Project quality management involves all the activities involved to determine quality policies, objectives, and procedures in an organization. Project Quality Management uses policies and procedures to implement the organization’s quality management system, and it supports continuous process improvement activities.
Quality and Grade are two different concepts:
While having low quality is always a problem, having a low grade may not be a problem.
You can have acceptable software that is low-grade (limited features) that is high quality (no defects). On the flip side, you can also have unacceptable software that is high-grade (numerous features) that is low quality (many defects).
You should always try to prevent defects from happening on your projects rather than dealing with consequences. This concept is called prevention over inspection.
You, the project manager, is ultimately responsible for quality. However, everyone on the project team should inspect their own work.
There are four parts to the Deming Cycle: Plan, Do, Check, and Act (PDCA). The PDCA cycle makes up the basis for continuous improvement or kaizen. Continuous improvement is the concept of continuously looking for small things that can make the project’s processes or product better.
When you invest in higher quality standards and improve quality on your project, you will decrease costs up to a certain point. Marginal analysis is the point where the benefits of improving quality equal the costs saved.
Cost of Quality (COQ) refers to the total cost of quality, including the cost of conformance and cost of non-conformance. The cost of conformance is the cost incurred to prevent quality issues from happening. The cost of non-conformance is the cost incurred in order to deal with quality issues that occurs on your project. The table below illustrates the difference between Cost of Conformance and Cost of Non-conformance.
|Cost of conformance||Cost of nonconformance|
|Prevention costs (build a quality product)||Internal failure costs (failures found by the project)|
|Document processes & equipment||scrap|
|Appraisal cost (assesses the quality)||External failure costs (failure found by the customer)|
|Destructive testing loss||Warranty work|
|Money spent during the project to avoid failures||Money spent during and after the project because of failures|
*Cost of conformance should be < cost of nonconformance
Plan Quality Management is the process of identifying quality requirements for the project. The key benefit of this process is that it provides guidance and direction on how to manage and validate quality throughout the project. The main output of this process is a quality management plan.
Cost-benefit analysis refers to comparing the cost of preventing quality issues from occurring to the cost of dealing with quality issues when they do occur. For each quality activity, you should compare the cost of conformance to the expected benefit in order to determine the appropriate quality level for your project.
The seven basic quality tools are:
Here’s a fun phrase to help you remember the 7 basic quality tools: Carol Flabbergasts, “Here’s the Powerful, Checkered Saber-toothed Cat!”
Here’s some key terms related to this process:
Bench-marking – This technique involves looking at other projects to get ideas for improvement on the current project and to provide a basis to use in measuring quality performance.
Specification limits – Specification limits represent the customer’s experience or contractual requirements for performance and quality on the project. Specification limits are characteristics of the measured process and not inherent.
Design of Experiments (DOE) – DOE is a statistical method that allows you to systematically change all of the important factors in a process and see which combination has a lower impact on the project. This technique is faster and more accurate than changing the variables one at a time.
Statistical Sampling – Statistical sampling involves choosing a portion of the population to inspect for quality control because inspecting the entire population may take too long or cost too much. The sample size and frequency are determined in the Quality Management Plan and the actual sampling is done during the Control Quality process.
Attribute sampling – results confirm yes/no – GO or NO GO decision
Variable sampling – results rated on continuous scale that measures the degree of conformity – cooking time measured in minutes
Special causes – when something goes wrong and you can point directly to it and say that is the problem
Random causes – part of the process itself – sometimes things go wrong
Additional Quality Planning Tools – These tools include brainstorming, force field analysis, nominal group techniques, etc.
Quality Management Plan – This plan is the output of the Plan Quality process. This document describes how the organization will ensure quality is implemented and what constitutes as high quality for the project.
Process Improvement Plan – This plan details the steps for analyzing the project’s processes to identify activities to remove or enhance.
Quality Metrics – Quality metrics describes project attributes of interest and how Control Quality will measure them. The Quality Management Plan should also include what the project’s quality metrics should be when everything goes well.
Quality Checklists – Quality checklists are used to verify that the required set of steps has been performed. This checklist should be part of the acceptance criteria in the scope baseline.
Manage Quality is the process of comparing quality requirements to actual quality measurements from the project. The goal is to ensure the project is meeting quality requirements and to look for ways to improve processes.
Note: Perform Quality Assurance deals with quality control in the project’s PROCESSES. Control Quality deals with quality control in the project’s PRODUCTS.
Quality control measurements – These are tools that help you assess whether the procedures set out in the Plan Quality process are being followed.
Quality management and control tools are tools that can help you ensure quality in your project’s processes. These 7 tools are:
Quality audits – Identify lessons learned to improve performance on all project scheduled or random – completed by anyone internally or externally. Confirm implementation of approved change requests, including corrective actions, defect repairs and preventive actions.
Quality audits include:
Process analysis – Follows the steps from the process improvement plan. Undertakes root cause analysis of problem identification
The Control Quality process is the process of monitoring and recording results from quality activities and assessing their performances. Perform quality control helps ensure a certain level of quality in a product or service. It looks for products or services that do not meet the standards of quality.
The key benefit of this process is that it allows you to identify the causes to poor quality and taking action to prevent or correct them. Additionally, the Control Quality process allows you to validate the project deliverable against the project requirements.
Here are some key terms you will need to know for this process:
Prevention – keeping errors out of the process
Inspection – keeping errors out of the hands of the customers
Attribute sampling – The result is binary; it is either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Attribute sampling is used to test if the product conforms or does not conform to requirements.
Variable sampling – The result is a continuous scale to measure to what degree the product conforms to requirements.
Tolerance – specified range of acceptable results
Work performance information – analysis of raw performance data that is useful for decision making.
Mutual exclusivity – Two events are said to be mutually exclusive if they cannot both occur in a single trial.
Probability – This term refers to the likelihood that something will occur
Normal distribution – A normal distribution is the most common probability density distribution chart
Statistical independence – The probability of one event occurring does not affect the probability of another event occurring (i.e. the probability of rolling a six on a die is statistically independent from the probability of getting a five on the next roll).
Standard deviation – A measure of how far you are from the mean – not the median
Sigma – Sigma is another name for standard deviation.
OPA updates – can include completed checklists and lessons learned
|1||Quality related questions can be confusing because many of the topics on the exam are not in the PMBOK Guide PDF and because PMI quality philosophy may be different from that of your organization. Some organizations refer to what PMI calls Perform Quality Assurance as quality planning|
|3||The costs of conformance should be lower than the costs of non-conformance. The exam has asked about three questions on this topic.|
|4||On the exam, assume that specification limits are outside the upper and lower control limits|
|5||Remembering the following phrases about Pareto charts should help you: