Quality as Driver

Quality must be built into the deliverable, not stamped on during inspection. That means that the deliverable specifications are defined in terms of quality and subject to classic quality testing and measurement during the development stage of the project. As is evidenced in the following chapters, customer involvement is the best quality assurance mechanism because it combines two critical forces in the determination of quality: the quality tools and metrics deployed in the project are appropriate to the customer's needs for quality as stated by the customer; and the development of the deliverable reflects the customer's changing views of a quality product and/or service as the customer sees it now. This is a difficult lesson for project managers to learn—quality is not a static concept, even though it might be served by a series of static processes and procedures. Quality is the combination of quality processes and customer learning, challenging the project manager to balance the application of quality standards to the appropriate user view of what is important. This requires that the customer be educated by the project team on the appropriate quality testing and standards for the customer's planned application. This suggests the relative nature of quality in the context of the wide variety of quality objectives or features for a given deliverable.

This relativistic view of quality does not diminish the importance of reducing and eliminating waste and keeping the cost of quality under control. Whatever the quality standard, the project must continually strive to improve processes and reduce rework as a basic proposition. But the project manager must exercise discretion in the actual application of quality measures and standards simply because there will be a limit to concepts, say of six sigma, to project deliverables that do not require it.

Effective Planning And Pursuits

Effective Planning And Pursuits

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