Project quality is a major factor in achieving client satisfaction, which in turn is a key component in project success.
Therefore, nothing about quality should be taken lightly, but more importantly, quality control should not be something improvised or done afterwards.
- Planning and identification of parameters to be monitored for quality
- Parameters to monitor for quality: Project scope
- Product description
- Parameters to monitor for quality: Standards and Regulations
- Parameters to monitor for quality: Other process outputs
- Quality features
- Quality is subjective
- Quality has many faces
- Quality is everyone’s responsibility
Before a project manager can actually be planning for project quality control, they must know what are the quality expectations.
One of the key principles of project quality management is that quality should be planned for, not inspected.
The project manager must take into account the cost of achieving the expected level of quality as opposed to the cost of non-compliance.
Quality cost includes training, safety measures, and actions to prevent subpar quality.
Planning and identification of parameters to be monitored for quality
When the project manager has collected the necessary input and assessed product description and project scope, they should begin working to create a plan on how to meet quality requirements.
Since planning is an iterative process, so is quality planning.
As events occur within the project, the project manager should evaluate these scenarios and then apply corrective actions to the planning document.
In fact, during project implementation, some things are likely to go wrong and stakeholders may demand changes. Therefore, the impact of these variables on project quality must be assessed.
This ensures that project management and project outcomes are in line with quality.
Parameters to monitor for quality: Project scope
Scope statement is a core input to the quality planning process. As a matter of fact, the scope defines what will and what will not be delivered as part of the project.
The end results and customer expectations will help guide the quality planning session to ensure that the customer’s quality requirements are met.
Even though the project scope generally defines the initial product description, the actual product description may include supporting details that the project manager and project team will need to take into account. Consider the example of an apartment building: the requirements, specifications, and technical details of the building will need to be considered and reviewed as this information will most certainly affect quality planning.
Parameters to monitor for quality: Standards and Regulations
Standards and regulations in each area should be re-examined to determine that both the project plan and quality plan are acceptable. For example, a project to fit a building with an electrical system will have certain regulations to which it must comply.
Parameters to monitor for quality: Other process outputs
The project manager will need more than just a scope statement and product description to plan for quality.
Outputs from other processes will also need to be reviewed for quality aspects. For example, in our earlier building example, if the supplier quality level is unacceptable, the project may be jeopardized and fail.
PMBOK® defines quality as the degree to which a set of intrinsic characteristics meets requirements.
It is said that a project meets its quality expectations when all project requirements, agreed upon at the beginning of the project, are met and thus the resulting product or service is usable for the stakeholders.
Quality is subjective
Surely quality can be measured objectively using the parameters mentioned earlier, but sometimes quality that is appropriate for one person is not for another.
Using a simple example: young people will consider a mobile phone to be of high quality based on its visual appearance, brand name, and technical specifications such as camera quality, memory capacity, and screen resolution. However, for someone in the age group of 60 and older, just the ease of answering a phone call or sending a text message may define the quality of the mobile phone.
Quality has many faces
The definition of quality depends on the business context and industry.
For a service-oriented organization such as a bank or airline, service quality is expressed through the level of customer satisfaction.
Quality is everyone’s responsibility
Quality in project management is twofold: project quality and product quality. Project quality is about ensuring that the project is executed consistently with the triple constraint of time, cost, and scope. If the project falls within the tolerance levels defined by these three factors, then it is possible to say that the project quality is high. Projects are carried out to develop a solution, which can be a product or service. If this output meets its specifications and satisfies stakeholder needs, then the product is said to be of high quality. Meeting quality expectations is therefore not just the responsibility of the project manager, but of everyone involved in the project.
Therefore, it is important that the project manager and team members understand the importance of quality and manage projects as best they can to achieve all parameters.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best project management software, you reached all milestones on schedule, and the project was completed on budget; if the output doesn’t meet quality standards, the project won’t be a success.