Methodically evaluate your quality management system with an inspection test plan and ensure that your projects are always done right. Assign responsible employees to oversee projects, keep track of deadlines, and never go over budget again with this checklist.
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For every task performed, product produced, and employee who represents your company needs to be in accordance to the highest quality standard. However, this isn’t an easy feat to do, as missteps can happen along the way. Creating an Inspection and Test Plan (ITP) will provide a systematic way to perform quality checks at every stage of your project. Through an ITP, your team can follow a series of steps, so you can be confident that the output is well within quality standards.
Because an inspection test plan adheres to the ISO 9001 standard for product control and servicing, it is a great tool for making sure that your product or project meets standard quality requirements. Quality engineers typically prepare ITPs and inspect, verify, and test the required materials and processes at every stage. This way, they can identify critical control points and deviations early, giving them time to recalibrate. This also allows them to make the necessary changes so that the project is not only done on time but also meets quality expectations.
Despite being similar and commonly interchangeable, an ITP and ITP checklist are not the same. The ITP is a document that details the what, when, and how of the plan regarding the inspections you will conduct, while an inspection test plan checklist essentially contains the inspection’s details, or instructions, that are used during these points. This is why an ITP might require different checklists for each inspection point.
Essentially, the checklist functions as a record of the inspection conducted because of the ITP. Both are equally important and are meant to help you ensure your product or project is within the required standards.
Apart from the fact that an ITP will help make sure that you finish the product or project with a better outcome, it also provides additional benefits to your business.
Projects have challenging components and processes, especially in the construction industry. That’s why identifying problems and risks beforehand is imperative to ensure that safety and quality are never compromised. More importantly, early detection prevents small problems from escalating to accidents that can be detrimental to your business, workers, and clients.
Any significant delays in the schedule can be costly. An inspection test plan will make sure that all processes are done in a timely manner. From bringing in equipment, coordinating with subcontractors, getting permits, and conducting inspections, the procedures will be planned out in an ITP.
Projects can go over budget for many reasons, but the three most common are:
Routine inspections with an ITP will help ensure that any foreseeable problems or delays are immediately addressed to minimize any expense that’s beyond the project’s budget.
Permits are meant to enforce the implementation of proper safety standards for the health and wellbeing of the workers, clients, and building occupants. On top of this, they help enforce the validity of your insurance coverage should an incident occur.
But while permits are an essential necessity, acquiring them can be a lengthy process that involves plenty of government-mandated steps that can be subject to delays, such as attaining a cold work permit or a hot work permit form. Through an ITP, the important permits can be listed and applied for beforehand so disruptions to the project timeline can be prevented.
Because of the complexity of the work involved in a project, it’s not uncommon for important steps to be overlooked. This can result in defective products and substandard outputs, as well as potential health and safety risks to the workers and clients alike.
The frequent inspections and tests in an ITP will provide the needed supervision and quality assurance to ensure that nothing gets missed. Furthermore, the inspection test plan checklist won’t just serve as evidence that the inspections took place, it can also help monitor the execution of improvements and keep track of follow-up inspections. An ITP will help you establish a streamlined quality system that can effectively avoid preventable problems and provide a clear plan in meeting the quality standards.
An ITP is one of the most important quality management tools you can use to improve the quality of your projects. Completing projects following the highest quality standards won’t happen through intuition or guesswork. It requires a systematic approach that’s thoroughly documented at every stage.
Here are six best practices you can follow to write your inspection test plan.
Using a digital template can save you time and energy that are better allotted for other high-value tasks. These templates provide a guide on how to approach writing an ITP while also offering flexibility so you can tailor-fit it to your projects.
The advantage of digitization is that you can store all your observations, findings, and reports in one place. Considering that an ITP is essentially the evidence for complying with quality requirements, it’s imperative that records are not only clear but stored in a secured place and easily accessible.
There are countless ITP templates. Which one you use will depend on the type of industry you’re in. Some of the most common are construction and manufacturing templates, but there are also more specialized templates, such as a software test plan inspection template, that are available, too.
When it comes to listing your tasks for each inspection, the best practice is to indicate the Definable Features of Work (DFOW) to provide a detailed explanation of the what, how, and when of each inspection. Furthermore, it should follow the sequence indicated in the work methods statement that is required for high-risk work. This will ensure that inspectors can check if the tasks are done correctly.
Remember to include major inspection points or milestone points. For example, these can be done after a floor in a high-rise building is completed or once the foundation has been poured.
Different inspections will require multiple safety or quality standards or requirements to be met. Having the necessary reference documents ready will help improve the efficiency of your ITP and the accuracy of quality checks.
The last thing you want is to disrupt your operations while conducting your inspections. So, before starting your project, make it a point to assign and note down roles in your ITP. This will help prevent any confusion and allow your team to navigate the inspection efficiently.
Taking the time to explain your plan and asking your clients to witness an ITP will increase their confidence in your business. Once you’re done with the briefing, ask them to sign off on it. Not only does this communicate that your quality management system is up to standards but that your company is highly credible and professional.
To ensure your record’s accuracy, all dates and times should be listed on the inspection test plan along with all the checklists used. Then, sign off on it and have a witness do so, too. This will provide you with the necessary documents to consistently stay on top of the project’s process while also serving as evidence in the case of legal proceedings.
Running a business takes a lot of preplanning and organization. Couple that with the demands of managing a large-scale project from start to finish, and you have to find a way to be able to keep on top of the deadlines and avoid delays all while ensuring consistent quality outcomes. Any deviation from this can have unforgiving consequences for your business.
Lumiform understands that running a business can be a headache even on the best of days. That’s why we’ve created a super intuitive and easy-to-use app to help you manage all your quality inspections. Never miss another deadline with the help of Lumiform: