This blog post will look at how quality planning, deployment, and documentation can help you manage products/projects better.
What is a Quality Plan?
A quality plan is an organized set of plans, policies, procedures, standards, and practices to achieve consistent, high-quality products and services for customers. It includes all aspects of product development, production, distribution, service delivery, and customer support. The quality plan provides a framework for managing quality within an organization. Senior management should develop a quality plan with input from the entire organization.
The quality plan must include:
- A definition of what constitutes high-quality products or services.
- An explanation of how quality will be measured (acceptance criteria).
- A description of how quality will be improved through continuous improvement initiatives.
- A description and justification of the organizational structure and processes used to manage quality.
- A summary of the key stakeholders involved in the quality process.
- A description of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder group.
- A description of the tools and techniques used to measure and improve quality.
- A process to manage changes
- A description of how the quality plan will be communicated to employees.
- A statement indicating the commitment of the organization to achieving high quality.
In summary, the Quality Plan is a roadmap to achieve quality.
The purpose of a Quality Plan
- Defines quality expectations
- Focus on meeting customer expectations
- Establishes a mechanism to check compliance with the requirements. (inspection, tests and audits)
- Provides confidence to customers
- Sometimes customers ask to provide a copy of the Quality Plan for complex products or projects.
Contents of a Quality Plan
ISO 10005:2018(en) "Quality management — Guidelines for quality plans" provides specific elements of a quality plan. Here are the sections of a quality plan proposed by ISO 10005.
6.2 Scope of the quality plan
6.3 Quality plan inputs
6.4 Quality objectives
6.5 Quality plan responsibilities
6.6 Control of documented information
6.8 Customers and other interested parties communication
6.9 Design and development
6.10 Externally provided processes, products and services
6.11 Production and service provision
6.12 Identification and traceability
6.13 Property belonging to customers or external providers
6.14 Preservation of outputs
6.15 Control of nonconforming outputs
6.16 Monitoring and measurement