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Assuring Project Quality

April 16, 2010

The Four Absolutes of Quality Management:

  • Quality has to be defined as conformance to requirements, not as goodness.
  • The system for causing quality is prevention, not appraisal.
  • The performance standard must be zero defects, not “that’s close enough.”
  • The measurement of quality is the process of nonconformance, not indexes.

Philip Crosby Quality Without Tears: The Art of Hassle-Free Management, 1984

We have had an overview of project quality management.  We have reviewed planning project quality.  Today we will discuss assuring project quality.  While planning project quality involves defining quality and determining how it will be achieved, assuring project quality is concerned with whether the planned processes are being followed.

PMBOK*(2008) defines the following inputs to project quality assurance:

  • Project management plan
  • Quality metrics
  • Work performance information
  • Quality control measures

PMBOK*(2008) lists the following tools and techniques used to assure project quality:

  • Plan quality and perform quality control tools and techniques
  • Quality audits
  • Process analysis

According to PMBOK*(2008), the outputs of quality assurance are the following:

  • Organization process assets updates
  • Change requests
  • Project management plan updates
  • Project document updates

Quality assurance involves the processes required to make sure quality is achieved.  Quality assurance processes should be subject to constant review and improvement.  These processes should be reusable for other projects.  As such they would be considered Organizational Process Assets or OPA.

What quality assurance processes are used in your projects and organization?  Does your organization reuse these processes?  Are these processes regularly reviewed and updated?

Resources:

Planning Project Quality

Project Management Institute (2008). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc.

Quality Control vs. Quality Assurance

Quality on Purpose

What is Quality Assurance?

* “PMI”, “PMBOK”, “CAPM” and “PMP” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2010 7:03 am

    I think an important point to remember on quality is this: quality vs. features. If you promised your client quality and you can and will deliver – on time and on budget – then you’ve done your job. You should not be pressured into adding features – even if they’re spectacular and will really improve the project – if it comprises ALL your project constraints!

    • April 19, 2010 12:14 pm

      Laura, Thanks for making that point. Sometimes we think that adding more “bells and whistles” will improve customer satisfaction and improve quality. Quality is quite simple – give the customer what they asked for and create a product, service or output that is fit for use. I read a paper the other day about “feature fatigue”. Customers are actually tired of all of the features on new products. I have attached a link to the paper. Food for thought.

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