Project Quality Management processes includes the processes and activities of the performing organization that determine quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken. It implements the quality management system through policy and procedures with continuous process improvement activities conducted throughout, as appropriate.
Table 8-1 provides an overview of the Project Quality Management processes which include the following:
8.1 Plan Quality- -The process of identifying quality requirements and/or standards for the project and product, and documenting how the project will demonstrate compliance.
8.2 Perform Quality Assurance—The process of auditing the quality requirements and the results from quality control measurements to ensure appropriate quality standards and operational definitions are used.
8.3 Perform Quality Control—The process of monitoring and recording results of executing the Quality Plan activities to assess performance and recommend necessary changes.
These processes interact with each other and with the processes in the other Knowledge Areas. Each process can involve effort from one or more persons or groups of persons based on the project requirements. Each process occurs at least once in every project and occurs in one or more project phases, if the project is divided into phases. Although the processes are presented here as discrete elements with well-defined interfaces, in practice they may overlap and interact in ways not detailed here. Process interactions are discussed in detail in Chapter 3.
Project Quality Management addresses the management of the project and the product of the project. Project Quality Management applies to all projects, regardless of the nature of their product. Product quality measures and techniques are specific to the type of product produced by the project. For example, quality management of software products uses different approaches and measures than building a nuclear power plant. Project Quality Management approaches apply to both. In either case, failure to meet product or project quality requirements can have serious negative consequences for any or all of the project stakeholders. For example:
• Meeting customer requirements by overworking the project team may result in increased employee attrition, overlooked errors, or rework.
• Meeting project schedule objectives by rushing planned quality inspections may result in errors going undetected.
Quality is "the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill requirements ." Quality and grade are not the same. Grade is a category assigned to products or services having the same functional use but different technical characteristics , While a quality level that fails to meet quality requirements is always a problem; low grade may not be. For example, a software product can be of high quality (no obvious defects, readable manual) and low grade (a limited number of features), or of low quality (many defects, poorly organized user documentation) and high grade (numerous features). The project manager and the project management team are responsible for managing the tradeoffs involved to deliver the required levels of both quality and grade.
Precision and accuracy are not equivalent. Precision means the values of repeated measurements are clustered and have little scatter. Accuracy means that the measured value is very close to the true value. Precise measurements are not necessarily accurate. A very accurate measurement is not necessarily precise. The project management team must determine appropriate levels of accuracy and precision.
The basic approach to quality management described in this section is intended to be compatible with that of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This is compatible with proprietary approaches to quality management such as those recommended by Deming, Juran, Crosby, and others; and non-proprietary approaches such as Total Quality Management (TQM), Six Sigma, failure mode and effect analysis design reviews, voice of the customer, cost of quality, and continuous improvement.
Modern quality management complements project management. For example, both disciplines recognize the importance of:
• Customer satisfaction. Understanding, evaluating, defining, and managing expectations so that customer requirements are met. This requires a combination of conformance to requirements (to ensure the project produces what it was created to produce) and fitness for use (the product or service must satisfy real needs).
• Prevention over inspection. One of the fundamental tenets of modern quality management states that quality is planned, designed, and built in—not inspected in. The cost of preventing mistakes is generally much less than the cost of correcting them when they are found by inspection.
• Continuous improvement. The plan-do-check-act cycle is the basis for quality improvement as defined by Shewhart and modified by Deming. In addition, quality improvement initiatives undertaken by the performing organization, such as TQM and Six Sigma, should improve the quality of the project's management as well as the quality of the project's product. Process improvement models include Malcolm Baldrige, Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3' \ Capability Maturity Model (CMM®\ and Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMIsm).
Cost of quality (COQ) refers to the total cost of all efforts related to quality throughout the product life cycle. Project decisions can impact operational costs of quality as a result of product returns, warranty claims, and recall campaigns. Therefore, due to the temporary nature of a project, the sponsoring organization may choose to invest in product quality improvement, especially defect prevention and appraisal, to reduce the external cost of quality.
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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.