Project quality matters the most in any kind of project. To ensure that you offer the best end results to stakeholders and clients, a project manager needs to ensure high quality. Thus, project quality management is a significant component of the project. However, the question that arises here is How to ensure project quality? That’s where the project quality management plan comes in!
A project quality management plan lists down detailed project requirements, project deliverables, quality metrics, and techniques to assure and improve quality. The quality metrics and indicators such as Key Performance Indicators KPIs help determine if the outputs meet the goals and objectives. A quality management plan acts as a guide for the project team to follow established processes to meet quality standards.
As project quality management plan is an integral and crucial part of the project lifecycle, you need to develop an effective quality management plan. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the plan writing process:
1. Ensure a Shared Understanding of Quality Objectives
Before you start designing your quality management plan, it is important to make sure that your project team has a shared understanding of what you mean by quality and its objectives. To do this, you need to conduct team meetings. You can also choose to include project stakeholders to get to know their definition of quality, requirements, and expectations.
Involve Project Team Members
When you hold a meeting, make sure that each project team member attends it. Bringing your team on the same page is critical to their performance in the project. Also, it creates room for better understanding, communication, and discussion between the members themselves.
Every individual directly or indirectly involved in the project should be involved in the quality management plan and action.
Establish Goals and Quality Objectives
Establishing goals and objectives that meet the standards of quality is an important thing to. It offers a head start and ensures that you are moving in the right direction. Goals and quality objectives act as the foundation of a quality management plan. Once you list them down, you are good to determine processes and methodology to acquire them.
2. Collect and Analyze Input Data
Now that you have goals and objectives right at your hand, it is time to collect and analyze the data. For that purpose, you will need some data and documentation that has already been prepared regarding the project. This includes:
Project scope and project charter are two crucial documents. Every project manager creates them right at the beginning of the project. These documents include a detailed mention of the project timeline, deliverables, resources, and other such significant aspects.
Stakeholders requirements should be a separate document. You can either identify stakeholder requirements from the project and product requirements or directly request stakeholders to put forward specific requirements.
Every project comes with a risk register. It mentions all the risks and constraints that might come in the way. Looking into the risk register lets you know what you need to avoid and come over to ensure quality.
The project schedule is the timeline of the project. It allows you to know the timeframes for which you need to design and implement quality procedures.
Now that you have gathered the input data and collected the required information, it is time to analyze the data. For that, you need to implement some data analysis techniques such as cost-benefit analysis. It helps you determine the cost of each process against benefits and expected quality.
3. Determine Project Quality Deliverables
The next step is to determine project quality deliverables. Not all the project deliverables need to adhere to the quality standards. Therefore, you need to pick and choose the deliverables that must meet quality standards.
Processes that Need to Come Under Quality Control
The first thing you need to do is identify the processes that should come under quality control. It can include the processes for the development and deliverance of the product.
Products, Services and Other Outputs
Some other deliverables include the chunks of product and/or service as well as resources that need quality management. It also includes resource identification and estimation that can grant quality output.
4. Assign Roles and Responsibilities
As a project manager, you can lead to quality management but cannot look into the bits and pieces. Therefore, you need to have separate quality control and management team. While choosing team members, make sure you keep the level of expertise in mind.
Assign roles and responsibilities accordingly. It lets the team members know who will overlook quality assurance, who will manage quality control, and who will monitor quality improvement processes.
How many members you should hire in quality control and management team depends on your project and organization’s magnitude and scope.
5. Set Quality Metrics for Quality Control
Now, there needs to be certain metrics and indicators in place to offer quality control. Quality control basically means monitoring specific products to evaluate if they adhere to performance measurement thresholds as defined in the quality management plan.
Without any performance indicators and measurement procedures, you cannot find out if your deliverable holds well to quality standards.
Choose Product Attributes
A significant question that arises here is how to select quality metrics? Well, you need to choose some specific product attributes and pick quality metrics accordingly.
Identify Quality Metrics
Quality metrics vary from project to project. However, some common quality metrics include affinity diagrams, data collection, network diagrams, etc. Include them if they go well with your product attributes and end results.
Use Quality Management Resources
Quality management resources include quality metrics as well as other quality assurance tools and processes that help write a quality management plan. These resources make sure that you complete your quality management activities in the best possible manner.
Develop Quality Control Plan
Having a quality control plan helps you fulfill your quality control needs. The plan should include monitoring processes for project execution and control. Also, it should come with enough room to incorporate lessons learned.
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6. Ensure Quality Assurance
Quality control is alone not enough. There needs to be a quality assurance to find out if quality meets set standards. Quality assurance is a regular process that takes place at different stages during a project. It ensures that the project deliverables will satisfy stakeholder’s requirements and quality expectations.
Design Quality Assurance Checklist
Now that you have identified and set quality metrics, it is time to design a quality assurance checklist. The checklist makes sure that you acquire quality assurance objectives, and your deliverable meets the standards.
Other than a checklist, the project team can use quality assurance templates to set a sound evaluation process for deliverables.
7. Identify Risks and Constraints
As you develop a quality control plan and quality assurance checklist, you will come up with several risks and constraints that come in the way. The best thing about writing a project quality management plan is that it helps you find challenges lying ahead.
Early identification can help you tackle the challenges beforehand. In this part, you should develop processes for the prevention and correction of the defects.
8. Design Quality Improvement Plan
Last but not least, the quality improvement plan is a significant part of the project quality management plan. There has to be an improvement plan in place to make sure that what you deliver to the stakeholders and clients is a quality product.
A quality improvement plan covers all the loopholes and constraints that could not be managed through quality control and assurance. It acts as a final checklist to increase the effectiveness of the deliverables. The quality improvement plan helps identify all the corrective actions such as change requests and make improvements accordingly. It is a plan to get rid of all the constraints effectively and efficiently.
Writing an effective and comprehensive project quality management plan ensures that your testing, validating, controlling, and improvement procedures are in line with your project quality objectives. To ensure quality deliverables, the project manager should make a quality management plan accessible to all the team members.
A number of software and platforms such as SharePoint can be used to share the data, record performance, and quality management activities outputs. This helps in making changes to your plan flexibly if needed!