Quality Assurance and Management

Quality assurance and management (QA&M) is an element of systems engineering that addresses all matters related to product and service quality. As a discipline, quality assurance and management has undergone extensive changes in the last 15 years or so, mainly through the introduction of Total Quality Management (TQM). Some of the principles of TQM can be articulated as:

• Strict conformance with specifications

• Continuous improvement

• Attention to customer needs

• Empowerment of people to implement

• Management support of its introduction and use

As TQM has developed, various tools or methods have evolved that support it, including statistical process control (SPC) and quality function deployment (QFD). These and other procedures have served as practical ways to enhance quality.

Military Standard 499B does not address matters of QA&M in detail. Specifically, the comment made in that standard is as follows:

The government and contractor shall insure the comprehensive application of the systems engineering process to integrate quality factors throughout all technical elements and activities of the program and to:

a. capture customer requirements and translate them into detailed design requirements that can be implemented in a consistent manner b. deliver products that meet operational requirements under specified operational conditions

If the system is being developed in a corporate environment that has embraced TQM or some variant thereof, the PM and CSE should bring selected procedures and practices into the systems engineering process as a part of the QA&M element. If there is no corporate quality initiative or structure, the PM and CSE should develop a QA&M program for the project. This is a workable approach, but is clearly inferior to having a corporatewide quality program into which a given project fits.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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.

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