Knowledge Area: Project Quality Management

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Project Quality Management includes the processes and activities of the Project performing organization that determine quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken. This Knowledge Area uses policies and procedures to implement, within the project’s context, the organization’s quality management system and, as appropriate, it supports continuous process improvement activities as undertaken on behalf of the performing organization. Project Quality Management works to ensure that the project requirements, including product requirements, are met and validated.

 

Project Quality Management processes are:

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      • Plan Quality Management—The process of identifying quality requirements and/or standards for the project and its deliverables and documenting how the project will demonstrate compliance with quality requirements.
      • Perform Quality Assurance—The process of auditing the quality requirements and the results from quality control measurements to ensure that appropriate quality standards and operational definitions are used.
      • Control Quality—The process of monitoring and recording results of executing the quality activities to assess performance and recommend necessary changes.

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Quality measures and techniques are specific to the type of deliverables being produced by the project.

Project Quality Management addresses the management of the project and the deliverables of the project. It applies to all projects, regardless of the nature of their deliverables.

In case, failure to meet the quality requirements can have serious, negative consequences for any or all of the project’s stakeholders.

For example:

  • Meeting customer requirements by overworking the project team may result in decreased profits and increased project risks, employee attrition, errors, or rework.
  • Meeting project schedule objectives by rushing planned quality inspections may result in undetected errors, decreased profits, and increased post-implementation risks.

 

Quality  Vs  Grade

Quality as a delivered performance or result is “the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill requirements”. Grade as a design intent is a category assigned to deliverables having the same functional use but different technical characteristics.

The project manager and the project management team are responsible for managing the tradeoffs associated with delivering the required levels of both quality and grade. While a quality level that fails to meet quality requirements is always a problem, a low grade of quality may not be a problem.

For example:

  • It may not be a problem if a suitable low-grade software product (one with a limited number of features) is of high quality (no obvious defects, readable manual). In this example, the product would be appropriate for its general purpose of use.
  • It may be a problem if a high-grade software product (one with numerous features) is of low quality (many defects, poorly organized user documentation). In essence, its high-grade feature set would prove ineffective and/or inefficient due to its low quality. Quality and grade are not the same concepts.

 

Accuracy Vs Precision

Accuracy is an assessment of correctness.

Precision is a measure of exactness

An illustration of this concept lets take a simple example of archery targets. Arrows clustered tightly in one area of the target, even if they are not clustered in the bull’s-eye, are considered to have high precision. Targets where the arrows are more spread out but equidistant from the bull’s-eye are considered to have the same degree of accuracy. Targets where the arrows are both tightly grouped and within the bull’s-eye are considered to be both accurate and precise. Precise measurements are not necessarily accurate measurements, and accurate measurements are not necessarily precise measurements.

The project management team has to determine the appropriate levels of accuracy and precision for use in the quality management plan. The same also needs to be confirmed with all their stakeholders.

 

Concluding Remarks: Every project should have a quality management plan. Project teams should follow the quality management plan and should have data to demonstrate compliance with the plan. The basic approach to project quality management as described in this section is intended to be compatible with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) quality standards.

 

Source: PMBOK 5th Edition

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