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APM PMQ (BoK7) Quality – Planning, Assurance and Control – Podcast Transcript

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Published: 12th November 2020

Introduction 

Welcome to a Parallel Project Training APM project management qualification podcast based on the APM body of knowledge seventh edition, you should be using this in conjunction with our elearning podcasts, and potentially a tutor led course. For more information, please visit https://www.parallelprojecttraining.com

Paul 

Hello, welcome to another Parallel Project Training podcast – today we’re doing quality with Jan. Hello, Jan

Jan 

Hi there.

Paul 

Very good. Very good. So this is based on the seventh edition of the body of knowledge with PMQ. So the learning – the assessment criteria – in this question/section are: explain what is meant by quality management and differentiate between quality control and quality assurance?

Jan 

Right? That’s a mouthful

Paul 

Explain what is meant by Quality Management, I suspect we have two definitions of what quality is first.

Jan 

Okay, so it’s going for the body of knowledge. It says quality assessment of a product’s fitness of purpose. While the definition appears to be limited to products that the project will produce. It also implies not only to these products is the process and procedures deployed in managing the project iself.

Paul 

So there’s two things,

Jan 

There’s two things Yes, because quality to the product itself, you can see why it conforms to specification. And of course, the specification is set out when we have to do things like scope management and kind of requirements. So does it meet or does it not meet the actual requirements. And of course, that has to be kind of agreed and kind of baseline. And then we talk about change control and all that sort of stuff. But qualities can be very, very subjective as well. So quality to you like a quality car to you may not be To me, that’s what I want to use car for. But also, its terms around people’s experience of the project management and the processes itself is how we manage, it’s like the work we do, we can actually get a lot of people through a course and get the exams passed. But what they’ll actually remember is our interaction with those people our service, if you like, and once you start talking about that it’s our processes, how we actually took the order, how we had to get a production sorted out how we actually manage the classroom into managing any sort of queries or problems, or maybe issues about have had is around experience. So there’s two sides of it, you can actually have something like a fantastic stadium that is built and is fit for purpose. But it’s a project management, everything Oh, my goodness, you know, the experience was so bad. The processes weren’t there. We did lots of changes in the project, we didn’t know what quality was, or all the requirements was he can actually set up for a bad experience. So it’s

Paul 

two sides summary qualities, two things. It’s the delivery of the output. Yes. Fitness for purpose.

Jan 

To specification.

Paul 

Yeah. to auto specification. Yes. And it’s to the quality of the process that got us there.

Jan 

Yes. Good. Yes, it is. And it also, it can be against the processes, because projects don’t just deliver products, they can deliver processes, especially when you start talking about quality in the service sector industry is a process like your experience of a restaurant, for example, you remember the experience, and the food, the food being the product. Okay.

Paul 

Okay. So we need to differentiate between quality control and quality assurance, right? I spoke about talk about quality planning to really hadn’t we aspect.

Jan 

So that’s what we need to do at the very beginning.

So sorry.

So we talked about quality planning at the very beginning is how we actually and it should be should be sorted out as a separate product or separate entity is embedded in what we do. The minute we start to talk about scope of the project, or even the parameters of the project in terms of the time, the cost, the scope, quality, I often put into the middle part of triangle, we deliver it, it’s fit for purpose as…

Paul 

…the quality plan.

Jan 

A quality plan will be the roles responsibilities, often, you know who’s responsible for the quality of the project will actually pretty everybody is, and we actually has interaction with it to how we’re going to actually define quality criteria, what tools and process of going to be using to manage the quality, what sort of resources we’re going to be using, what sort of testing can a specialist test equipment, specialists, people to do the testing, what assurance we’re going to put around that to make sure that we are doing what we think we should be doing. We can carry out audits and interactions to other processes. We talked in other podcasts around change and configuration management to what we often called managed The the baselines of the projects and together with the assets, the configuration version control of the project.

Paul 

So it’s part of the PMP.

Jan 

Yes, certainly is developed by the project manager with the teams. Okay. Okay. So that’s done early in the project lifecycle? Yes, yes, certainly, actually, quality may be kicking off. Sitting around the concept, we started the business case, but certainly will be teased out as we go into definition.

Paul 

So how’s that different from quality assurance, as quality assurance, different from quality planning,

Jan 

the quality assurance might be a higher end it often I call that the umbrella of quality incorporates a planning and control. And it’s making sure the organisation and city qualified experienced people have scripts, that we have processes in place that will manage the process, run the project, like we have a risk management process, change management process, this is how we actually do the requirements, we actually will have testing, certain organisations have testing labs or procedures. There’s certain laws and legislation we have to follow, like your health and safety and other legislation. And we have to make sure that these procedures are being followed through an audit certifies assurance provides confidence to stakeholders that we can time after time, deliver a quality product to the customer, we have the infrastructure, if you like or the structure to do it.

Paul 

So I like the idea of the assurance being an umbrella. Yes. So the bit how’s that different from quality control for control is you control the quality that we deliver?

Jan 

The quality is around inspection, testing, measuring, okay, whatever that from the requirements, you actually define the quality criteria of each of the products have the output and does it or does not meet specification. Okay, so we may have tolerances

Paul 

so each product gets right quality assessed in some way.

Jan 

Is that measuring something that that item needs to be four centimetres, is it four centimetres, yes or no plus or minus and plus or minus tolerances?

Paul 

Good. And as different techniques, you can use walkthroughs? Or

Jan 

Yes, we offer his walkthroughs within parallel project training, when we actually walk in through both sayings, especially mission testing very much in engineering environments or software environments. You can use process control charts, there’s 101 different quality control techniques. But when we’re doing resource management for the project, there’s but he ran the policy planning is what resources do we need? What facilities Do we need to actually carry out the testing?

Paul 

Good, as short and sweet. So to summarise quality is the delivery the fitness for purpose for the project? Yes, performance, the specification and who decides that? Yeah, it’s it’s about the control of the products. Yes, making sure those products meet the specification. Of course

Jan 

specification is control for configuration management, and then change control.

Paul 

It’s about that overarching quality assurance umbrella. Yes. And it’s about project quality plan as part of project management. Yes,

Jan 

what we need to do for this project specifically to do quality management, and of course, within the quality plan, we may be drawing down certain key process procedures from the quality management, the quality assurance bit, okay, you know, if you’re going to do a testing, this is how we do testing. This is how we, you know, do risk risk management within this organisation. Excellent, good fracture. Okay, thanks very much.

We hope you enjoyed this podcast and found it informative. To find out about our training courses elearning or tutor led course please go to https://www.parallelprojecttraining.com/courses/

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