The Big Three Steps to Manage Project Quality

Quality is the degree to which the project fulfills requirements. Quality planning determines quality policies and procedures relevant to the project for both project deliverables and project processes, defines who is responsible for what, and documents compliance.

“Here's the TenStep guest blog post "The Big Three Steps to Manage Project Quality":

Being a Project Manager is a tough job! You not only have to produce the deliverables on time and within budget, but you also need to ensure that they meet the quality expectations of your customer. To do this, you need to define and execute a quality management process.

By implementing a quality process within your project, you will not only be able to control the level of quality of your deliverables, but you can also provide your customer with assurance that the project will result in a solution which meets their expectations.

Formal quality management is hard to implement. It takes time and a lot of work. Fortunately there are not a lot of elements to a quality management process. In fact, there are three.

Step 1. Create a Quality Plan

Before you begin to manage quality on your project, you should first create a Quality Plan. The Quality Plan describes how you will understand quality requirements and expectations, quality tools, quality roles, how to measure quality, how to validate process acceptance, and more.

In particulate, the Quality Plan describes the overall quality control and quality assurance steps you will implement to ensure quality.

Steps 2: Control the quality of your deliverables (quality control)

Quality control (QC) activities are those that focus on the overall quality of the deliverables being produced. Quality control is usually the responsibility of the project manager and the specific person responsible for a deliverable. Examples of quality control activities include:

  • Deliverable reviews (also called peer reviews)
  • Product checklists
  • Testing

Quality control is also called "inspection". The deliverable must exist in some form to validate its quality level through inspection.

Steps 3: Assure the quality level of your deliverables (quality assurance)

Quality assurance (QA) refers to validating the processes used to create deliverables. It is especially helpful for managers and sponsors. Managers may not have the time or expertise required to validate whether deliverables are complete, correct and of high quality. However, they can discuss the processes used to create the deliverables to determine if the processes seem sound and reasonable.

Overall, project quality is obtained through quality planning, having good work processes (QA), and checking the results to be sure (QC).

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