Project Quality Management is the process for ensuring that all project activities, that is, design, plan and project implementation are effective and efficient with respect to the objective of the Project. Project Quality Management is not a separate, independent process that occurs at the end of the project, however, it is a continuous process that starts and ends with the project. It is part of every project management processes right from the initiating of the project to the closing phase. It “includes all activities of the overall management functions that determine that the quality policy, objectives and responsibilities, and implements them by means such as quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement within the system”.
The three major quality management processes are:
Quality Planning: This is the process of identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and how best to satisfy those standards. It also involves designing quality into the products and services of the project as well as the processes involved in managing the project. It basically means identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy them. In planning the quality one has to bear in mind:
- The requirement of the customer
- Avoid mistakes rather than inspecting the results and repairing defects
- Cost involved in ensuring quality must be approved by management
Quality Assurance: It is the systematic process of checking to see whether a product or service being developed is meeting the specified requirements. It involves evaluating the overall project performance on regular basis to provide confidence that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards. It assures the existence and effectiveness of the process and procedure tools and measures put in place to ensure that the expected level of qualities are reached. Some common Quality Assurance techniques are:
- Benchmarking: This is the process of generating ideas for quality improvements by comparing specific project practices or product characteristics to those of the other projects or products within or outside of the performing organization
- Quality Audit: This is a structured review of the specific quality management activities that helps identify lessons learnt, which could improve performance on current or future project.
- Process Analysis: Is the systematic breakdown of phases of a process used to convey the inputs, outputs and operations that take place during each phase of the project.
Quality Control: This is the use of techniques and activities that compare actual quality performance with goals and define appropriate actions in response to a shortfall. Quality Control is done at the end of a process or activity to verify that quality standards have been met. It provides means to identify problems and suggest ways to improve them. Some examples of Quality Control tools are:
- Pareto Charts
- Control Charts
Quality Control Management helps in improving shareholders’ satisfaction through continuous and incremental improvement to processes, including removing unnecessary activities. This is achieved by continuous improvement of the quality of materials and services provided to the beneficiaries.
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