Quality Management: Is Your Project Up to Par?
Quality management is an all-important consideration that is often overlooked because of other issues. So in this article, we’ll take a look at how you can define “quality” and how you can ensure that the project meets expectations. It is also important to meet the implied needs of the sponsor, management, or client from the project. Understanding the reasons why the project is being undertaken in the first place is critical.
Take the example of a construction project. The builder creates the foundation, does the framing, and lays the bricks. At first glance, everything looks good. On closer inspection though, it becomes apparent that something is amiss. The painting is uneven and the tiles in the bathroom are not laid out properly. The builder certainly followed the specifications laid out in the plan. But it wasn’t of the “quality” you were expecting.
Using this example, it becomes clear that the builder failed to meet your expectations. The same concept is true in project management, whether in construction, IT, or any other field. So quality management is about ensuring that the project being undertaken follows the best practices in the industry and is tested to identify discrepancies.
Quality isn’t an Accident
Quality should be planned for at the start. It doesn’t happen just by accident. While it looks easy enough to do, it requires an in-depth understanding of the needs of the stakeholder, the limitation of the system, and how much can be accomplished given time and money constraints.
It is important to discuss everything from the speed, data consistency, and specific project metrics. The initial design documents or draft papers must be presented to all stakeholders before proceeding with the project at full-speed. In addition, “quality” can also differ depending on the organization you’re in. Some organizations subscribe to programs like Kaizen Technologies, Six Sigma, and ISO.
Quality Requires Money
Any project manager will testify to this. There is something called the “cost of quality” which is the expense of ensuring that the project will meet expectations. Hiring experienced people can be expensive. If the budget is too small, it would not be worth their while to participate. Aside from hiring the best people, other expenses may include complying with safety issues, paying for subscription, adherence of regulations, and miscellaneous fees.
If the project manager cut corners, organizations end up paying for the cost of non-conformance sooner or later. This can entail buying additional materials to replace certain parts of the project, redoing the work from the beginning, or even giving customer refunds. There is a host of possible negative effects when quality expectations aren’t met.
Given all these, it is critical for your organization to start investing in quality assurance as soon as possible. The project manager should be trained in all aspects of project management, from planning to quality assurance. It will help the organization derive greater value from each project over the long term. Quality will pay for itself over time.