There are some interesting turns in the road that you encounter when considering the quality of your deliverables. One element that can introduce compromises in quality has to do with geographically dispersed team members. Drequently, developers will work from home (telecommute) and send their files to you when they re done working on code. This methodology, while workable, increases the need to heighten your communications skills with such individuals so that you can control deliverable quality. Also, it' s hard to provide adequate performance feedback to people who are far away from the center of the action.

We talked about the effect that disgruntled employees can have on project quality. I mentioned what happens with an employee who was at one time a good worker but whose performance has now slipped. We discussed schedule slippages and ways to make up for lost time (typically, by appropriately "overdriving" the team). We also discussed the perils of overdriving.

Team performance can suffer for a wide variety of reasons. The PM is the cheerleader for the project; he cannot let his emotional guard down, even in down times.

Next, we talked about managing the output of the project. What if you, for example, have a team that' s doing so well that they' re well ahead of schedule? Should you complete the project well ahead of time or concentrate more on the quality of the project? We talked about the ideas of centralization, especially in the creation of code—that it is better to have all resources in one location. We also talked about standardization of project elements so that your output doesn' t vary from one task to another.

We also discussed the importance of testing on quality. We talked about module, unit, system, and user acceptance testing (UAT) and the importance of making sure that your testing efforts are complete in order to assure quality deliverables.

Finally, we talked about turnover quality, the idea of providing good quality documentation of the system for the end-user, user training, help- desk technician training, and training for other support structures.

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