The Three Pillars of Quality


The Role of Three-Phase Control System

in Construction Quality Management



By Yamanta Raj Niroula, PMP

Kathmandu, Nepal


In the dynamic world of construction projects, ensuring quality is a fundamental objective that directly impacts the project’s success, site safety, and stakeholder satisfaction. Quality management plays a vital role in maintaining high standards throughout the project lifecycle, from design and construction to completion and beyond. As construction practices continue to evolve, new technologies and methodologies emerge to streamline processes and enhance project outcomes. One such powerful tool in the construction industry is the three-phase control system.

Given the lack of detailed information in the literature on three-phase control systems, this paper aims to fill the gap by providing a detailed overview of the subject. It discusses the importance of the system and how it can improve quality management in construction projects. The system comprises three phases – preparatory, initial, and follow-up. Each phase of the system has its own set of activities, inspections, and tests. By using this system, construction professionals can identify and address quality issues early in the process, which can help to reduce rework and ensure that projects comply with the specified quality standards.

Keywords:    Quality, Quality control, Quality assurance, Quality management, Construction, Three-phase control system, Preparatory phase, Initial phase, Follow-up phase, Definable feature of work, Concrete, Checklists, Specifications, Shop drawings, Submittals, Materials, Testing, Inspection, Corrective action, Continuous improvement

  1. Introduction
  • Quality

When we talk about quality, we mean a product or service that is fit for purpose and meets or exceeds our expectations. These expectations are based on the intended application of product or service and its corresponding cost (Besterfield, 2013).

According to ISO 9000:2000, quality is “the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements”. In other words, quality is about how well something meets the needs of its users. This can be defined in terms of specific features, such as durability or performance, or terms of more general qualities, such as usability or aesthetics.

The pursuit of quality has been a driving force in human history, catalyzing innovation, progress, and the desire for excellence in all aspects of life. From the craftsmanship of ancient artisans to the modern industries of today, the notion of quality has played a fundamental role in shaping societies and influencing their development. Quality has been a long-standing concern for human civilization (Rumane, 2018). The historical context of quality is essential to understand its value and the ongoing initiatives to guarantee high-quality standards in a variety of sectors, including construction.

The theory of quality has evolved over time. In the early 20th century, quality was viewed as a matter of inspection, with an emphasis on identifying problems after they occurred. In the mid-20th century, quality began to be seen as a way to prevent problems from happening in the first place. Today, the emphasis is on strategic quality management, which involves integrating quality into all aspects of an organization’s operations (Kerzner, 2017). The emphasis on customer satisfaction and continuous quality improvement has led to a global focus on quality, with the development of systems and standards to help organizations improve their products and services (Mitra, 2021).

Quality in construction projects involves ensuring that the facility is completed to the owner’s satisfaction, within budget, and according to the specified schedule, while also considering total management approach and adherence to the scope of work (Badiru & Osisanya, 2013). In its renowned publication titled “Quality in the Constructed Project: A Guide for Owners, Designers, and Constructors”, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) defines construction quality as the delivery of products and services that meet or exceed the expectations of the owner, design professional, and constructor. It includes meeting all contract requirements, industry standards, and applicable codes, laws, and licensing requirements (American Society of Civil Engineers, 2012).

Quality in construction involves many factors, including:

  • Use of high-quality materials: Using materials that are durable, long-lasting, and that meet the project’s quality requirements.
  • Adherence to specifications and quality standards: Following the plans and specifications that have been created for the project, as well as any applicable quality standards.
  • Compliance with safety and environmental regulations: Following all applicable safety and environmental regulations to ensure the health and safety of workers and the public.
  • Achievement of functional and aesthetic objectives: Creating a structure that meets the project’s functional requirements, such as being able to withstand the elements or accommodate the intended use, while also achieving aesthetic appeal.

The construction industry has made significant progress in improving quality standards in recent years. This is due to the development of new techniques and management practices. As a result, construction projects are now more likely to meet or exceed the expectations of stakeholders.


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How to cite this work: Niroula, Y.R. (2023). The Three Pillars of Quality: The Role of Three-Phase Control System in Construction Quality Management, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue VIII, August. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/pmwj132-Aug2023-Niroula-The-Three-Pillars-of-Quality.pdf

About the Author

Yamanta Raj Niroula, PMP

Kathmandu, Nepal


 Yamanta Raj Niroula is a seasoned engineering and project management professional with over 15 years of experience in overseeing all phases of construction and infrastructure programs.

He has overseen engineering and infrastructure programs across eight countries, including Nepal, Maldives, Singapore, Afghanistan, Philippines, Nigeria, Yemen, and Sudan.

His skill set includes design management, procurement, construction management, quality assurance/quality control, monitoring and evaluation, and close-out of construction projects. He holds a Master’s degree in Rural Development and Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. He obtained his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in January 2011. Currently located in Kathmandu, Nepal, he can be reached at niroulayr@gmail.com.