Project Management

[ Project Management Topics ]

Quality Management

Go with prevention rather than cure.

Costs of Prevention Costs of Defects
Additional planning Scrap
Education/training of team and stakeholders Rework
Inspection and testing of internal/external deliverables of project Repair
Improved designs for quality purposes Replacement of defective parts and inventory
Quality staff Repairs after delivery of product
Quality audits Loss of future business with stakeholder or with those relating to stakeholder
Quality plan and execution Legal issues for conconformance
  Liability for defect
  Risk to life and property

Quality management incorporates not just the product(s) of the project, but also the management of the project itself. Quality management consists of three key areas: quality planning, quality assurance, and quality control.

Quality Framework

Garvin proposes eight critical dimensions or categories of quality that can serve as a framework for strategic analysis: Performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, and perceived quality.

Dimensions of Quality

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Quality Planning

In quality planning you identify those quality standards that are most important and decide how to satisfy them. In relation to products this has to do with conformance to the requirements and fitness for use. Quality is planned in, not inspected in.

Quality Assurance

With quality assurance you continually evaluate project performance in relation to quality and ensure it is meeting established quality standards. You will want to consider lessons learned from previous or similar projects when discussing methods for ensuring quality on the current project. You may also want to address quality improvement possibilities as well.

Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM) has its foundatinons in the principles of Edward Deming and his work with Japanese industries.

Read Me: More About W Edward Deming

Quality control

With quality control you monitor project or phase results to determine if they are in compliance with the established quality standards. If something is not satisfactory you find the cause and determine an appropriate course of action to remedy the problem. This is commonly done by inspections, reviews, audits, and walkthroughs.

Modelling and Decision Support Tools

Balanced Scorecard

Four important perspectives:

  1. How do customers see us? - Customer perspective
  2. What must we excel at? - Internal perspective
  3. Can we continue to improve and create value? - Innovation & learning perspective
  4. How do we look to shareholders? - Financial perspective

Cause and Effect Diagram or Fishbone Diagram

This was developed bu Kaoru Iskikawa (and so is sometimes also called the Ishikawa diagram) in 1943. This is a method for diagramming the flow of work in a way useful for determing the cause and effects of problems encountered.

The major categories typically utilized include:

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Pareto Chart or Pareto Diagram

Pareto diagrams are named after Vilfredo Pareto. They are a useful tool for determining areas to concentrate on is a Pareto diagram. This is related to Pareto's law (also known as the 80/20 rule), which states, "A minority of input produces the majority of results." What this means for quality control is that commonly a small number of causes produce a majority of the problems. Pareto believed there was a predictable imbalance - about 80% of the wealth in most countries was controlled by about 20% of the people. This 80/20 principle or standard has been expanded into other areas of management but in this case could imply that 80% of our quality problems are caused by 20% of all possible causes.

This law led to the creation of a Pareto diagram. A Pareto diagram is a histogram ordered by frequency of occurrence. Here is a sample Pareto diagram:

Pareto Chart

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Learn more about Modelling and Decision Support Tools

----- REFERENCES -----

Newell, M. W. (2002). Preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Exam. New York, NY: American Management Association.

Project Management Institute (2000). A Guide to the Project Managment Body of Knowledge. Newton Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc.