Management Tutor
A Project Management Blog

What is Quality?

As we know just getting the project done on time and on budget is not enough. We need to make the right product which will fulfill the need of its stakeholders. Quality measures deviation in the product with the requirements set aside at the beginning of the product development. The customer satisfaction, fitness for use and conformance to requirements are very important in quality management.

There are three processes in the Quality Management.

•  Plan Quality: It is like any other planning processes. The plan is created to help team through quality activities.

•  Perform Quality Control: The monitoring and control process which helps look into each deliverables and inspect them for defects regularly and not just at the end.

•  Perform Quality Assurance: This is where one step back and look into how well the project fits in with your company's overall quality standards and guidelines. This helps find any improvements in the quality processes. The changes in the processes can be implemented using individual project plan.

Quality Management

Quality Management Plan

As mentioned above in order to meet quality in the final product plan quality process is very important. The goal here is to make sure that product is made with as few defects as possible. To perform better, all the informations necessary about the product need to be collected initially. This is referred as collecting requirements. The product's quality will be tracked and measured against checklists and quality metrics throughout the development/manufacturing process. Quality metrics are the kind of measurements required to test the quality of the product.

Following are the useful quality planning tools:

•  Cost-Benefit Analysis

•  Benchmarking

•  Design of Experiments

•  Flowcharting

•  Control Charts

•  Proprietary Techniques

•  Cost of Quality

•  Statistical Sampling

The additional quality planning tools that project managers will use are brainstorming, affinity diagrams, force field analysis, nominal group techniques, matrix diagrams and prioritization matrices. The quality plan process produces outputs viz. checklists, process improvement plan and quality metrics.

Quality Control

Planning outputs are used for performing quality control. The perform quality control process is all about inspecting work products to find the defects. Following are seven basic tools of quality control.

•  Control Charts

•  Cause and Effect Diagram(Fishbone and Ishikawa diagrams)

•  Pareto Chart

•  Flowchart

•  Histogram

•  Run chart

•  Scatter diagram

Refer 7 Quality Control Tools for detailed basic description of above charts and diagrams used for quality control.

The other quality control tools are inspection, approved change request review and statistical sampling.

Quality control means finding and correcting the defects. This process produces two kinds of things viz. outputs from the inspections and outputs from the repairs made. The quality control process will have following outputs.

•  Quality control measurements•  lessons learned updates•  completed checklists •  project management plan updates•  validated deliverables and validated changes•  change requests •  project document updates.

Quality Assurance

In this process we take all of the outputs of plan quality and perform quality control to determine ways to improve the processes. If one find the improvements, recommendations for changes to the process will be made and individual project plan is made to implement the changes.

The tools for quality assurance are as follows:

•  Quality Audits
•  Process Analysis
•  Perform Quality control tools and techniques

The tools for quality assurance are same as one used in quality control but they are used to examine the process rather than the project. Quality assurance process leads to following outputs:

•  Project Management Plan Updates
•  Change Requests
•  Project document updates
•  Organizational Process Assets Updates

★ Figure mentions inputs and outputs for the quality processes. Please not that the inputs mentioed are for quality plan process. For Quality control process outputs of the quality plan process are taken as inputs. For Quality Assurance Process outputs of quality plan and outputs of quality control are both taken as inputs.