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Small Firm Quality Control

Small Firm Quality Control

Small Firm Quality Control

(OP)
I was wondering how one man shops do quality control on their calculations and drawings. Do you sub out to someone to check your math or just set aside for a few days?

RE: Small Firm Quality Control

Except for many years ago, when I worked for the State of Alabama Bridge Bureau, no one ever checked any of my calculations, regardless of the size of the office. Drawings we generate often get a reasonably good going over by the client (I do a lot of industrial work, and work for the military). That helps a lot. But no one looks over my shoulder on calculations. The only recent exception to this was the geotechnical expert for NAVFAC, who helped check my soil stiffness and foundation calculations for an octagonal wind turbine footing. As you suggest above: be really, really careful, and conservative, and then let it sit for a while, and then come back to it again (if the time available allows such a luxury). I hope you find a better answer for this than I have thus far.
Dave

Thaidavid

RE: Small Firm Quality Control

Letting it sit for 3-7 days and then coming back seems to work, not just for calcs but drawings. I work for some pretty good architects and they have a tendency to chew me up and spit me out on occasion :)

RE: Small Firm Quality Control

Much of my work is reviewing clients' designs, but when I am responsible for a final design I will check the analysis using independent software and methods, and review the design details against similar structures. I would also expect the client to do their own review and/or get an external review, but I don't rely on that.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Small Firm Quality Control

I'm a one man shop. I do a few different things, sometimes all:

1. Use software and hand calcs and try to match them. Or try two different analysis methods and try to get the same results.
2. Let it sit for a few days and come back to it.
3. I have another local structural engineer that I pay hourly to peer review my work, all off the record. I bring in drawings, talk with him, get comments and write him a check on the spot. Little liability on his end because there is no record of work other than a check.

I will say that I left a mid-size firm that didn't check work. You were lucky to have another engineer review your drawings. Frankly, it's one of the reasons I left, because some of the projects got complex. I thought more oversight would have been a good thing. But, it seems to work for them for now. I just prefer as much feedback as I can get, albeit, that's my opinion.

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