The Process Quality improvement (PQi)
The objectives outlined in the contract specifications were mostly similar to the Process Quality improvement (PQi) method as developed and applied in the ASPARi monitored projects. The main objective of a PQi is the improvement of process quality through firstly, monitoring of the HMA construction process in order to make operational behaviour explicit and secondly, using an action research approach to work towards process improvement with HMA construction teams. The aim is for HMA teams to reflect on their work post-construction using a series of plots, visualizations and animations specifically developed to make their operational behaviour explicit. In this way they are able to discuss and analyse what they have done, how they have done it and whether there are opportunities for improving their work methods. A typical PQi cycle shown Figure 1 in consists of:
Day 1: Preparation and definition – site calibration, record site conditions and a preparatory meeting with the HMA team;
Day 2: Data collection – temperature profiling, monitoring all HMA machine movements, monitor weather conditions, nuclear density profiling and recording all noteworthy events using the measurement devices shown in Table 1;
Days 3 and 4: Data analysis – analyse all data and prepare visualisations and animations;
Day 5 – Feedback session – discuss all results, visualisations and animations with the HMA team, laboratory technicians and others directly involved in the project.