Peter Drucker said it best, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” As a homebuilder, if you want to deliver a quality product and exceptional customer experience, you need to have rigorous quality control procedures in place. An Inspection and Test Plan or ITP is one of the best ways to systematically check quality at every stage of a residential construction project. Using an ITP tied to contract stages and payments helps ensure you’re not just meeting customer expectations, but exceeding them.

Peter Drucker’s Quote on Measurement for Quality Management

Adopting Quality Measurement

To achieve high quality in residential construction, builders must measure what matters. An Inspection and Test Plan (ITP) tied to contract stages and stage claims is key.

An ITP details when quality inspections will be done to ensure standards in the Quality Management Plan are met. For example, inspect foundations before concrete is poured, or check roof trusses before the roof is closed in. Measure quality at each stage to catch issues early.

Builders should review ITPs with tradespeople before work begins. Explain the standards and have them sign off that they understand. This encourages accountability and a commitment to quality from the start.

Conduct regular site inspections against the ITP. Note any defects or areas needing improvement. Provide clear feedback to tradespeople and schedule reworks. Measure again to ensure standards are met before signing off stage claims.

Customer satisfaction surveys are another useful measure. Ask buyers about their experience with the builder and tradespeople, the quality of workmanship and if any issues need addressing. Make changes to improve for the next project.

By frequently measuring quality against documented standards, builders gain insight into how to enhance their processes and deliver a better end product. Measurement may require effort upfront but the long term benefits to both builders and homeowners are huge. Applying Peter Drucker's wisdom results in higher quality, customer satisfaction and business success.

Implementing Inspection Test Plans in Residential Construction

Builders should implement Inspection Test Plans (ITPs) tied to key contract stages and stage claims.

Inspections at Critical Stages

Conducting inspections at critical points in the build ensures quality standards are met. For example, inspect foundations before concrete is poured, the frame before cladding goes on, and electrical and plumbing before walls are closed in.

Document Everything

Documenting inspections, tests, and outcomes provides an audit trail. Photos, checklists, and reports give a snapshot of quality at each stage. They also give builders evidence for signed-off progress claims.

Review and Improve

Reviewing ITPs and inspection results helps identify areas that need improvement. Look for recurring issues or stages where quality is lacking. Revise ITPs and training to address these. Continual improvement is key.

Communicate with Trades

Talk to tradespeople about the ITP process and quality expectations. Explain why certain standards matter and how they benefit the final product. Get feedback on what’s realistic and work together on solutions. Clear communication and shared goals improve quality.

By measuring quality with ITPs and inspections, then reviewing and revising, builders can better manage it. Implementing a quality plan, setting standards, and communicating with trades help ensure you build the best possible homes for clients. What gets measured, and all that.

Connecting ITPs to Contract Stages for Better Control

Connecting ITPs to contract stages allows builders to measure and improve quality at each critical point. As Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” By tying inspections to contract stages and payments, builders gain visibility and control.

Stage 1: Excavation

Before digging, ensure services have been located and the site is properly set out. Conduct an inspection after clearing to verify dimensions and levels are correct. This stage gate ensures a solid foundation for what follows.

Stage 2: Slab or Footings

Inspect the formwork and reinforcement before concrete is poured. Check that services have been sleeved and the slab will achieve the required thickness, levels, and finish. Approve the pour and inspect the finished slab to ensure it’s fit for purpose before walls go up.

Stage 3: Frame

Inspect the frame for structural integrity, alignment, bracing and fixings. Check that lintels, beams, and trusses have been installed correctly before the roof goes on. This “skeleton” will support everything else, so quality is key.

Stage 4: Lock-up

With the roof on and external doors and windows in place, check weather-tightness and security. Ensure building envelope, flashings, seals, and rough-ins have been properly installed before internal works commence.

Stage 5: Fixing

As each trade completes their work – plumbing, electrical, plastering, flooring, joinery, painting – conduct quality inspections. Check fixtures, fittings, and finishes meet standards in each area before moving to the next.

Final Inspection

Conduct a pre-handover inspection to identify any defects or incomplete works. Check that the home meets all contractual requirements before handing the keys to the owner.

Linking payments to verified quality inspections at each stage motivates builders to get it right the first time. Measuring quality in a systematic way, builders can improve practises, reduce rework, and deliver homes that delight customers. What gets measured, gets managed.

Key Takeaways for Builders to Manage Quality via Measurement

As a builder, you know that measuring quality throughout a project is key to success. An Inspection and Test Plan (ITP) helps builders do just that by outlining quality checks tied to key stages.

Inspections at contract milestones

Linking ITPs to contract stages, like reaching 50% completion, ensures quality is built in from the start. Check foundations, frames, and services at these milestones. It’s easier to remedy issues early on, avoiding costly fixes down the track.

Measure quality at stage claims

Tie ITPs to stage payments too. Only approve a stage claim once inspections show work meets standards. This incentivises trades to focus on quality, not just completing jobs quickly. It also gives builders evidence to justify claims to clients.

Key metrics to track

Builders should measure factors like:

  • Defects identified and fixed: Aim for decreasing numbers over time.
  • Re-works required: Minimise these to save time and money.
  • Customer complaints: Measure and address these promptly.
  • Third-party inspections: Passing these first time indicates high quality.

Learn and improve

Review ITPs and metrics regularly to improve. Consider:

  • Additional or altered checks needed.
  • Extra training required for trades.
  • Ways to engage customers for feedback.
  • Updating standards to match latest codes and best practises.

A culture of quality

Most of all, instil a culture focused on quality. Engage your team, show how ITPs and metrics benefit them, and encourage continuous improvement. When everyone values quality, it will shine through in the final product.

Builders who adopt Drucker’s maxim, measuring quality through ITPs and metrics, gain a competitive advantage. They boost customer satisfaction, reduce costs, build expertise, and ultimately, deliver better homes. Measurement may not seem exciting, but for managing quality, it’s essential.


In closing, you now have a good sense of how to apply Drucker’s wisdom to managing quality in residential construction. By adopting an ITP tied to key contract stages and payments, builders can measure and improve quality at every turn.

As a homeowner, insist your builder has these quality assurance practises in place. You’ll have confidence the job will be done right the first time, avoiding costly fixes down the road. Managing quality comes down to managing details, and the builders using ITPs have a system to catch anything that might slip through the cracks. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so start measuring and managing quality today. Your customers and your bottom line will thank you.