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Quality Management Overview

Rework and defects are a direct outcome of lack of attention to quality. The higher the rework, more time and money being wasted and busting the cost and schedule baseline. Lack of attention to quality needlessly add considerable risk to the project which results in the tremendous amount of rework and added expense. It is important to know at the onset of the project on what acceptable quality is and how it will be measured on the project. This process of performing the Quality Management process helps avoid many issues at a later stage of the project.


The degree to which the project fulfills the requirements is defined as Quality. A project cannot achieve quality if all of the stated and unstated requirements are defined in the project scope statement.


"The process of creating and following policies and procedures to ensure that a project meets the defined needs it was intended to meet from the customers perspective is termed as Quality Management.”


A few important quality theorists include:

Philip Crosby: Phil Crosby propagated that quality is conformance to requirements. The concepts of cost of poor quality, prevention over inspection and zero defects were also popularized by him.

Joseph Juran: Joseph Juran defined quality as fitness for use and advocated the involvement of top management to address quality issues. The 80/20 principle developed by Vilfredo Pareto was propagated by Joseph Juran.

W. Edwards Deming: The 14 points to quality management and Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle were propagated by Dr. W. Edwards Deming.


  • Improvement recommendations to the standards, policies, and procedures should be made by the project managers. It is observed that they are always welcomed by the management

  • Changes to any of the project constraints should also lead to a Quality check by the project manager and his team

  • An activity or a work package should be checked for quality as it gets completed

  • Improving quality is one of the critical professional responsibilities of the project manager

  • The metrics to measure quality should be determined by the project manager before the project work begins

  • A plan to continually improve processes should be put in place by the project manager

  • Authorized approaches and processes to be followed by the project manager

  • A few of the quality activities can be done by a quality assurance or quality control department


Quality must be planned in and not inspected. This is a frequent concept on the examination.


The point where the benefits (revenue) that are to be received from improving quality equals the incremental cost to achieve that quality is termed as Marginal Analysis.


In the PMP exam, Continuous Improvement and Kaizen means the same. Continuously looking for small improvements in the process is termed as Continuous Improvement. Kaizen is a Japanese word where Kai means Change and Zen means for the better.


The concept of JIT involves having the suppliers deliver raw materials just when they are needed, thus reducing inventory to close to zero. JIT has supplemented reduction in high inventory costs which is unnecessary.


This philosophy encourages companies and their employees to focus on finding ways to continuously improve the quality of their products and their business practices at every level of the organization.


The ultimate responsibility of the product or project quality lies with the project manager. However, the entire organization has responsibility relating to quality.

IMPACT OF POOR QUALITY Poor quality leads to:

  • Increased costs

  • Low morale

  • Low customer satisfaction

  • Increased risk

  • Rework

  • Schedule delays


Plan Quality focuses on:

  • Defining quality for the project

  • Identifying how quality will be achieved

Perform Quality Assurance focuses on:

  • Work being done on the project

  • Ensures that the team follows the processes as planned to produce projects deliverables

Perform Quality Control focuses on:

  • Examination of actual deliverables of the project

  • Ensure deliverables are correct and they meet the planned level of quality


The Plan Quality process requires inputs from:

  • Organizational process assets

  • Enterprise environmental factors

  • Stakeholder register

  • Scope baseline (scope statement, WBS, WBS dictionary)

  • Schedule baseline

  • Cost baseline

  • Risk register

The objective of Plan Quality process is the identification of relevant organization/industry practices, standards, requirements for quality of the project, product of the project, and project management efforts. The output (result) of Plan Quality process is a Quality Management Plan. Project Standards As a part of Plan Quality process, the project manager need to look for any standards that can help the project to avoid Reinventing the Wheel, that can help in higher quality levels.

Some available standards include:

ISO 9000: Created by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to help ensure organizations have quality procedures and that they follow them.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): OSHA set standards for safety of workers in a plant.

Contracts for International Sale of Goods (CISG): The CISG standard governs international sales transactions. The project manager should also ensure that the project must comply with Organizational process assets and Enterprise Environmental Factors.

The project manager must also plan the project so that it meets customers quality standards. The project manager must then define any additional project specific standards and procedures that are needed. It should be noted that when the project manager defines additional standards and procedures, he should take appropriate care that these new practices do not violate other relevant standards. The project manager then needs to determine what work is required to meet those standards created for the project. Determination of specific measurements that will be made each week, each month, or for each deliverable should be made to ensure compliance with all standards. It is important to note that the level of quality efforts should be appropriate to the needs of the project. Quality must be balanced with other project constraints.

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