Importance Of Managing Quality On A Project – 5 Key Points

Paul Naybour

Hi Paul – not really sure about this one!  

If project or programmes are to deliver change effectively, Quality Management principles must be applied.   The Quality Management Plan will define requirements, success criteria and roles and responsibilities.  The plan will also define how testing will be completed though the Concept and Definition stage of the lifecycle to ensure that the product will meet the requirements and success criteria on delivery.

It is important that we manage quality because:

1.  The cost of quality

Whether it is technical excellence of customer satisfaction there must be some costs in achieving high standards (in terms of time, effort and money).  Money invested in quality up front will produce a reduction in costs later on .. as quoted by Crosby in the late 1970’s.  A good Quality Management Plan will define requirements and track that the project is delivering too the requirements through the lifecycle (Concept and Definition mainly) to ensure that the product delivered is fit for purpose.  Continuous Improvement will look for learnings through the lifecycle of the project.

2.  Stakeholder confidence

Regular quality gates (testing/pilot/reviews) detailed in the Quality Management Plan will give stakeholders confidence that they will get the product they have asked for.  Stakeholders will be kept informed of testing completed, problems identified and corrective actions taken.

3.  Continuous Improvement

This will improve efficiency and effectiveness during the lifecycle of the project and  taking learning and successes from project to project, which will reduce costs and time on future projects.  A journal should be kept detailing successes/learnings and this must be shared to ensure learning is passed on to others and future projects.  Lessons learnt not passed on does not support continuous improvement.

4.  Testing/piloting

Essential part of any delivery as the Quality Control part of the Quality Management Plan will provide an early view on whether a product/process meets the required specification.  Picking up failings early will reduce risk, costs and wasted time.   Quality Control will also pick up any deviations from plan/agreed specification detailed within the Quality Planning section.

5.  Re-work reduction

Which reduces project costs!  The Quality Management Plan uses Quality Planning, Quality Control and Continuous Improvement to take learnings from previous successes/failures to future projects and will reduce re-work.

The Quality Management Plan collects any learnings or successes during the delivery of the project to take forward to future projects to allow continuous improvement on how we manage projects, therefore reducing the costs of projects as we take learnings forward.

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