When creating products, providing services and achieving results, consistency is the goal of quality management. This white paper gives you a basic overview of the tools and techniques you need for quality planning and quality assurance. Learn which resources help you to evaluate programs, prioritize objectives or discover problem areas. Featured within this white paper are Kaoru Ishikawa’s seven quality tools which include flowcharts, histograms and cause-and-effect diagrams.
Modern quality management and project management are complementary, they both emphasize customer satisfaction. Quality leads to customer satisfaction. The main objective in quality management is making sure that the project meets the needs that it was originally created to meet—nothing more, nothing less. In other words, to ensure quality you must meet the needs of the stakeholder.
Meeting or exceeding requirements, on the other hand, is not part of project quality management. According to the PMBOK® Guide, quality is “the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill requirements.” The project manager and project management team have a special responsibility to balance quality and grade (a category or rank assigned to products or services having the same functional use but different technical characteristics) to ensure that quality expectations are met. This means that it might be possible and reasonable to have a quality, low-grade product, but it is never acceptable to have a low-quality product.
At the beginning of the project, requirements are determined with the stakeholders. These requirements become the foundation for the work of the project. After that, the project manager’s job is to ensure that the agreed work is done, no extras included. Quality is not about giving the customer extras, which are often based on possibly erroneous perceptions of what you believe the customer wants. These extras add time, possibly costs, and other impacts to a project, but do not always result in increased customer satisfaction.
Project quality management consists of three major processes:
- Quality planning: identifying the quality requirements and standards for the project and product.
- Quality assurance: auditing the quality requirements and quality control results to ensure that appropriate quality standards are used.
- Quality control: monitoring and recording the results of quality activities to assess performance and recommend necessary changes.