Hi Paul – wasn’t sure in the second question at the end of the chapter what the fifth step in a qualtiy management process could be? Thanks,
List and describe five reasons why it is important to manage quality on a project.
Five reasons it is important to manage quality on a project are:
increases chance of project success
Encourages confidence of stakeholders
improves continual improvement
The quality of a project’s output is defined as its fitness for purpose. The higher the products quality the more suited it is in terms of meeting the requirements specified by the users early on in the project. Clearly, managing the quality of the project in terms of both its processes and outputs is key in increasing the chances the project will delver that which it set out to.
Managing the quality of the project also encourages stakeholders confidence in both the project processes being followed and in the ultimate output of the project. This helps maintain a positive attitude on the part of the stakeholders which makes them less likely to put obstacles in the way of the project’s success. As the stakeholders can see that their requirements are being systematically tested as part of a quality management process they can have confidence the end result will deliver what they need.
Managing quality or a project also helps to reduce the cost of a project in that mistakes and poor quality mean things have to be done again so carefully managed quality reduces the need to rework things, thereby meaning no costs for reworking items are incurred. Managing quality from the outsets, in terms of making sure the specification is clearly defined is key here.
Managing quality also helps to manage and reduce risks. Where quality is not closely managed the risk of a faulty or incorrect output is increased. In a safety-critical project poorly managed quality can have serious consequences and must therefore be pro actively managed at all times.
Managing quality also helps to inform the continual improvement of the project itself and also of future projects carried out by the same organisation. By proactively managing quality throughout the project, lessons can be learned and implemented at all times, meaning the current project can be improved but also that future projects can learn from quality management lessons in this project. Processes can be improved on future projects as a result of the lessons learned as part of quality control processes.
List and describe five components of a quality management process.
Five components of a quality management process are:
??? – not sure what the fifth could be here?
Quality planning is the process by which the project manager defines, as part of the project management plan, how they will manage quality in the project. This plan defines the roles and responsibilities people on the project will have in relation to quality. It will also define the processes by which the product specification will be written and how they will subsequently be tested once the product has been produced. The plan will also define the further quality management steps such as how quality assurance, quality control and continual improvement will be checked and implemented. It is also important that the plan also takes into account any factors external to the project, such as relevant legislation or ISO 9000.
Quality assurance is the process by which the quality of the project processes themselves are checked and assessed. It is important for stakeholders to know that the processes set out in the project management plan are being followed and assurance provides this reassurance. Assurance can involve training staff so they are aware of and follow the processes, external audit of the project, the implementation of lessons learned and also checking that any suppliers used are suitably accredited. Assurance checks the right processes are being followed and thereby instils confidence in the project, and ultimately the product being produced.
Quality control is the process whereby the outputs or products of the project are checked against the specification to make sure they are fit for purpose. The way these checks will be carried out will have been defined in the quality planning stage. There are several methods of quality control which can be used such as a visual inspection (the specification was for a blue door – this is a blue door), measurement (the door was to be 2m high – it is 2m high), sampling (where 3 out of 100 items are checked and, if ok, the product is accepted). Quality can also be assessed over time within given tolerances using a process control chart. Clearly the testing method will depend on the specification and output and should be determined at the planning stage. These processes help show stakeholders that the product meets the requirements they set, thereby increasing confidence in the end products.
Continual improvement is the process whereby a project, as a result of the continuous quality checks it carries out, revisits and improves its processes to improve the end product. This requires the effective implementation of a feedback loop early on and ensures lessons learned are fed back to improve future performance. By doing this the project’s ability to produce to specification will improve over the life cycle of the project, increasing the chances of success of a project.