age, whose main feature was mass production, F. W.
Taylor established a factory system of scientific management that separated planning from execution. In 1900s, Henry Ford developed the basics of “total quality practices. ” Later, the Western Electric Group created Statistic Quality Control (SQC) in the 1920s, using statistical methods to control quality and identifying and eliminating the problems that cause defects. After WWII, Juan and Deming introduced SQC, focusing on upper management in Japanese enterprises, rather than quality specialists alone (Evans 2002: 6). The improvement in quality by this method then framed a great success of made-in-Japans in the 1970s.
In the 1980s, American consumers became rational to choose products based on total value—a weighted average of quality, price and serviceability, rather than price alone. Quality became vital to the competitiveness of businesses. Soon the U. S. government recognized that quality was critical to the nation’s economic health as well. Those achievements in quality assurance all focused on product quality. However, continuous improvement cannot be accomplished without improvement on quality of 23 management in daily practices. Organizations began to recognize “quality of management” is as important as “management of quality. Since then the notation of Total Quality Management has been used. In 1992, total quality was defined by corporations and business scholars as follows. Total Quality (TQ) is a people-focused management system that aims at continual increase in customer satisfaction at continually lower real cost. TQ is a total system approach (not a separate area or program) and an integral part of high-level strategy; it works horizontally across functions and departments, involves all employees, top to bottom, and extends backward and forward to include the supply chain and the customer chain.
TQ stresses learning and adaptation to continual change as keys to organizational success. The foundation of total quality is philosophical: the scientific method. TQ includes system, methods, and tools. The systems permit change; the philosophy stays the same. TQ is anchored in values that stress the dignity of the individual and the power of community action. (Evans 2002: 16) However, barriers remain when American organizations try to apply it to their practices. But the underlining principles of quality management are still the fundamentals of a highperformance system and an important factor of success.
In 1999, the American Society for Quality defined eight key forces that influence the future of quality in the twentieth century: (1) partnering; (2) learning systems; (3) adaptability and speed of change; (4) environmental sustainability; (5) globalization; (6) knowledge focus; (7) customization and differentiation; and (8) shifting demographics. 2. 2: Summary of Total Quality 24 Total Quality is a continuous learning organizational system whose competitiveness lies in its highly customer based, and teamwork-based organization.
This section summarizes basic ideas of the TQM system as a preparation for later discussions of its application. 2. 2. 1: TQM Principles Evans outlines three basic principles of TQM: (1) a focus on customers and stakeholders; (2) participation and teamwork by everyone in the organization; and (3) a process focus supported by continuous improvement and learning. Customers can be those who pay for goods and services or someone in the operation chain, including internal and external customers.
To explain these three principles, and achieve customer satisfaction and loyalty, organizations need to extend beyond meeting functional requirements and design products that consider customers’ values and respond to customers’ changes. Total participation implies that people closest to the task are most qualified to suggest and improve job procedures, so the employees’ job is beyond doing what they are told to do. A process is a sequence of activities that is intended to achieve some result. Every activity in the process should focus on the entire system.
Continuous improvement refers to both incremental improvements that are small and gradual and breakthrough or large and rapid improvement. Deming argues that continuous improvement of both products and production process through better understanding of customer requirements is the key to capturing markets. Real improvement can come from learning only, which includes four stages: (1) planning, (2) execution, (3) assessment (4) and revision of plans based upon assessment findings. A learning organization should continually expand its capacity to create its future.
Total quality should be supported by infrastructure, practices and tools. Infrastructure refers to the basic management systems necessary to function effectively and carry out the 25 principles of TQ. Practices are those activities that occur within which each element of the infrastructure to achieve high-performance objectives. Tools include a wide variety of graphical and statistical methods to plan work activities, collect data, analyze results, monitor progress and solve problems. The infrastructure of TQ includes five elements: 1.
Customer relationship management. Understand customers’ changing needs, keep pace with changing market and build effective strategies to learn from customers, measuring their satisfaction relative to competitors and building relationships. 2. Leadership and strategic planning. All managers should act as the organization’s leaders for quality. They should create clear values and high expectations for performance excellence, act as role models to motivate the workforce, and encourage involvement, learning and innovation. 3. Human resources management.
Human resource should be integrated into the business direction and strategic planning of the company. 4. Process management. It involves the design of process to develop and deliver products and services that meet the needs of customers, daily control those processes so that they perform as required, and their continual improvement. 5. Data and information management. Data and information should be supported by effective analysis capability to extract useful information to support measurement of management and improvement. 2. 2. : Competitiveness of Total Quality 26 As discussed in the previous section, TQ takes time and effort. Making the decision to move to TQ is not an easy one for any organization. It is worthy of the efforts and cost, because it is a highly competitive system. Generally, there are six characteristics of a strong competitive advantage as defined by Wheelwright (Evans 2002: 24): 1. It is driven by customer wants and needs. A company provides value to its customers that its competitors do not. 2. It makes a significant contribution to the success of the business. 3.
It matches the organization’s unique resources with opportunities in the environment. 4. It is durable and lasting and difficult for competitors to copy. 5. It provides a basis for further improvement. 6. It provides direction and motivation for the entire organization. Quality is the foundation for competitive advantage. Good quality can boost market value of the product, and thus increase competitive advantages of the company. Businesses that offer premium-quality products and services usually have larger market share, higher return on investment and can usually charge higher premiums. . 2. 3: Three Levels of Quality Evans posits that an organization that is committed to total quality must apply it at three levels: the organizational level, the process level and the performer/job level. At the organizational level, customer-driven performance standards should be used as the bases for goal setting, problem solving, performance appraisal, incentive compensation, nonfinancial rewards and resource allocation. At the process level, coordination between different functional organizational units should sub-optimize activities for the organization as a whole. At the 27 erformer level, standards for output must be based on quality and customer-service requirements that originate at the organizational and process levels. Further, quality should be internalized at the personal level as their value, as personal empowerment and implemented by systematically keeping personal checklist for quality improvement. 2. 2. 4: Total Quality Principles in Service Organizations Service can be defined as “any primary or complementary activity that does not directly produce a physical product—that is, the non-goods part of the transaction between buyer and seller. Evans 2002: 57)” The professional service of architecture falls into this category. Compared with manufacturing, the production of service is different in the following ways. 1. Customer needs and performance standards are often difficult to identify and measure. 2. The production of services typically requires a higher degree of customization. 3. The output of many service systems is intangible. 4. Service are produced and consumed simultaneously. 5. Customers often are involved in the service process and are present when it is performed. 6.
Services are generally labor-intensive, so the quality of human interaction is vital for services that involve human contact. There are two key components of service-system quality: employee and information technology. On the employee side, there are successful stories like “skilled and empowered workforce with pride and joy” and “character-trait recruiting,” combined with continuous quality education. On the information-technology side, it incorporates computing, communication, data processing and various other means of converting data into useful information. 28 2. 2. : Deming’s Fourteen Points of TQM System When Deming, the founder of TQM, taught statistical quality methods in Japan, his thought went beyond statistics. His description of quality asserted that “a product or a service possesses quality if it helps somebody and enjoys a good and sustainable market. ” Deming’s theory focuses on bringing about improvements in product and service quality by reducing uncertainty and variability in the design and manufacturing process. Deming’s greatest contribution is his “Profound Knowledge System,” which is summarized in the following fourteen points. 1.
Create and publish to all employees a statement of the aims and purposes of the company or other organization. The management must demonstrate constantly their commitment to the statement. Deming believed that business should not exist simply for profit, but should be social entities that serve their customers and employees. This will ensure long-term growth. 2. Learn the new philosophy, top management and everybody. Taylor’s system creates mistrust, on contrast, companies must take a customer-driven approach based on mutual cooperation between labor and management and a never-ending cycle of improvement. 3.
Understand the purpose of inspection, for improvement of processes and reduction of cost. Workers should be responsible for their work, to reduce defects and rework. 4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. Deming suggest companies establish long-term relationships with a few suppliers to reduce hidden costs. 29 5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service. Improvement in design comes from understanding customers’ needs, and improvement in production comes from reducing variations and establishing stable and predictable process. 6. Institute training.
Training can improve quality, add to worker morale, and demonstrate to workers that the company is dedicated to helping them to invest in their future. 7. Teach and institute leadership. Leadership instead of supervision should be the role of management. They should do more than just oversee and direct work, but also help employees to do their job with less effort. 8. Drive out fear. Create trust. Create a climate for innovation. Fear comes from possible reprisal, failure, the unknown, relinquishing control and change. The system should not discourage employee to report failure, nor managers to lose power. 9.
Optimize toward the aims and purposes of the company the efforts of teams, groups and staff areas. Teamwork helps to break down barriers between departments and people. The next department or person in the product process should be the internal customer. 10. Eliminate exhortations for the workforce. Improvement occurs by understanding the natural of special and common causes, so statistical thinking and training should replace slogans to improve quality. 11. (a) Eliminate numerical quotas for production. Instead, learn and institute methods for improvement. Quotas are short-term measurements and can create fear.
When the standard is reached, workers will have less incentive to improve quality or they may take shortcuts to get to the standard but ignore quality. 30 (b) Eliminate management by objective. Instead, learn the capabilities of processes and how to improve them. 12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship. Deming believes that one of the biggest barriers to pride in workmanship is performance appraisal, because it destroys teamwork by promoting competition for limited resources and fosters mediocrity because it discourages workers to take creative risk. 13.
Encourage education and self-improvement for everyone. This education refers to continuing, broad and life education on the personal side. 14. Take action to accomplish the transformation. 2. 3: Total Quality Management Systems The following section provides a set of tools and techniques to build a successful TQM system. 2. 3. 1: Focusing on Customers As discussed in the previous section, the customer in TQM includes the external customer and internal customer. The word “customer” in Japanese and Chinese means “honorable guest,” which should be the direction of all quality firms.
The major benefit of focusing customers is to increase customer loyalty. The first step of customer focus is customer satisfaction; the second step is to upgrade customer satisfaction to customer loyalty. Consumers no longer choose a product by price alone but on “consumer benefit package,” which includes the quality of physical product, presale support and postsale support. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) measures customer satisfaction at the national level. How customers’ expectations end up with customer loyalty can be illustrated as follows (Evans 2002: 159). 31
Perceived Quality Perceived Value Customer Satisfaction (ACSI) Customer Complaints Customer Expectations Customer Loyalty The American Customer Satisfaction Index To meet or exceed expectations as seen through the customers’ eyes, three terms of quality must be differentiated: perceived quality, actual quality and expected quality. Expected quality refers to true customer needs and expectations. Actual quality is the outcome of the production process and what is delivered to the customer. Perceived quality refers to the quality customers see and believe; this is the denominator that drives customer behavior.
The relationship of these three terms of quality can be illustrated as follows. Perceived quality = Actual quality – Expected quality. Practices of the following can significantly increase perceived quality: 1. Clearly define key customer groups and markets, consider competitors and other potential customers, and segment their customers accordingly. 2. Understand both near- and long-term customer needs and expectations, and employ systematic processes for listening and learning from customers. 32 3. Understand the linkage between the voice of the customer and design, production and delivery processes. . Build relationships with customers through commitments that promote trust and confidence, provide easy accessibility to people and information, set effective service standards, train customer contact employees, and effectively follow-up on products, services and transactions. 5. Have effective complaint-management processes by which customers can easily comment, complain and receive prompt resolution of their concerns. 6. Measure customer satisfaction, compare the results relative to competitors and use the information to evaluate and improve internal processes.
For the service sector, five key dimensions of service quality contribute to customer perceptions: reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy and responsiveness. In practice, customer requirements can be classified into three classes: dissatisfies, satisfiers and exciters/delighters. Meeting customer expectations means providing satisfiers, which is the minimum required to stay in business. If a company wants to create exciters and delighters, they want to add new or innovative features that customers do not expect. 2. 3. 2: Leadership and Strategic Planning Leadership is “the ability to positively influence people and ystems under one’s authority to have a meaningful impact and achieve important results. (Evans 2002: 220)” Strategy is “the pattern of decisions that determines and reveals a company’s goals, policies, and plans to meet the needs of its stakeholders. (Evans 2002: 220)” Strategic planning is “the process of envisioning the organization’s future and developing the necessary procedures and operations to achieve the future. (Evans 2002: 220)” 33 Effective leadership requires five core leadership skills: (1) vision, (2) empowerment, (3) intuition, (4) self-understanding and (5) value congruence.
Leaders are visionaries who manage the future. Leaders empower employees to assume ownership of problems or opportunities and to be proactive in implementing improvements and making decisions in the best interests of the organization. Leaders should not be afraid to follow their intuition, even in the face of uncertainty and change. They must anticipate the future and must be prepared to make difficult decisions that will help the organization to be successful. Self-understanding requires the ability to look at oneself and identify relationships with employees and within the organization.
Finally, value congruence occurs when leaders integrate their values into the company’s management system. Leadership is the driver of entire quality system. True leaders promote quality and business-performance excellence in the following ways: 1. They create a customer-focused strategic vision and clear quality values that serve as a basis for business decisions at all levels of the organization. 2. They create and sustain a leadership system and environment for empowerment, innovation and organizational learning. 3.
They set high expectations and demonstrate substantial personal commitment and involvement in quality, often with a missionary-like enthusiasm. 4. They integrate quality values into daily leadership and management and communicate extensively through the leadership structure and to all employees. 5. They integrate public responsibilities and community support into their business practices. 34 Traditionally, leadership theory can be studied from four perspectives: the trait approach, the behavior approach, contingency approach, the role approach and emerging theories.
The trait approach involves examining the characteristics and methods of recognized TQ leaders. Five key traits that support TQ are (1) tolerant, motivational, inspirational and supportive as a team builder, (2) respectful, trusting, reliable and fair as a captain, (3) trustworthy strategist, (4) innovative, visionary, courageous, inspirational and confident as a creative team, and (5) impulsive people who are obsessed with new ideas, curious, energetic and participative. The behavior approach attempts to determine the types of leadership behaviors that lead to successful task performance and employee satisfaction.
Leaders share the following seventeen behaviors: (1) setting or sharing a vision, (2) managing a change, (3) focusing on the customer, (4) dealing with individuals, (5) supporting teams and groups, (6) sharing information, (7) solving problems and making decisions, (8) managing business processes, (9) managing projects, (10) displaying technical skills, (11) managing time and resources, (12) taking responsibility, (13) taking initiative beyond job requirements, (14) handling emotions, (15) displaying professional ethics, (16) showing compassion and (17) making credible presentations.
The contingency or situational approach includes three major concerns of problem solving: the quality of the decision, the degree of acceptance of the decision by the subordinates and the time frame in which the decision must be made. The role approach suggests that leaders perform certain roles in order to be effective. A well-formulated strategy helps allocate an organization’s resources into a unique and viable posture based on its relative internal competencies and shortcomings, anticipated changes in the environment, and contingent moves by intelligent opponents.
It is composed of planning 35 and deployment. The objective of strategic planning is to build a posture that is so strong in selective ways that the organization can achieve its goals despite unforeseeable external forces. In James Quinn’s definition, strategy is a pattern or plan that integrates an organization’s major goals, policies and action sequences into a cohesive whole. Effective organizations share the following common approaches in their strategic planning efforts: 1. Their top management, employee and even customers or suppliers actively participate in the planning process. . They have systematic planning systems for strategy development and deployment, including measurement, feedback and review. 3. They gather and analyze a variety of data about external and internal factors as part of the strategic planning process. 4. They align short-term action plans with long-term strategic objectives and communicate them throughout the organization, using measurements to track progress. The strategic planning process can be illustrated as follows (Evans 2002: 245). Missio Vision Guiding Environmental Strategies Strategic Action Plans 36
Strategy deployment refers to developing detailed action plans, defining resource requirements and performance measures, and aligning work unit, supplier, and partner plans with overall strategic objectives. The policy deployment process by Kersi Munshi is illustrated as following (Evans 2002: 249): Corporate Activities Corporate Vision Department Activities Department Vision Long-term Objectives Long-term Objectives Mid-term Objectives Short-term Objectives Mid-term Objectives Short-term Objectives Project Development Policy Deployment Plan Plan Approval Short-term Plan Project Implementation
Implementation Review Management Review = Catchball 37 In the illustration, catchball refers to the negotiation process. It is an up, down and sideways communication process, as opposed to an automatic, top-down management style. It fosters open communication. With a policy-deployment process, top management is responsible for developing and communicating a vision, then building organization-wide commitment to its achievement. 2. 3. 3: Human Resource Practices Human resource management consists of activities designed to provide for and coordinate the people of the organization.
These activities include determining the organization’s human resource needs; assisting in the design of work systems; recruiting, selecting, training and developing, counseling, motivating and rewarding employees; acting as a liaison with unions and government organizations; and handling other matters of employee well-being. TQ-based HRM practices should accomplish the following four tasks: 1. Communicate the importance of each employee’s contribution to total quality. 2. Stress quality-related synergies available through teamwork. 3. Empower employees to “make a difference. ” 4.
Reinforce individual and team commitment to quality with a wide variety of rewards and reinforcements. A successful work system should enable effective accomplishment of work activities and promote flexibility and individual initiative in managing and improving work processes. Besides compensation, organizations should pay attention to employee well-being through health, safety and support services. One research study found that the top five employee needs in the workplace are to have interesting work to do, recognition, feeling “in” on things, security and pay. Hackman and 38
Oldman’s “Work Design Model” addresses four major segments that correlate with on another in the work system: critical psychological states, core job characteristics, moderating variables and outcomes. The model is graphed below (Evans 2002: 299). Core Job Characteristics Critical Psychological States Outcomes Skill Variety Task Identity Task Significance Experienced meaningfulness of work Experienced responsibility for outcomes of the work Knowledge if the actual results of the work activities Moderators: 1. Knowledge and skill 2. Growth need strength 3. “Context” satisfactions
High internal work motivation High “growth” satisfaction High general job satisfaction High work effectiveness Autonomy Feedback from job Employee involvement (EI) refers to any activity by which employees participate in work-related decisions and improvement activities, with the objectives of tapping the creative energies of all employees and improving their motivation. There are eight levels of employee involvement, and the outcomes are listed as follows (Evans 2002: 301). 39 Level 1. Information sharing 2. Dialogue 3. Special problem solving 4. Intragroup problem solving 5.
Intergroup problem solving 6. Focused problem solving Action Managers decide, then inform employees Managers get employee input, then decide Managers assign a one-time problem to selected employees Intact groups meet weekly to solve local problems Cross-functional groups meet to solve mutual problems Intact groups deepen daily involvement in a specific issue Teams at selected sites function full time with minimum supervision Executives facilitate self-management in an all-term company Primary Outcome Conformance Acceptance Contribution Commitment Cooperation Concentration
Accountability Ownership 7. Limited self-direction 8. Total self-direction An easy way to involve employees individually is the suggestion system. It encourages full participation of all employees of all levels to give suggestions to their managers, including intangible and cross-department suggestions. Meanwhile, the management group should ensure that no layoff will happen in this process, promote pride in work and resolve all suggestions within one month. To promote employee involvement and empowerment, training and education are necessary. This will increase cost.
Training generally includes quality awareness, leadership, project management, communication, teamwork, problem solving, interpreting and using data, meeting customer requirements, process analysis, process simplification, waste reduction, cycle time reduction, error proofing and other issues that affect employee effectiveness, efficiency and 40 safety. In total quality environment, employees need to understand the goal of customer satisfaction. Training plans in this environment should be based upon job-skill requirements and strategic initiatives of the company. Training content should be customized to meet the company’s needs.
When building up a team in a total quality environment, companies should recruit the right people whose skills and attitudes will support and enhance the organization’s objectives. Customer-focused employees should exhibit characteristics such as the ability to remain calm under stressful situations, optimism, initiative and a “people orientation,” the ability to listen well, an orientation toward analysis and prevention, and the ability to solve problems. In a TQ environment, in which managers should be coaches and facilitators, skills used for motivating employees become very crucial.
In TQ environment, various motivation theories, such as expectancy theory, process theory and equity theory, should be integrated to achieve TQ goals. A TQ organization requires a closely monitored performance appraisal process that is oriented toward best practices and continuous improvement of quality. Performance appraisal is usually used to provide feedback to employees who can then recognize and build on their strengths and work on their weaknesses, to determine salary increases, to identify people for promotion, to deal with human resource legalities and sometimes to change corporate culture.
Performance appraisals are most effective when they are based on the objectives of the work team that support the organization. In a 360-degree feedback model, a group of people who interact with employees on a frequent basis participate in both the goal-setting process and the performance-appraisal process. This group may include suppliers, clients, peers, internal 41 customers, managers and subordinates. In this process, both parties discuss such needs as service levels, response times and accuracy of work.
Employee satisfaction and human-resource management effectiveness should be measured to assess the company strategy and provide a foundation for improvement. A typical process measure of success includes the number of suggestions that employees make, the number of participants in project teams and participation in educational programs. Team process effectiveness can be measured by determining whether teams are getting better, smarter and faster at performance improvement.
A common method used to carry out this evaluation is through surveys, with questions grouped into basic categories, such as quality of work life, teamwork, communications, opportunities and training, facilities, leadership, compensation, benefits and the company. 2. 3. 4: Process Management Process management involves planning and administering the activities necessary to achieve a high level of performance in a process, and identifying opportunities for improving quality and operational performance, and ultimately, customer satisfaction.
It incorporates customer requirement, create and deliver actual product, and manage relationship with suppliers, partners and customers to provide infrastructure for the core process. Successful process management practices share some common traits in their practice. For example, these organizations translate customer requirement into product- and service-design requirements early in the design process. They use appropriate engineering and quantitative tools to develop productivity and service process.
They manage the product-development process to enhance cross-functional communication, reduce product-development time and ensure troublefree introduction of products and services. They define and document important 42 production/delivery and support processes, and manage them as important business processes. They develop partnering relationships with key suppliers and other organizations and define performance requirement with them.
They control the quality and operational performance of key processes and use systematic methods to identify significant variations in operational performance and output quality, determine root causes, make corrections and verify results. They continuously improve processes to achieve better quality, cycle time and overall operational performance. Within the realm of process management, the product-development phase includes idea generating, preliminary concept development, product/process development full-scale production, market introduction and market evaluation.
The “House of Quality” is a graphic system that illustrates and correlates customers’ need with departmental functions, which involve in the design process. Building the “House of Quality” consists of these six tasks: 1. Identify customer requirements and expectations. 2. Identify technical and functional requirements. 3. Correlate the customer requirements to the technical requirements. 4. Evaluate and compare with competing products or services. 5. Evaluate technical requirements and develop targets. 6. Determine which technical requirements to deploy in the remainder of the production/delivery process.
The House of Quality system is illustrated as following (Evans 2002: 388): 43 Interrelationships Technical requirements Voice of the customer Relationship between customer requirements and technical requirements Priorities of technical requirements In the support process, especially the service sector, there are three basic components: (1) physical facilities, processes and procedure, (2) employees’ behavior, and (3) employees’ professional judgment. As customization increases, professional judgment becomes a bigger factor in the customer’s perception of service quality.
Defining and measuring service standards require extensive research into customer needs and attitudes regarding timeliness, consistency and accuracy. In the supplier/partnership process, suppliers are now considered to be partners with customers, because of the codependent relationship that develops between them. Strong customer-supplier relationships are based on three guiding principles: 1. Recognizing the strategic importance of suppliers in accomplishing business objectives, particularly minimizing the total cost of ownership. 2. Developing win-win relationships through partnerships rather than as adversaries. 3.
Establishing trust through openness and honesty, thus leading to mutual advantages. 2. 3. 5: Performance Measurement and Strategic Information Management Priorities of customer requirements Competitive evaluation 44 For any Total Quality system, organizations need to be properly and constantly measured to evaluate effectiveness and provide feedback to improve the system. Moreover, organizations need performance measures for the following three reasons: 1. To lead the entire organization in a particular strategic direction. 2. To manage the resources needed to travel in this direction by evaluating the effectiveness of action plans. . To operate the processes which make the organization work and continuously improve. There are various ways to evaluate performance, but they should share certain key elements. They should develop a comprehensive set of performance indicators and key factors that reflect internal and external customer requirements. They should use comparative information and data to improve overall performance and competitive position. They should involve everyone in measurement activities and ensure that performance information is widely visible throughout the organization.
They should ensure that data is reliable and accessible to all who need it. They should use sound analytical methods to conduct analyses and use the results to support strategic planning and daily decision-making. They should continually refine information sources and their uses within the organization. Total Quality is a multi-dimensional measurement that balances financial, internal, customer and innovation/learning perspectives. The term “balanced scorecard,” which comes from Robert Kaplan and David Norton, is a tool to translate strategy into measures that uniquely communicate vision into the organization.
The financial perspective measures the ultimate results that the business provides to its shareholders, including profitability, revenue growth, return on investment, economic value added and share price. The internal perspective focuses on 45 the performance of the key internal processes that drive the business, including quality levels, productivity, cycle time and cost. Customer perspective focuses on customer needs and satisfaction and market share, including service levels, satisfaction ratings and repeat business.
Innovation and learning perspective directs attention to the organization’s people and infrastructure, including intellectual assets, employee satisfaction, market innovation and skills development. The concept of cost of quality (COQ) emerged in 1950s and is a measurement system that defines and isolate the full range of quality related costs. Under this measurement system, quality costs can be organized into four major categories: prevention costs, appraisal costs, internal failure costs and external failure costs.
Prevention costs are investments made to keep nonconforming products from occurring and reaching the customer, including quality planning costs, process control costs, information system costs and training and general management costs. Appraisal costs ensure conformance to requirements, including test and inspection costs, instrument maintenance costs, and process measurement and control costs. Internal failure costs are incurred as a result if unsatisfactory quality is found before delivery, including scrap and rework costs, costs of corrective action, downgrading costs, and process failure costs.
External failure costs occur after poor-quality products reach the customers, including costs because of customer complaints and returns, product recall costs and warranty costs, and product-liability costs. Specifically in service organizations, which are generally labor-dependent, traditional external failure costs are less crucial, whereas process-related costs, such as customer service and compliant-handling staff and lost customers are more critical. Internal failure costs are lower 46 with higher customer contact, which have little opportunity to correct an error before it reaches the customer and becomes an external failure.
Total quality efforts should lead to achievement in business results, but a successful quality initiative does not guarantee financial success. Therefore, there comes return on quality (ROQ), which measures expected revenue gains against costs associated with quality efforts. ROQ is based on four main tenets: (1) quality is an investment, (2) quality efforts must be made financially accountable, (3) it is possible to spend too much on quality, and (4) no all quality expenditures are equally valid. 2. : Building Quality System After quality ideas and a framework are set up, organizations need to take actions to apply the system into their daily practice, which includes quality improvement, quality control and continuing quality system improvement. 2. 4. 1: Quality Improvement Every activity devoted to meeting quality requirements incurs some cost. As TQM believes, quality improvement can increase demand for the product, lower inherent failure rates of materials and products, and can finally achieve perfection in quality at a finite cost. The most important thing in quality improvement is to find and solve problems.
Problems can be characterized three ways: structured, semi-structured, and ill-structured. Structured problems generally can be solved using routine, programmed decision-making techniques. Ill-structured and semi-structured problems require more creative solutions and hence a systematic process to find solutions. A systematic process to problem solving has four major components: refining and analyzing the problem, generating ideas, evaluating and selecting ideas, and implementing ideas. 47 Deming’s cycle is a simple model for quality improvement which focusing on implementation and learning (Evans 2002: 587).
Act Plan Customer Satisfaction Study Do According to Deming’s cycle, organizations should ask these fundamental questions before they conduct any performance improvement techniques: What are we trying to accomplish? What changes can we make that will result in improvement? How will we know that a change is an improvement? Joseph Moses Juran defines breakthrough as “the accomplishment of any improvement that takes an organization to higher level of performance. (Evans 2002: 589)” According to Juran, breakthrough sequence consists of discovery, organization, diagnosis, corrective action and control. . 4. 2: Quality Control in Service Sectors Quality control is the act of ensuring conformance to requirements and taking corrective action when necessary. The basic elements of an effective quality-control system include quality policy and procedures to conduct the policies for key activities in quality control, such as 48 specification and design control; process control, inspection, and testing; controlling nonconforming product and corrective action; controlling inspection, measuring, and test equipment; and control of essential records and documentation.
Quality-control systems include documented procedures for all kept processes; a clear understanding of the appropriate equipment and working environment; methods for monitoring and controlling critical quality characteristics; approval processes for equipment; criteria for workmanship, such as written standards, samples, or illustrations; and maintenance activities. In terms of service, success stories reveal three types of quality-control processes that deliver quality: self-control of the ndividual employee based on their spontaneous and learned behavior; basic control mechanism carried out by every member of the workforce; and critical success factor control for critical processes. Process teams use customers and organizational requirement measurements to determine performance. Use checklists to record the types of errors that occur. 2. 5: Action: Building and Sustaining Total Quality Organizations The principles of total quality—focus on the customer, the involvement of everyone and continuous improvement—are simple to understand but hard to implement.
The change requires a readiness to adopt new practices, as well as implementation strategies and organization effectiveness. The motivation to adopt TQ usually comes from greed and fear: the fear that organizations need TQ to react to threats to its survival or the greed to improve business opportunities. To sell the TQ concept, the designer of a TQ system should learn to think like three key interest groups of stakeholders—customers, investors, and employees—align their objectives with those of senior management, make arguments as quantitative as possible, focus 49 n getting an early win, develop metrics for return on quality and never stop selling quality. When the organization decides to move this way, leaders should create a culture to implement TQ strategies. The core values and concepts of TQ systems are visionary leadership, customerdriven excellence, organizational and personal learning, valuing employees and partners, agility, focus on the future, managing for innovation, management by fact, public responsibility and citizenship, a focus on results and creating value, and system perspective.
The culture of TQ versus that of the traditional corporation can be organized as follows as concluded by Evans (Evans 2002: 803): 50 Traditional Organization Organizational structure Role of people Enterprise is a collection of separate units linked within a functional hierarchy. People are commodity, virtually interchangeable, and to be developed based on perceived needs of enterprise. Quality is the adherence to internal specification and standards. The functional provinces are a zerosum game. Quality embodies knowledge applicable only to manufacturing and engineering.
Manages oversee functions of individuals who do not do their best as a piece of the system. Performance appraisal places people in internal competition Organizations tend to keep status quo when they find a formula to success. Negotiations focus on wage, health and safety. Hierarchical organization creates internal competition and conflicts. Suppliers compete with each other for lowest price. Control is achieved by preestablished inflexible procedures. Customers are outside the enterprise and within marketing and sales only. Manager’s job is to do the subordinates’ planning, and supervise plan being followed.
People are motivated to do whatever can avoid failure and punishment. Competition is inevitable and inherent in human nature. TQM Enterprise is a system of independent processes, linked laterally, over time, through a network of collaborating suppliers and customers. People are enterprise’s true competitive edge. Leadership provides people with opportunities, joy and manager role for every person. Quality is a positive sense as products and services that to beyond the present needs and expectations of customers. Self-interest and greater good are served simultaneously, win-win game.
Quality embodies knowledge applicable to all the disciplines and all level of management of the enterprise. Managers oversee interdepartmental systems and processes and exercise managerial leadership through participative management. Individual recognition is based on team contribution and reinforcement of cooperation. Management’s job is to provide the leadership for continual improvement and innovation in processes and systems, products and services. Union is partner and stakeholder, especially in education, training and meaningful involvement of employee improvement.
Formal and informal mechanisms encourage teamwork and team development. Suppliers are partners with customers, which encourage innovation, lower cost and improve quality. Control comes from shared value and beliefs, as well as knowledge of mission, purpose, and customer requirements. Everyone in the enterprise is supplier and customer. Marketing tools used inside enterprise. Managers are coach and facilitators rather than directors. People are motivated to make meaningful contributions to whatever they believe to benefit enterprise and society.
Competitive behavior is used to improve the methods to please the customer, eliminate waste and promote social values. Definition of quality Goals and objectives Knowledge Management system Reward systems Management’s role Unionmanagement relations Teamwork Supplier relationships Control Customers Responsibility Motivation Competition 51 There are common mistakes that some enterprises make when implementing TQ, so some precautions should be taken. When TQ is considered to be “just a program,” and when shortterm results are not obtained, those trying TQ tend to give up.
Structural elements such as compensation, promotion and accounting systems, office policies and status symbols may block change. Goals are set too low. The culture continues to be run in “command and control” mode. Training is limited to tools but does not deal with problems. The focus is mainly on products, not processes. Little real empowerment is given and is not supported in actions. The organization is too successful and complacent to change and learn. Senior management is not personally and visibly committed. An overemphasis on teams for cross-functional problems leads to the neglect of individual efforts for local improvements.
Employees operate under the belief that more data is always more desirable, regardless of its relevance. Management fails to recognize that quality improvement is a personal responsibility at all organizational level. The organization does not see itself as a collection of interrelated processes making up an overall system. Based on the “International Quality Study,” there are five best practices of organizational infrastructure that are universal: cycle-time analysis, process value analysis, process simplification, strategic planning and former supplier certification programs. Further, eturn on assets, value added per employee, and quality in measurement with external customer index should be considered to measure company’s current level of performance. The following items are addressed to self-assess enterprise performance: management involvement and leadership, product and process design, product control, customer and supplier communications, quality improvement, employee participation, education and training and quality information. In the organization, personnel at different levels should be assigned to various tasks to ensure the system is being developed properly.
Senior managers should ensure that the 52 organization focuses on the needs of the customers, cascades the mission, vision and values throughout the organization, identifies the critical processes that need attention and improvement, reviews process and removes any identified barriers, and improve the macro-processes in which they are involved, both to improve the performance of the process and to demonstrate their ability to use quality tools for problem solving.
Mid-level managers should empower the team in meeting objectives, transfer vision of excellence into critical success factors, as guidance of team performance, represent and take team’s performance accountable, implement a continuous improvement process and develop future leader of the organization. Quality is a never-ending journey; it requires discipline, time and planning to establish and execute the basics. An example of such journey can be shown in the Armstrong Building Products Operations, whose goal was to win the Baldrige Award using a five-step program toward TQ in a ten-year period.
A learning organization, as defined by Gavin, is “an organization that is skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge an insights. ” Gavin also points that five main activities are required for a learning organization: “systematic problem solving, experimentation with new approaches, learning from their own experiences and history, learning from the experiences and best practices from others, and transferring knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the organization. The Total Quality Learning (TQL) approach applies practices to the precepts in an open-system way that is experimentally oriented, rather than control-oriented like Total Quality Control (TQC) (Evans 2002: 820). 53 Performance Measurement Performance Analysis Organizational Performance Review External Focus Strategy Development Strategy Deployment Business Results A learning organization has to establish an internal experience sharing system to identify and transfer best practices within the organization, namely internal benchmarking.
Internal benchmarking requires that a process begins with identifying and collecting internal knowledge and best practices. The second step is sharing and understanding those merit practices. The third step is adapting and applying them to new situations and bringing them up to best practice performance levels. An internal database powered by employees can share their experiences efficiently. This database should focus on the core value of the organization and TQ. 2. : Conclusion Total Quality Management is a management system that targets customer satisfaction at continually lower real cost. It provides continuous learning and quality improvement for the organization. Using Deming’s fourteen points, organizations can easily set up a TQ framework to implement their current practice. In the next chapter there will be description of the nature and characteristics of architectural practice. The later chapters will provide TQM tools for Chinese architectural firms. 4 Chapter Three: Evaluations of Architects and Architectural Firms Before we adopt any TQM general theories into architecture, it is important to find the core and unique nature of the architecture practice, and from there the characteristics of successful firms. There are those characteristics that form architecture as a profession, bring a comprehensive team together, and under different circumstances, enhance or trouble this profession. Finally, some bring to this profession a social complexity.
As Dana Cuff writes, “Architectural practice is a dynamic organization, operating within a larger social structure that is itself continually evolving, but there is also disjuncture between ideology and everyday architectural work” (Cuff 1991: 4). To give a comprehensive view of architectural practice, this study will focus in this chapter on two models: architecture firms and architects, and how the culture of architecture practice comes into place, how it grows, what dilemmas it faces when there is a turning point in its structure and strategy, how it handle risks when there is down time, and finally how to achieve excellence. . 1: Culture of Architects: From Artist to Social Professional A long time ago, there was a group of talented and motivated students who wanted to be architects and have their seals on the projects they committed to. They finished the school year, and started their first job. In practice, they found that the profession of architecture was seriously marginalized, that is, architects were only a niche in the process of fulfilling a project and a patch in a social framework. 3. 1. 1: From Student to the Ambiguous Culture of Architecture Robert Gutman divides the career of architects into four stages: student, entry-level, mid55 evel and full-fledged professional. The process of going from an architectural student, entrylevel architect, project architect or associate and finally to a principal is a process of how they accept the professional culture, accept and rebuild office culture. As they grow from a culture receiver to a culture builder, they gradually accept their role in the business and social framework, but the dilemmas and confusions that almost all architects face become a part of them as well.
Young students in the first stage are influenced by the image the general public has of architecture: a combination of science and art. In North America, a professional degree in architecture involves the intense indoctrination characteristic of an initiation rite: a high degree of commitment, a certain amount of isolation from non-group members, cohesion within the group, sacrifices, and rituals marking passage at various stages. Architectural programs share certain elements that have symbolic as well as functional value.
In school, students also learn that only skills and knowledge can be acquired; certain qualities essential to the architect—talent, passion, and good aesthetic judgment—must come naturally. At the final project review in an academic studio, there are three purposes for juries: to criticize individual students’ design, to provide general instruction, and to initiate a scholarly, seminar-like exchange. The review is both as an exchange of ideas and a competitive arena for students to compete with one another.
The review process and studio work are to mirror the future work environment: in-team competition and coordination, evaluation from coworkers, other architects and the public. After students graduate and become entry-level architects, drafting and production are their most common activities, which is a specific job title that can be kept for an entire career as well as a transitional phase that most architects move through. There are several significant activities or programs in this level: landing a job, attending to details and learning the humility of 56 practice.
The partners are committed to the firm’s survival; employees are viewed as same as firms in other industries: potential liabilities in financial crises, evaluated by weighing the cost of keeping them against the cost of their training. “Good” generally means competent, skilled, quick and perhaps talented—mostly work drawing skills. They soon learn that up to about 40 percent of the total fee for any project is dedicated to production. If entry-level architects prove to be good with tools, fast, accurate and able to endure, eventually they may be given more responsibility.
In the architects’ middle years, they are invited to client meetings, assume responsibility for designing more significant elements of a project, and given a direct working relationship with principals, less supervision, or the hiring of a new cadre of entry-level architects. In the middle years, architects can achieve greater self-determination and responsibility not only by gaining control over their own designing but by gaining control over the work of others or by taking charge of a more particular part of the building project.
This stage is the period of greatest ambiguity for the architect—an ambiguity that is eventually replaced by the significant choices that end the middle years. In the late middle years, they are able to make particular choices among the opportunities available to become either specialists or project managers. The promotion or advancement in architectural office, with no formula or job description to match, depends upon experience, talent, dedication and personal connections. The profession’s institutional means of conferring status is to administer, and the official means of becoming an architect is to pass the registration exam.
The exam is not about design ability, talent or any of the other more mysterious architectural qualities but about competence. However, just passing the exam does not necessarily mean one will be paid more or given more responsibility. The last step to becoming an architect is to be full-fledged. In the last stage of the 57 architect’s development, the balance of activities shifts away from actually doing the work to getting the work and keeping it. Partners, principals, founders of the firm, and senior associates are architecture’s full-fledged members.
Full-fledged professionals gain their status as they acquire authority for actual buildings, for getting projects and keeping them, for finances and liability. The search in career is rooted in truly fundamental goals—the desire for stability, challenging prospects, prestige, power and notoriety. Whether an employee or independent practitioner, the full-fledged architect has responsibility and receives credit for an actual building. Authority for a project, in the full sense, implies not only responsibility for the actual services rendered but responsibility also for the costs incurred.
The final goal of this status is the goal that defines an ideal held within the professional community. As established architects seek greater professional accomplishment, they try to establish a stable market for their services, in order to produce a steady flow of building opportunities and to provide financial security for both the office and themselves. Every full-fledged architect attempts to gain prestigious commissions, generally projects with either public presence or large budgets.
There are many means of getting better projects: entering competitions to break into the market for a new building type, hiring talented designers to attract prestigious clients and win awards, restructuring office policy to give greater emphasis to the interests of certain clients, and so on. In this stage, the utility function of full-fledged architects becomes the utility function of the firm. Some may place more value on achieving respect from fellow professionals and some may value a balance between excellence in doing projects and excellence in financial statements. 3. 1. : Architecture as a Social Profession Architects, lawyers and doctors are three major careers that are often compared. In Cuff’s definition, “professions are special occupations because they impart knowledge and skills related 58 to tasks of high social value. (Cuff 1991: 23)” In general, the characteristics of a profession are full-time commitment, training, education, membership in a professional organization, licensing, community reorganization and, finally, a code of ethics and the right of self-governance. But compared with other professions, architecture has a multi-angled image.
The public thinks architects are somehow magical, like social activists and practical artists. Developers think architects provide service for their inquiries but do less work than they expected. The architecture profession does not have any inaccessible secret knowledge to users of their services. Besides general characteristics of all professions, there are other unique characterizes of the architecture profession: virtue, creativity, persona, talent and imagination. Given these characteristics, compensation is not always at the top of the line in their utility function.
In Larson’s model as quoted by Cuff, “design quality” is named as the profession’s top problem (23. 7 percent), yet adequate compensation is second on the list, not far behind (16. 6 percent) (Cuff 1991: 50). This is the same in China. Architects are generally paid well, and so social recognition becomes top of their list. The tactical aspects of all a profession’s knowledge, skills, and talents provide a kind of secrecy about the profession, which in turn contributes to the profession’s ability to remain self-regulated and self-evaluated.
The professional’s values are for fellow practitioners—their opinions, judgments and evaluations. While clients are not always satisfied with professional’s services, it is to a profession’s advantage to keep evaluation within its own circle, including institutions, journals and design awards. In Cuff’s study, the evaluation architects think is most important does not come from their clients but from personnel in the same profession, such as AIA award and professional journals.
Here, we can find a discrepancy if architects’ self-value system with final consumers. This discrepancy challenges and troubles all architects as they compromise between financial 59 security and excellence in professionalism. 3. 2: The Definition of Design Excellence When we look at a successful firm, or even a great firm, excellence has to be defined first. In an AIA publication, excellence was defined as “an ambitious, careful, and serious investigation into the important subject of design excellence. Also, Franklin defines design excellence as quoted by Cuff “the perceived quality of the experiences a building provides for three groups: the profession (through design awards, publications, etc. ), the participants (clients, architects, consultants, etc. ) and the public (user groups, tenants, the community, through approval, support and enthusiastic use) (Cuff 1991: 196). By this definition, design excellence is achieved only when the perceived benefits are there for all three groups. According Robert Gutman’s definition, a firm can do good work in various ways: It can be strong in ideas, service, or delivery.
The Coxe Group also distinguishes the “businesscentered practice” from the “practice-centered business,” with differences primarily in terms of the bottom line. One feature shared by management literature and the professional organizations is that they take as their object the delivery of services, rather than the service delivered. Within the everyday world of architectural practice, doing good work implies more than making a profit (quantitative bottom line) or feeling good (qualitative)—it also means designing good buildings.
Architects have faced the same problems since the profession was born: getting and handling clients, making money, running an office, doing good work, with new dilemmas occasionally added to the list, such as liability. 3. 2. 1: Design Quality Evaluators Design excellence means social collaboration of participants in the process. Cuff defines design quality as a phenomenological entity perceived by individuals, rather as an inherent 60 quality of the object or building. Thus, design quality is dependent upon those who make the judgment of quality: “There are three principal