Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 15

Back to Basics:

Quality Matters
Defining quality and how a focus on basics affects it
By Shane Underwood, Ph.D.

I

t is 10:30 at night, and I
am on hold with customer
support trying to sort out a
suspicious activity hold on
my credit card. As anyone
who has been in the same situation
can attest, this is an exceptionally
frustrating experience because
I have used the card the same
way for months, but today,
seemingly by random selection,
these patterns have triggered
a hold on the card. Even more
frustrating is that I have been
on hold for several minutes, and
every so often a kind voice comes
on to remind me to keep holding
and that their motto is "Quality
Matters" - which is definitely
not what I am experiencing at
the moment. Because I have
nothing else to do (other than
listening to a painfully awkward
version of Wilson Phillips "Hold
On," this motto has me thinking
about quality in pavements.

Defining Quality
The first thing that comes to
mind while thinking about the
statement "Quality Matters" is
trying to define exactly what it
means. On the one hand, it means
it is important that efforts produce

quality outcomes, on the other,
it says that what will follow is a
discussion on issues pertaining to
quality. In both cases the meaning
is relevant here, but articulating
exactly what quality means is
difficult. Henry Ford once said
"Quality means doing it right when
no one is looking." John Wooden,
the legendary UCLA basketball
coach, explained why doing it
right was important: "If you don't
have time to do it right, when will
you have time to do it over?" but
he too could not tell us exactly
what right means. Maybe it means
sacrificing speed for accuracy,
Wyatt Earp certainly thought so
when he quipped, "Fast is fine, but
accuracy is everything." A paving
project is not exactly the O.K.
Corral, but Earp's statement rings
as true in our field as it did there.
Still, none of these descriptions
are complete. I think for many of
us, articulating the meaning of
quality is hard because it represents
something that is embodied in
our sub-consciousness where it is
hardened by our experiences. It
is only really exposed to thought
and reflection when we assess
the work of others or when we
defend our work to them.

Don't Miss Out!
On July 10, join us for the Back to Basics: Compaction webinar. The Back to Basics: Quality
Assurance webinar is on Aug. 23. After the live webinar, look for these NAPA webinars in the
archives located at http://goaspha.lt/2hYcRQq.

But what about formal
definitions? Webster's dictionary
has no less than eight definitions for
quality. According to Mr. Webster,
quality can mean "a peculiar and
essential character," "superiority in
kind," or "vividness of hue." I made
sure to check twice and none of the
definitions say that quality means
someone manufactures a product
at a density that is 98 percent of
what is achieved in a laboratory.
Or that the quality of something
is high when the surface profile
changes by only 45 inches over a
mile. Despite this, few practicing
pavement professionals would argue
that these characteristics are part
of achieving a quality pavement.
Have we found a flaw in Webster's
work? Should we write and demand
a change? No. Webster, like any
great academic, covers all his bases
and says generically that quality is
exhibited when something has "a
distinguishing characteristic" or an
"inherent feature" that is for some
reason desirable. The decision of
what is desirable and what features
should be examined is up to the
collective of practicing professionals
to decide.

Characteristics of
Quality Pavements
So, what are these characteristics,
and why are they important
in pavements? The very simple
answer to the latter question is
that quality is important because
continued on page 17

Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 * 15


http://www.goaspha.lt/2hYcRQq

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017

President’s Perspective
Industry News
Back to Basics: Quality Matters
Thinlay Projects on the Ground
NAPA Operational Excellence Awards
Outstanding Brochure Award: Differentiating With Diamonds
Community Involvement Awards: Community Values
Ecological Award: Think Green
Asphalt Operations Safety Innovation Awards: Improving Safety Culture and Accountability
Outstanding Website Award: Asphalt Pavement Resources at Your Fingertips
Industry Calendar
Index of Advertisers / Advertisers.com
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Intro
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - cover1
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - cover2
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 3
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 4
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 5
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 6
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 7
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 8
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - President’s Perspective
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 10
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Industry News
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 12
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 13
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 14
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Back to Basics: Quality Matters
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 16
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 17
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Thinlay Projects on the Ground
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 19
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 20
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 21
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 22
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 23
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 24
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - NAPA Operational Excellence Awards
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 26
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Outstanding Brochure Award: Differentiating With Diamonds
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Community Involvement Awards: Community Values
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 29
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 30
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 31
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 32
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 33
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 34
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 35
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 36
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 37
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 38
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 39
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Ecological Award: Think Green
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 41
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 42
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 43
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 44
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 45
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 46
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Asphalt Operations Safety Innovation Awards: Improving Safety Culture and Accountability
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 48
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 49
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 50
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 51
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 52
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Outstanding Website Award: Asphalt Pavement Resources at Your Fingertips
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 54
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Industry Calendar
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 56
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - Index of Advertisers / Advertisers.com
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - 58
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - cover3
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - July/August 2017 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPG0018
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0617
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0517
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0616
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0516
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPG0016
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0615
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0515
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPG0015
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/NAPS/NAPS0115
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com