GUARANTEES and WARRANTIES -25 -Design Implementation Processes

Post 30 -by Gautam Shah


Warranties and Guarantees

The words are often used in lieu of the other, because both are promises that manufacturers or sellers make to customers. Each is a promise, but, offers different legal rights. A guarantee has no actual ‘legal’ transport, whereas a warranty does. Guarantee, are commitments, and Warranty is the assurance made to buyers by the producers. In the case of a product guarantee is a promise that it will work as they claim it will. A warranty is a promise (or guarantee) that they will fix it if it breaks within a certain period of time. A warranty is usually a written guarantee for a product that makes the producer responsible for repairing or replace a defective product or its parts.

On-road repair back-up > Pixabay image by Gerhard Gellinger Nurnberg/Deutschland

A warranty is in its simplest form a simple contract. Some warranties run with the product, so that a consumer who is distanced (by wholesaler, distributors, dealers) from the manufacturer also gets it. A warranty may be express or implied. Express warranty is explicitly provided (written) with indication of the jurisdiction. Implied warranties are unwritten promises that arise from the nature of the transaction, and the inherent understanding by the buyer. Here the goods are expected to be merchantable that is to confirm to ordinary expectations of the buyer. Limited warranties are time limited, whereas performance warranties have set parameters (like kilometres). Warranties often exclude abusive usage, malicious destruction, acts of God or nature, and parts or other inputs that wear out (rubber plastic goods) and replenishment (tires, lubrication, fuel, coolants). Warranties are often limited to the first consumer (buyer) and original location of delivery.

Different objects are warrantied for different uses > Laboratory Glassware > Wikipedia image by (Community College Consortium of Bioscience credentials

Warranties and Guarantees are mechanisms of assurance. When one procures a consumer item, some degree of assurance in expressed and implied form is automatically available. Entities that are formed of several components are assured by the assembler. Complex structures like buildings, however, come-up through works of several assemblers, and lack comprehensive assurance.

Comprehensive or Compounded Assurance : Concepts turn into Designs + Specifications + Contracts, and ultimately into a deliverable entity. If the deliverable entity is deficient, than everyone concerned for its conception, design and production, is held responsible. But in reality this is very difficult, as there are many persons, agencies, materials, technologies etc. involved in the process, with very indistinct and overlapping roles. Often, the extent of individual responsibilities and mode for verification of their compliance, are not properly defined. In some instances’ delivery occurs as compounding of many entities, where the individual share of responsibilities need not match with the physical scale of contribution. Compounded entities do not automatically offer a comprehensive assurance. Here all individual assurances must be assimilated into a comprehensive assurance which then must be transmitted to the owner or operator of the project.

Multiple products, choices But universal guarantee through Food Security System of ISO 22000 > Wikipedia+Flickr image by Elvis Batiz

Creating – Providing own Guarantees : Dynamic Users employ raw materials (materials, parts, components) in forms and conditions beyond the original manufacturers’ provisions. Guarantees provided by the original manufacturer for the few definite end-uses are rarely of any help for dynamic users. Even where materials are employed in the manner prescribed by the original manufacturer, the output process could make it impossible to relate a particular inadequacy to a certain material or procedure. People who assemble complex entities cannot hope to dilute their responsibilities even by involving people like suppliers of materials, etc., System creators must evolve their own guarantees.

Multi vendor work > Umbrellas at Medina Mosque SA > Wikipedia image by Sekretarin

Comprehensive Guarantees: In some jobs several vendors come together to a site, and create a System. Designers are not equipped to check or test run the system, or in such instances the system is not completely verifiable. Often there is no Master Agency to assure that the system so assembled will function according to the parameters set by Designers.

Owners (of buildings, structures and systems like ships, aircraft) however, need a comprehensive guarantee to assign the operations and maintenance to agencies concerned with working of the whole entity, such as Insurance companies, Safety (fire, security) Engineers, System Operators, etc.

need comprehensive guarantee to assign the operations and maintenance work > Oasis entering a port at Nassau, Bahamas > Wikipedia image by Baldwin040

Processes required for Comprehensive Guarantee to materialize: Specifications for Turn-key Jobs invariably include ways and means for assimilating and interpolating individual guarantees into a composite form for the individual part buyers or users. Specifications are also provided for appointment of third party agencies to manage the guarantees and warranties for the life cycle of the entity. Such additional mechanisms provide an uninterrupted cover for all the resultant liabilities and an operandi for the management of risks thereof.

Lloyds Register of shipping: Lloyds is one such organization that began in 1760 in London, It provides standards for construction and maintenance of merchant ships, and provides necessary technical help. Shipping agents, governments, bankers, insurance cos all depend on the certification provided by Lloyds.

Lifetime Guarantee Card > Flickr image by 3rdparty!

Contingent liabilities are commitments that may give rise to a cost as a result of a future event. They often result from indemnities, guarantees, warranties and certain liability caps in contracts. Contingent liabilities are generally used to allocate risk between parties to an arrangement. The Commonwealth’s policy is that risk should be managed by the party best placed to manage it.

A liability account that reports the estimated amount that a company will have to spend to repair or replace a product during its warranty period. The liability amount is recorded at the time of the sale. (It is also the time when the expense is reported.) The liability will be reduced by the actual expenditures to repair or replace the product. Warranty Payable or Warranty Liability is considered to be a contingent liability that is both probable and capable of being estimated.




LIABILITIES -11 -Design Implementation Processes

Post 29 -by Gautam Shah


In any venture risks of under-performance, non-performance exists. These are due to mis-match with the expectations, circumstances and inadequate foresight and care during planning, execution and operations of projects.

Abandoned factory > Wikipedia image by Degrootelulu

 The liabilities in ventures manifest, at many different levels:

Designers’ Liabilities: Project conceiver, planner or designer, are all liable for the inadequacies of conception resulting in poor definition of performance requirements, for having inadequate processes of verification for the offerings of the contractor or vendor and for establishment of operations mechanisms that is ineffective and lacks coordination. Designer’s take-on liabilities of sub-consultants, by agreeing to work with under-qualified experts.

Contractor or Vendor’s Liabilities: Contractors’ or Vendors’ liabilities are more defined and so always restricted, in spite of all-inclusive clauses that may have been integrated in the terms of contract. The liabilities of the contractor generally relate to correcting the defects or complete replacement. The liabilities may also include making good the loss of profit and loss of opportunity during the period of inadequate working. In some conditions it may include the cost of misuse of materials, site facilities and loss of life and damage to other properties.

Operations’ Liabilities: Liabilities arise from the operations of the project or system. Designers and Contractors usually preempt such situations with appropriate provisions in the contractual relationship with the client. Operations specifications, in recognition of such situations provide for setting up of appropriate Risk Management Systems. A risk management system recognizes the role of regular maintenance. Guarantees and warranties help in diluting the level of apparent risks and thereby reduce the Cost of Risk-Management (insurance premium).

Circumstantial Liabilities are mainly from external conditions like, disasters, calamities, political situations, changes in law, rules, perceptions, trends, fashions, etc. Some of these are natural and involve designers for inadequate perception and provisions. But other external liabilities depend on political, economic and social changes, and so many not attach a designer.

Mississippi river bridge USA > Wikipedia image by Kevin Rofidal US Coast guard

Liabilities for designers arise from what they professionally deliver. These include specifications, observations and supervision of a job. The specifications include 1 Drawings, Graphical representations, 2 Literary or oral explanations, 3 Models, samples, surrogate representations 4 Formal or tacit acceptance of happenings related to design.

Land lease contract Sumerian clay tablet 2600 BC > Wikipedia image from Louvre

Quality of Expression in Specification Writing: Writing Specifications is the most important way of facilitating a product or service. Specifications writing is an extended activity of contracting, so here too all the contract fundamentals are strictly followed. As per the natural law ‘a contract has to be enforceable, and whatever is specified must be doable. Specifications cover all valid and essential requirements of the job. A major danger in writing specifications is to include unnecessary information. So choosing, what to exclude is as important, as choosing what to include. Specifiers (Designers) must eliminate any requirement that adds no value to the Product or Service being acquired. The Specifier (Designer) must state clear conditions in a complete language, and yet remain brief.


Defects in Specifications and Liabilities: Very few specifications are totally free from defects. As a fundamental principle of law, a specifier (Designer) is responsible for the consequences of the specifications. Designers usually put in a disclaimer (in the contract with their client) for errors found in their work. The Insurance companies that cover the designers for Professional Liability (Professional Indemnity Insurance) insist upon it.

Most of the specification writers (Designers) incorrectly presume that their text of specifications is read and interpreted by comrade technocrats only, with whom they share similar experience and mind-set. During a dispute specifications are, however, more attended by non technocrats like the administrators, lawyers, jurors and judges. A contractor interprets the specifications, as long as the interpretation is commercially reasonable (an earning proposition).


The Notion of Deconstructionism: A French philosopher, Jacques Derrida originated the Notions of Deconstructionism. It is a whim of finding alternate interpretations of text. He contended that the meaning of a text is dependent on the context in which it is interpreted. All writings in some degree can be interpreted differently from what was intended. Deconstructionism doctrines, from Jacques Derrida and his colleague Michel Foucault, were a rage in many universities during the 1980’s. A quotation from Thoreau, ‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation’ was attacked by a feminist deconstructionist in words like: ‘….. real intention was to say that most women lead lives of noisy elation.’ Here the writer’s unintentional gender-specific wording was interpreted differently.


Faulty Specifications and a Contractor’s Attitude: A contractor works with sheer sense of profit, and so deals with faulty specifications in any one of these ways:

1 A contractor charges by doing the prescribed work according to the personal interpretation.

demand extra for undoing what was done

charge for redoing the job according to the corrected interpretation.


1  a Contractor may refuse to execute the work causing delay, or

2 take a legal recourse on the grounds of impossibility of performance or commercial impracticability.

Specifications and Enforcement: A neat contract is one where things are delivered for consideration, but strictly in a one-way transaction. However, contracts are very complex. Certain jobs require clients to provide information, materials, equipments, facilities or services to the contractor (as per the terms of a contract or job specifications), and an obligation is incurred. Even if such things are offered with or without a return consideration, the contracting parties get tied up in the Reverse Transaction. A client, failing to deliver as promised, takes the blame for missed schedules and cost overruns. Specifications causing such Reverse Transactions are prone to enforcement difficulties.

Specifications and Liabilities > Wikipedia image by Kebabknight

Accuracy and completeness of Contract Specifications: A Contract is in force the moment it is signed, or dated to be effective. Once a contract comes into force, any thing has been left-out, or not properly defined, can be only corrected through a Negotiated Supplementary Agreement. A Contract and Specifications must not leave out any aspect, as something to be agreed or determined later on (e.g. a clause like: plastic paint of x quality, but colour shade to be approved later).

In design offices specification-writing is a last moment compilation, and as a result it is common to see specifications of items that do not exist, or have been eliminated from the project. Specifications of only intended items and required quantities of work should be provided to the contractor. Otherwise, the bids will reflect the necessity of being prepared to handle Intended items and Quantified work.

Multi vendor assembled system > Wikipedia image by Daderot

Holistic Products and Site Assembled Systems: Job assignments for Structures, Architecture, Interior Design, etc. consist of both, Holistic Products and Site Assembled Systems. It is often easier to handle Holistic Products, fully or substantially through Performance Specifications. However, Site Assembled Systems inevitably have some form of Design Specifications.

Merchant-ability and Fair practices > permission for image use >

Specifications and Fair Trade Practices: Avoid specifying a particular product, agency, tool, equipment, or a patent process. Favouring one, to the exclusion of others would mean Unfair Trade Practice. It is a good business sense to encourage competition to achieve better prices and quality. Competition also provides optional and reliable sources of supply. Mentioning a particular product, provides an unintentional warranty of its suitability for the purpose. It is better to confine Specifications to Requirement Statements.

Property Disposal: When Writing Statements of Work, the Contractor must be told How to dispose of residual materials, garbage, sewage, emissions, etc. Such Disposal Procedures have to follow the local regulations, often at cost. The liabilities arising out of compliance and the cost operations need to be specified. If the residual materials are to be handed back to the client, then handling and storage must be specified. If disposal of such items is likely generate an income, who takes the money must be mentioned. The Tax liabilities of expenditure, income generated, or sales done for disposal, also requires clarification.

Valid Claims: A Designer and Client realize shortcomings of the work being executed, and request alterations or corrections. Such changes are not executed unless formally requested. The cost of such constructive changes is to be paid by the client and is considered a Valid Claim. Contractors also make mistakes. A contract specifies modalities for notifying mistakes and what is considered to be improper communication of information or reportage by the contractor. Contracts also list modalities for corrective action and settlement of costs.

Contracts need not be a trap > Pixabay image by geralt, Gerd Altmann, Freiburg/Deutschland

Language: Contract language must be simple and for that reason sentences should be short. Long sentences do not provide any sensible meaning. Throughout the document for the sake consistency and even at the cost of creating dull and a simplistic write-up, use the same words, phrases (rather than exploiting a thesaurus). Use category numbering system and avoid inter-document referencing such as ‘see xxx page, ref to yyy sub item, see above-below’, etc. Avoid acronyms, If must, use the commercially known abbreviations, and provide a reference index with expanded meanings. Avoid ambiguous words, or phrases that reflect more than one meaning. Refrain from phrase constructions that due to their sequence of placement, context or grammatical relationship could be interpreted differently. Conflicting Requirements often result from using totality words (such as: all, always, never, every, and, none, etc.) in statements, when something else in another sentence makes an exception to the totality.

Writing in Passive Voice is always superior. The object of an action gets precedence and thereby the required special attention. In specifications the emphasis must rest on the product being described. It also removes the mention of the actor. Government servants favour passive voice because it does not require the mention of the actor, and thus avoid the responsibility. Avoid using gender nominating words like he, she, his, her, him, man, men, woman, women, etc.

Grammatical Errors: There are three levels of grammatical errors. At primary level such errors do not affect the meaning being conveyed. (X ate less apples than Y vs. X ate fewer apples then Y). At next level the grammatical mistake renders the sentence totally meaningless. Such errors can be corrected through meticulous proofreading. But the most dangerous grammatical blunders are those that alter the intended meaning of the expression, to something different. These get passed over by most literary proofreaders and software like word processors’ grammar checks. Such mistakes can only be checked by an expert Specification Writer, or a Seasoned Contractor. The last levels of errors are most exploited by a lawyer in case of a dispute.





Post 20 -by Gautam Shah


ISO (International Standards Organization), since its inception in 1947, has been busy in formulating and equalizing standards for products, processes and services. These have served their conceived functions well. Somewhere during this period it was realized that individual products, processes and services often go far beyond the specified requirements of standards. Such feats are ever evolving, and so it was necessary to develop a system whereby such information is available to all stack holders, in a free and transparent manner. This new thinking recognized that if an organization is rational and transparent, its offerings are reliable. ISO therefore formulated a framework with which to rationalize the goals and working of the organization. The new framework offered ways of documentation and assessment. It also created a method of auditing and recognition of agencies for it. This system was called Quality Management System or QMS 900x series.

ISO 9001 certified Vadapalani Murugan Temple of Chennai India > Wikipedia image by L.vivian.richard at En Wikipedia

Concepts of Consistent and All-inclusive care : For all human endeavours, a citizen (or a being) is a natural stakeholder. So one has to be conscious and conscientious of all our actions. It is now accepted that for a consistent and all-inclusive care, an attitude at personal level, and a culture at organizational level is essential. It is very necessary to institutionalize the individual attitudes and organizational culture for ‘good management’ with support of right policies, procedures, records, technologies, resources, and structures.

Bangalore Metro station India structure by Kirby Building Systems which complies with ISO 9001:2008 for design, fabrication, supply of pre-engineered steel buildings > Wikipedia image by Pbhattiprolu

Assuring the Processes and the Systems of an Organization for Consistent and All-inclusive care : To achieve a Quality System of consistency, a Quality Conscience is required. In this direction ISO created a series of Quality Management Standards (QMS), designated as ISO 9000 series. The Quality Management Systems created by ISO were not meant to certify the products or services, but to assure the processes and the systems of an organization. ISO 9000 series provisions, how one conducts own work rather then the quality of the end product, because if the process is rational, it will naturally affect the end product. ISO 9000 series was to ensure that products not only meet just the customers’ requirements but also satisfy all ‘stakeholders’ expectations’.

Nicco Corp Ltd -cable division, Shyamnagar, W Bengal, India, An ISO 9001:2008 & ISO 14001:2004 certified unit > Wikipedia image by Binodkumars

Origins of Quality Management Standards : QMS or Quality Management Standards have their origin in the Product Liability Directives of European Community (EC) of July 1985. These were also known as the single market directives, and state what manufacturers exporting to the EC and, eventually, to the European Free Trade Association, would need. EC expected a well documented and Quality Assurance System for certain regulated products. ISO realized such a need to improve quality of products and services.


ISO 9000 series Quality Management System Standards (QMS) are now among the most widely known standards. It is a generic title for a Quality Management family consisting of Standards, Guidelines, other supporting standards on terminology and auditing tools. The standards can be applied to manufacturing, service or administrative organizations in any sector. ISO itself does not certify quality of any product or service, or register a quality management compliant organization. ISO has recognized certification bodies that check and certify an organization’s conformity for QMS. ISO, therefore maintains no official database of ISO 9000 certificate holders.

ISO 9001 certified signage over Janesville GM assembly plant, Image from photos/28567825@No3/3549915451 by Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA

Some famous International Registrars for QMS

  • ABS Quality Evaluations. Inc.
  • American Association for Laboratory Accreditation
  • AT & T Quality Registrar
  • British Standards Institution (BSI) Quality Assurance
  • Bureau Veritas Quality International (BVQI) #
  • Canadian General Standards Board
  • Det Norske Veritas Industry (DNV) # etc.

Of these # BVQI and # DNV are operative auditors in India.

Wikipedia image by HernandoJoseAJ

Preparing for ISO 9000 : An organization desiring to follow ISO 9000 system must carry out certain reforms within the organization before calling in a recognized auditor for validation process. The prime requirement is to frame the goals of the organization. Many times this are informal ideologies with the top level of a management team. This must therefore be formally documented and every single participant in the organization is made aware of it.

Goals or Policy of the Organization for ISO Quality Management System:

The goals or the policy of the organization will cover:

  • Nature of business being conducted
  • Future changes as envisaged in the business model
  • Define clear roles and responsibilities for policy determination, implementation, preview and reporting
  • Define external ‘clients’ who sustain the organization in return for the benefit gained or beneficiaries of the offerings of the organization for whom the entity functions
  • Let each department define the internal ‘clients’ for products and services (such as intra-department demands)
  • Define products, services and other inputs required to serve external and internal clients, or designated beneficiaries. (Including validation of the providers, quality parameters for the offerings, compliance with ‘accepted’ standards and Governmental requirements)
  • Define processes that occur within each of the departments and necessary conditions for them to flourish (including human resources, health & safety requirements, environmental concerns)
  • Define likely scale of affectations to ‘third parties’ (non user beings) due to the endeavour
  • Form and place where these data (as listed above) will be available, frequency of revision, and process of accepting feedback on it.


Structured Perception of the Organization : These exercises help define various processes operative in the organization and the nature of dependency among it. The organization is seen here as a large complex system consisting of several sub systems few of which are fairly independent, but most others are interpolating subsystems. The structured perception of the organization helps in developing a sharper quality control regime.

On completion of the ground work (as listed above) a request is made to any of the recognized registrar to specific requirements to be ISO compliance worthy. The requirements are defined in various standards of the series. One may also remain in compliance without being registered by an accredited Auditor, but cannot have the benefit of declaring itself to be an ISO 9000 accredited organization.


Gibraltar’s water is obtained from sloping rock catchment area > Wikipedia image by Jim Linwood

ISO 14000 Environmental Management System Standards : ISO 14000 EMS series is a generic management standard, similar to the ISO 9000. Main thrust for the development of this series was the Environment summit held at Rio in 1992. Its focus is a systematic approach for defining objectives and targets for environmental concerns and compliance with applicable legislative and other regulatory requirements.

It does not specify levels of environmental performance, and so not designed to be specific to any particular set of activities. It helps organizations evolve EMS (Environmental Management System) to minimize harmful effects on the environment caused by commercial and other activities, and continually improve the environmental performance.

ISO 14001 > Wikipedia image by Luugiaphu94

Working of ISO 14000 Processes : ISO 14000 series of standards have two distinct facets for reporting on Environmental Performance. Internal objectives are issues within the processes and activities and so substantially in control of the organization. The internal objectives are intended to assure all immediate stack holders including employees that the organization is an environmentally responsible entity. External objectives are larger issues between the organization and universe. The external objectives provide assurance on environmental issues, to external stakeholders such as customers, the community and regulatory agencies. It also provides for a system for inclusion of suppliers’ declaration of their conformity to ISO 14000.

Environmental degradation of Industrial age which initiated debate on conservation of environment  > Art work by D.O. Hill of St Rollox Chemical works at Garnkirk and Glasgow railway in 1831

Benefits and Implications of ISO 14000 EMS : The EMS facilitates compliance with environmental regulations, supports the organization’s claims about its own environmental policies, plans and actions. A certification of EMS conformity by an independent certification body furthers the work on QMS (ISO 9000). ISO 14001 compliance can improve the Environmental Management, and enable easy access to a growing ‘Green-Market’.

ISO 14000 Improves operational efficiency, Cost savings, Energy conservation, Rational use of raw materials and other resource, Better recycling processes, Reduced waste generation and disposal costs, Pollution prevention, Reduces environmental liability and risks, Improves community goodwill and societal images, compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements, Improved Industry Government relations, and provides Competitive advantage for `Green’ products.

The EMS offers a range of approaches for Environmental Labels and Declarations, including self declared environmental claims, Eco-labels (seals of approval), and Quantified Environmental Information about Products and Services. ISO has developed more than 350 Environment related International Standards.


Other Management Standards : In the last two decades ISO has concerned itself with Management Standards for Quality, Safety, Security, Environment, Food, Health, etc. These standards refer to what an organization must do to manage its processes or activities.

ISO Management standards are broadly of two classes. Generic Standards mean that these can be applied to any organization such as business enterprise, public project, administration or government department, whatever the product or service may be. Other Management Standards are Sector specific Standards.

Bandra-Worli sea link cable-stay bridge at Mumbai by Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) was first construction organization to be certified ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 > Flickr image by ShashiBellamkonda

Select List of Other Management Standards : Some Management Standards have been formed and published for implementation, whereas a large number of them are in formative process and will appear soon. The standards are listed in order of their number, which does not reflect their order of formation or year of publication. The numbers represent the series.

  • ISO 18000 OHSMS Standard on Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems,
  • ISO 20000 IT Service Management,
  • ISO 22000 Food safety Standards,
  • ISO 24000 Security and Continuity Management Standards,
  • ISO 26000 Social Responsibility,
  • ISO 27000 Information Security,
  • ISO 31000 Risk Management Standard,
  • ISO 50000 series is for Energy Management Standards,
  • ISO 55000 Asset Management Standard.

Certifiable Standards and Requirement Standards : ISO Management standards can also be categorized as Certifiable Standards and Requirement Standards. An organization may get a conformity Certification by a recognized agency after an audit process as specified in series of standards. ISO 9000, ISO 14000, ISO 18000 and ISO 22000 are management standards that allow certification. There are several other Management Standards that have no certification process, and so-called Requirement Standards. The Requirements standards, only provide guidance for implementing a management system (such as ISO 26000 and ISO 31000).




Post 16 -by Gautam Shah


Context for Quality : Quality is as much an issue for the conscientious designer, as much as for the project initiators, project users, project operators and the society. It relates to how a project, product or service is carried out or employed, how the external conditions support the usage and how it is perceived ?

Pursuit of quality through micrometer > Wikipedia image by _of_congress/2179237858

Quality as per ISO 8402 : `The concept of quality is the totality of features and characteristics of a project, product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy, stated or implied needs’. Quality is both a perception and a value judgment, concerning human satisfaction; the basis for both is ever changing. The characteristics of a project, product or service, by themselves, cannot determine the measure of quality. A project, product and services when satisfactory in every respect, can fail, if the external use conditions are drastically altered during its execution.

Concept of quality is the totality of features and characteristics > Wikipedia image

Conscience for Quality : Conscience is the inherent ability of every human being to perceive what is right and wrong. With this conscientiousness, we control, monitor, evaluate and conduct all endeavours. Some consider that the innate sense of judgement needs to grow, develop, and further formatted. It must though become a continuing passion of refinement (meticulousness).

Quality of fruits and vegetables > Wikipedia image

A project, product and service, if conscientiously executed, inspires the designer to do better next time. Designers project their professionalism through their attitude and deliverables, both of which converge as pursuit for quality. An enhancement of satisfaction is the key element of quality conscience. The conscience for quality has THREE facets, a Personal need, Governmental requirement and Social obligation. In the First case, it is just too subjective and changeable. In the Second instance, it is often compulsory, restrictive and punitive. In the Last case, there are many stakeholders.


Defining: Consciousness : Consciousness is an adjective, for being aware and responsive to one’s environment, but not being judgmental in terms of good-bad, wrong-right, etc. Consciousness is being aware of all processes and parameters where conscience is checked.

Defining: Conscience : Conscience is a noun which can have many different meanings, but it is the inherent ability of every human being to perceive what is right and what is wrong. It is considered as a quality of one’s character and conduct, reflected by the adherence to moral principles and consideration of fairness and justice.

With conscientiousness, one can control, monitor, evaluate and conduct all endeavours. Conscience is a social facet of the morality, as it is shaped by the person and the society. A quality conscience requires no outside assessor. In commercial fields, conscience is seen in products and services that demonstrate the integrity and social responsibility.

Confusion between Conscience and Consciousness arises, because of the same Latin root (Latin word conscius, meaning with and to know).

Defining: Compliance : Compliance is the act or process of complying to public desire, demands, ideology, traditions or legal, regimen. This is done by coercion or sense of responsibility. This requires extra ordinary effort, compromises and investments, and so it often detested or challenged. Some Governments (like USA) avoid interference, whereas some International agencies have no power to legislate so depend of self-regulation that is akin to conscience.

Quality compliance > US Dept of Agri. 20120106-OC-AMW-0670

Conscience for Excellence : The Conscience as a refinement can be seen in the excellence enhancement and emergence of human relationship, at both, personal and professional levels. It is measured at professional level, as the original expectations (requirements) versus the product formation, service deliverance or adequacy of counselling. For this, It is imperative to formally state the expected use of the system and define ways how its adequacy will be checked.

Laboratory Information Management system LIMS for lab data management > Wikipedia image by JW

Documenting matters related to Quality : For developing quality meticulousness, it is very necessary that all matters relating to quality control are well documented. A well-documented brief serves as a benchmark for assessing the level of the quality being achieved. Wherever Quality control documents that are formal, transparent and accessible, to all stack holders (clients, users, public and competitors), the projects, products and services have greater quality assurance.

Transparency and Compliance for Quality : Quality Conscience and Consciousness are both personal pursuits, yet together cannot offer the Quality at Societal level. The pursuits for quality, even if individual in nature and ever evolving must be transparent. To involve all stakeholders, a designer must declare and continually update the policies relating to quality through open access, public domain documents.

Feedback – Feed-forward systems

Fee-back and Feed-forward systems for Quality control : For ages quality control has been a matter of learning and improvising the process and materials. The learning was a feed-back from the users, as available through selling and using the produce or services. Feed-back is interpreted as adjusting future actions on the basis of past experience or performance. It is a post event report on things that have already occurred and past remains unchangeable. Post industrial age many real time work systems were realized. These were used concurrently with the system eventualities to make ‘course corrections’. But these did not allow strategic planning. So Feed-forward as a future directed system was realized. It is like preventive maintenance or preventive actions to avoid mishaps or cash flow planning for contingencies.





Post 15 -by Gautam Shah


Designers and Quality : A designer, as a professional, strives to assure that projects are completed with planned level of inputs and provide intended benefits. Quality represents the fundamental economics of the input-output equation. The emphasis is upon maximizing the achievements, value addition and minimizing process effort, resource wastage.

Experiment on a Bird in an Air pump > ART by Joseph Wright of Derby 1768

Quality in Design results from `what the product is‘ and `what the users do with it‘. It results from Three-way interaction between:


Judgements for Quality : There are several Primary issues, against which quality judgements are made, like: comfort level, variety, novelty, prestige, economy, size, ergonomics, anthropometrical possibilities, other or optional uses, etc. The Secondary issues include social, cultural, psychological, political and other relevancies.

Chichicastenango Market Guatemala showing buyer-seller meet / Wikipedia Image by Chmouel Boudjnah

Designers are quality conscious on two counts: their own conscience and the public compliance. Designers are conscious that ‘certain personal quality notions’ must be achieved, and ‘certain other public requirements’ must be complied. But consciousness does not translate as conscience, and conscience does not make for compliance.

Types of Design Clients and their Involvement : Designers deal with many types of clients, knowledgeable, curious, domineering, modest and ignorant ones. But, two distinct classes of clients profoundly affect the design process.

One, where the clients are corporate or organizational entities, with factual and detached interest in design.

Two, ‘personal-clients’ who are inquisitive, participatory and subjectively involved.

Jere Davidson engraving a Knife > Wikipedia image by Daviddarom

Strategies for Client Management in Design-I : During the design phase ‘personal or individual clients’ (like a family), a design is a rare event, but initiates multi faceted dreams. The ever evolving dreams consist of unconnected images, friends’ suggestions and other impressionistic situations like media, magazines or real life examples. For a designer the problem occurs in perceiving a holistic image out of it, or in offering and convincing the client about a novel offering that is far more exciting. Most clients do not understand the formal language of drawings or graphical representations. During discussions they grab familiar words or terms and hang on to it. So designers have to be very careful how and what they express.

Ceramist working on object > Pexels Free stock Photos by Regiane Tosatti

Strategies for Client Management in Design-II : Prepare a project brief for determining and stating formally, all requirements, such as: user and other ‘clients’ needs and demands, technical requirements, statutory obligations, prevailing standards, current styles, available technologies, etc. Where the client is not a user, and a product specifier is a marketing team, both of these may not offer much for design requirements, so it is left to the designer to formulate the design brief. The user-client may not understand such briefs, at least initially, so remain non-committal, or in good faith initially allow the designer to proceed.

Design Presentation initiates for clients new process of learning and realizations > Flickr Image by Het Nieuwe Instituut

Strategies for Client Management in Design-III : As a Design gets under-way, and design presentations, in colour, 3D format, reality models, or in virtual animations, the clients ‘truly’ react to the Design. At this stage, clients due to their subjective involvement, become extra perceptive to some aspects of Design. A designer should see this as the inevitable, and be prepared for the accommodation. All re-calibrated designs face a barrage of new demands, requiring substantial to a complete rethink over the design.

Water quality compliance testing > Wikipedia image by US NARA

Strategies for Client Management in Design-IV : A worrying aspect of Design Delivery is over or premature commitments. Both of these create liabilities of promised delivery. Right from meeting for concept design presentation to an execution stage, a designer may over explain a detail orally or in other presentations. Certain details must remain ‘open ended’, allowing scope for improvisations. A premature statement or commitment before all aspects like technical or economics feasibility have been checked, can become embracing. For example, between ‘a red floor’ and ‘bright coloured floor finish’, the commitments are very different. Individual clients are very fast learners, and designers must expect them to be super designers, by the time execution starts. With their fast learning capacity to suggest changes enlarge many-fold, and designers should take this enhanced ability as the readiness to dabble in complex issues of design.

Quality Assurance – Coffee Barista at work > Wikipedia image by Christopher Michel

Strategies for Client Management in Design-V : As the project materializes, the clients begin to have first life size or realistic experience of the designed entity. Designers must ‘engage’ their clients by adequately answering the quarries, offering convincing explanations. Clients derive satisfaction during the project execution phase, when quarries about economic and technical nature are answered with convincing explanations with comparisons among various options.

Client’s feedback > Flickr image by Andypiper

Strategies for Client Management in Design-VI : A project, as it is delivered to an actual occupying-user (who could be a new person, different from the assigning-executing client) the designed entity is revalued. The new person, is less bothered about how a design was evolved, but concerned about the advantage accruing out of it. This could be based on sum effects of many factors like cultural roots, aspirations, economic status, etc.

Tour de France consumer event 2016 – Product checking > Flickr image by Lwp Kommunikacio

Post Delivery of a Project : For Design professionals stacks are very high in seeing that clients derive satisfaction both, during the design and execution phases of the project. In few instances, the design and execution phase converge, so it becomes all the more necessary to keep in touch with the clients. This can be reinforced through casual visits to the project, or inquiries of well being. For a designer interaction with the client begins through the design process and delivery of a final product, but persists as an everlasting relationship. A satisfying design process helps in most appropriate product delivery. And an appropriate product backed by constant concern creates a long-lasting relationship bringing in new projects and clients.