Project Quality Management

How can you guarantee that your project will meet project stakeholders' quality standards?

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Setting Quality Standards

The initiators and sponsors of a project usually have some idea of the quality they expect from the project outputs. Should the paint on the new model car last 10 years or 20 years? Are spelling errors in the new procedures allowable? To avoid disappointment, these quality requirements should be documented in the project Quality Management Plan and agreed at the outset by the project sponsor, client and Project Manager.

Achieving the quality outcomes agreed then becomes the responsibility of the Project Manager. The best way to guarantee that the outputs meet the agreed quality standards is to follow a defined project management process designed to ensure that quality is built in at each stage of the project.

Meeting Quality Requirements

How do you build quality into your project deliverables? For a start, you can ensure that everyone is working from the same page and adequately informed. Adhering to basic project management procedures around project change control, document control, requirements analysis and risk and issues management means that there is much less opportunity for surprises and the need for the usual mad rush at the end of the project to get it completed on time. When panic ensues and people are rushed, that's when errors begin to rapidly mount.

The other ingredient in building quality into the project outputs is to conduct a quality review on each project deliverable at the end of each stage of the project. Project quality review techniques can include peer review, steering committee review and end user review. Conducting reviews at the conclusion of each stage prevents the error from entering the next piece of work (that is, prevents what is called "phase contamination"). Numerous studies have found that the cost of rectifying an error or defect increases exponentially the further down the track it is that the error or defect is found. Don't think that your project is any different! Saving time by skipping out on project quality reviews and tests is false economy.

Expert View Author: AIMM MAITD

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Learn more about project quality management processes and how to conduct a quality review with our down to earth guide and customizable project templates. Whether you are new to project management or have some experience, you will find plenty of valuable tips for making your next project a success.

A Guide to Project Management

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