One of the goals of project management is to meet the expectations of the stakeholders of the project. Managing the quality of the project is the function that will allow this to happen. Quality management will include all the work that is necessary to ensure that each of the objectives of the project is met. In the latest edition of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, PMI emphasizes that the purpose of the project is to meet the requirements of the stakeholders. In the past, the project goal was to meet or exceed the customer's expectations.
Quality should be concerned with prevention rather than detection. The cost of preventing a defect in our project is much less than the cost of finding a defect and correcting it. Worse, the cost of not finding a defect and having to correct it in the field is even higher.
We have discussed methods of controlling the project costs and schedule in Chapter 2, Time Management, and Chapter 3, Cost Management. These controls cover only two of the sides of the triple constraint triangle. Quality management controls the third side of the triangle, scope, as well as provides guidance for and assurance of meeting the other two constraints of cost and schedule.
It is important in modern project management to meet the stakeholders' expectations. It is also important that the expectations of the stakeholders are not exceeded. The customer contracts for certain deliverables; delivering something that was not asked for can be a waste of time and money. In some cases delivering more than is asked for can make matters worse.
Quality should not be confused with grade. Quality that is low is always going to be a problem, while a low grade is not necessarily a bad condition. A product may be developed and marketed to appeal to those who want an inexpensive product that will have a limited useful life and functionality. This product may also have a lower cost.
Stakeholders should get what they pay for. The quality of the item means that it is indeed what it was intended to be.
Project quality management addresses both the quality of the project and the quality of the product that is produced. The quality management of projects is generally the same for all projects, but the quality management of the product produced by the project will vary with the application. What we mean by this is that the measurements and techniques that are used to ensure the quality of the construction of a tool shed will be different from the measurements and techniques for ensuring the quality of the construction of a nuclear power plant.
The Guide to the PMBOK defines three processes for quality management: quality planning, quality assurance, and quality control. It is important that a distinction be made among them.
The quality planning function is the process that determines which quality standards should be used to accomplish the goal of ensuring that the scope of the project fulfills the stakeholders' expectations.
The quality assurance function is a process that monitors the overall ability of the project to meet the expectations of the stakeholders. The purpose of the quality assurance function is to provide the confidence that the project will have the proper controls to be able to meet the standards that are expected by the stakeholders. The quality assurance function ensures that the quality of the project will be sufficient.
The quality control function is the process used to measure the specific items that must be monitored to determine that the project will meet the stakeholders' expectations.
The philosophy of modern quality management is that mistakes should be prevented rather than detected. It is much better to create an environment that prevents mistakes from happening rather than to spend much time and effort trying to detect problems that may have already occurred. ''You can't inspect quality into a product'' is the phrase used to state this idea.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.