One of the most common causes for project management failure is poor quality management. This includes the initial misconception that the project manager and the project team define quality. Quality is defined by the project sponsor and by the client. What you, as a project manager, consider to be a flawlessly executed project may not be a success if it doesn’t meet the client’s needs. And what you consider a bumpy project may be acceptable to the client.
Misinterpreting what the client wants can result in rework time, higher maintenance and support costs, missed deadlines and budget, and poor morale. To keep this from happening, you must develop a quality plan at the beginning of the project and check it frequently throughout the duration of the project. Tom Mochal has provided an example of a quality management plan that you can download here.
What it contains
The quality management plan contains three sections. The first section, “Completeness and Correction Criteria,” should be completed by the client. This gives the project team and the client a common expectation upfront of what is required for each deliverable to be accepted.
The second section, “Quality Assurance,” refers to the process used to create the deliverables. It’s used to guarantee that the activities designed to ensure the overall processes used to create the deliverable are of high quality. This part of the quality plan is broken down into two subsections—procedures and control roles and responsibilities (for the project manager, team members, and project sponsor).
As Tom Mochal explains, “An independent project reviewer might not be able to tell if the content of a specific deliverable is acceptable or not. However, the reviewer should be able to tell if the deliverable seems acceptable based on the process used to create it.”
The third section, “Quality Control,” is used to record and track the ongoing activities that the project team will perform. This section is also broken down into subsections for procedures and control roles and responsibilities. This is where you would list third-party audits, checklists to ensure all parts of a process were completed, and deliverable approvals.
“Quality control is conducted continually throughout a project and is the responsibility of team members and the project manager,” said Tom Mochal.
The quality management plan download has a two-fold purpose. One is to ensure that work is completed with a minimum amount of errors the first time around. The second is to catch any remaining errors as early as possible. This will help you work more quickly toward a smooth production cycle, implementation, and final approval. Download it now.
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.