Quality management is a vital part of every project. It ensures that projects are delivered on time, within budget, and with the highest possible level of customer satisfaction. Your definition of quality should be simple and easy to understand. You could say that quality means conforming to requirements and being fit for use. Or you might want to say that quality means meeting customer needs and expectations. Whatever you choose, make sure everyone understands it.
Quality management can be broken down into three key areas: planning, assurance, and control. These three components are interrelated; they cannot be separated from one another. Each component has its own set of tools and techniques for measuring success. The following sections will discuss each of these aspects of quality management.
1. Quality Planning
The first step in managing a successful project is to plan well. A good plan helps ensure that the project meets all of the requirements of the customer and the organization.
Quality planning involves defining the project's scope, identifying the project's objectives, determining the project constraints, identifying the project risks, and establishing the project's quality metrics.
Focus on gathering all of the necessary information at the beginning of any project so that you'll be able to find how the quality will be measured and how it can be used to avoid defects.
Tools used in Quality Planning:
- Cost-benefit analysis
- Cost of quality
- Seven basic quality tools
- Cause and effect diagrams
- Pareto diagrams
- Control Charts
- Scatter diagrams
- Design of experiments
- Additional quality planning tools
2. Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance (QA) ensures that the quality plan and control systems function correctly. Quality assurance is an ongoing process that measures whether the project is being implemented as planned. In other words, quality assurance ensures that the project is being done right.
Quality assurance also includes continual process improvement.
Tools used in Quality Assurance:
- Quality management and control tools
- Affinity Diagrams
- Process decision program charts (PDPC)
- Interrelationship digraphs
- Tree diagrams
- Prioritization matrices
- Activity network diagrams
- Matrix diagrams
- Quality audits
- Process analysis
3. Quality Control
The processes in quality control monitor and control project quality activities. This includes monitoring and controlling the quality of work performed by people involved in the project.
These are the activities that ensures that the output meets the requirements.
Tools used in Quality Control:
Planning, Assurance, and Quality Control are the three main parts of project quality management. They must be considered together when developing a quality system.