PMP Alert: Defining Quality for Projects

by Joseph_Phillips on November 29, 2012

Quality is an esoteric topic that is often difficult to define. In project management, however, quality is the satisfaction of the project scope – nothing more and nothing less. This satisfaction of the project scope, however, is contingent not only on the conformance to project requirements, but also delivering a product or service that is fit for use. It is possible for a project team to satisfy all of the project requirements, but still delivery a product that is not fit for use and miss the quality objectives.

The quality management plan aims to define, in exact terms, what quality the project must create and how the project team will satisfy the needed quality. The quality management plan is dependent on the scope management plan as it defines the expectations and requirements of the project customers and stakeholders. The quality management plan is also contingent on the costs of the project and the schedule of the project as these three factors, the scope, time, and cost, directly affect the project manager’s ability to deliver quality.

Quality assurance is the project manager, subject matter experts, and the project team auditing the quality requirements of the project and the quality control results to confirm that quality does exist in the project. Quality assurance is actually, however, a prevention-driven process that works with quality planning. Quality assurance stresses that quality is planned into a project, not inspected into a project.

Quality control requires that the project manager, the project team, and often subject matter experts inspect the result of the project work to ensure that quality is evident in the results of the project work. Quality control relies on inspection methods, quality control charts, and analysis to find defects and then make corrective actions when needed. Quality control precedes another inspection-driven process, scope verification.

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