Project Quality Management II
This is in continuation of the article Project Quality Management I .This article will cover the remaining processes Perform Quality Assurance and Control Quality of this knowledge area.
Perform Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance process involves performing systematic quality activities and uses quality audits to determine which processes should be used to achieve the project requirements and to assure they are performed efficiently and effectively. The project team members, the project manager, and the stakeholders are all responsible for the quality assurance of the project. Continuous process improvement can be achieved through this process, bringing about improved process performance and eliminating unnecessary actions.
|Input||Tools & Techniques||Output|
Inputs of Perform Quality Assurance
The inputs to Perform Quality Assurance are what the project manager use to measure the organizational project quality management processes against. All the inputs to this process are already covered in the outputs of Plan quality management.
Tools and Techniques of Plan Quality Management
All of these tools and techniques from both the Plan Quality Management and Control Quality processes can be used during the Perform Quality Assurance process as well to measure project performance. The remaining tools and techniques are
- Quality Audits: The purpose of a quality audit is to identify ineffective and inefficient activities or processes used on the project. Quality audits are done by the quality team which can be internal or external to the company. The goal of performing Quality audits is to check if :
- The product of the project is fit for use and meets safety standards.
- Applicable laws and standards are adhered to.
- Corrective action is recommended and implemented where necessary.
- Gaps or shortcomings in the process are identified.
These audits can be conducted at regular intervals or at predefined frequency in the project plan. Quality improvements are the result of the quality audits. During the course of the audit, ways of improving the effectiveness of the project are identified, thereby increasing the value of the project and exceeding stakeholder expectations.
- Process Analysis: According to the PMBOK® Guide, process analysis follows the steps in the process improvement plan and examines the following:
- Problems experienced while conducting the project
- Constraints experienced while conducting the work of the project
- Inefficient and ineffective processes identified during process operation
Outputs of Perform Quality Assurance
The main output is change request, it is important to note that during this process, any recommended corrective actions, whether they are a result of a quality audit or process analysis, should be acted upon immediately. Only then the aim of this knowledge area (minimum defects) can be achieved on time.
Quality Control is concerned with project results both from a management perspective, such as schedule and cost performance, and from a product perspective. The key outputs of this process are validated deliverable and quality control measurement. The primary aim of this process is validating if the project deliverables meet the requirements specified by key stakeholders. Quality control measurement which is an input to Perform Quality Assurance provides measures to reduce or eliminate the poor process.
|Input||Tools & Techniques||Output|
Inputs of Control Quality
This process will clearly differentiate between a validated deliverables (output) and deliverables (input). Validated deliverables are the result of a re-inspection of the original defect repair. In other words, you found a problem with the product during the Quality processes which is a deliverable at this point, you corrected the problem (defect repair), and now you’re re-inspecting that repair (validated defect repair) to make certain the fix is accurate, correct, and fixed the problem this is validated deliverable.
Output of Control Quality
Failure to meet quality requirements can have a significant impact on the project and the project team and might result in rework. Rework causes a project to take longer than planned, resulting in more cost at times. As the project team has to repeat processes to correct the work, this might lead to low morale and other negative consequences. One should try to keep rework to a minimum so as not to impact the project schedule and budget. Monitoring quality periodically is necessary to reduce the rework.
The output of Control quality includes
- Validated changes: Validated changes are the results of changes, defect repairs, or variances that have been inspected and corrected. The resulting change, particularly corrective and preventive actions, can contribute to overall quality improvements and should be noted in the lessons learned documentation. Processes that are in control should not be adjusted but processes out of control might require adjusting, but this should occur only as a result of a management decision.
- Validated deliverables: Validated deliverables determine if the deliverable is correct and accurate. This output becomes an input to the process validate scope.
- Project document updates: Quality standards, agreements, quality audit reports, training plan and assessments of effectiveness and process documentation are updated as a result of this process, in the project document.
A Real World Example
Prevention: Cost of Conformance
Andrew was appointed the project manager for the project of bridge replacement in the capital city. The project entailed hiring a contractor to build the new bridge and manage the contract and the work of the contracting agency to bring the project to a successful completion.
On an average 30,000 vehicles travel across this bridge on a daily basis, carrying commuters and factory labors back and forth to the downtown area. Each piece of steel was required to be painted (two coats) before bringing it on-site. A third coat of paint was to be applied at the site after construction. The paint was to be guaranteed to last 25 to 30 years.
An on-site quality control inspection revealed that some of the paint was peeling. After further investigation, Andrew discovered that the contractor did not allow the first coat. At the same time, the subcontractor who was hired found they were far off from the original schedule and were not able to complete the paint job. After 4 months the original project completion date was missed long ago. As a result, revisions to the project schedule were required when it became clear that the subcontractor completely failed to meet the committed date and another revision to the project schedule was suggested.
This in turn resulted in a fresh subcontractor search by the original contractor. After nearly a month another subcontractor was assigned to complete the painting job. Due to arrival of winters, temperature was very cold; in order to hang insulated tarps between the bays on the bridge the workers at the construction site (who were assigned the painting job) had to use heaters to warm up small areas of steel to the proper temperature to apply the paint. This process extended the completion date and delayed the project by 1 year. Additional costs were incurred to hire the subcontractor and rent the heaters.
Corrective action was taken as a result of the inspection, and eventually the project was completed, but with schedule delays, schedule changes, scope changes, and lot of rework and additional cost. Since the contract was a fixed-price contract, the contractor’s profit was completely gone away after paying for the painting job. The cost to correct the quality issue impacted the city as well as the contractor. This is a very good example of prevention is better than cure.
Important point: Difference between quality and grade. A product can be of high quality but low grade is acceptable but a product with high grade and low quality is not accepted. For example the mobile phone you are using is very good in design and has excellent network connectivity but you cannot check your emails on your mobile. This means that the mobile is high quality but low grade. You really don’t care as your primary aim was good connectivity, but if it had the email facility with network connectivity issues almost every day .probably you could think of changing the same.
Questions & Answers
- In an internal team meeting Caddy, the project manager, was discussing the project progress with her team. She was informed by a team member that a work package has not met the quality metric, and that he believes it is not possible to meet it. Caddy meets all the relevant stakeholders to analyze the situation. Which part of the quality management process is Caddy involved in?
- A. Plan Quality management
- B. Perform Quality Assurance
- C. Control Quality
- D. Process improvement analysis
Correct Answer: C. Analyzing the Quality metric means the project manager is measuring, which is a part of Control Quality process.
- The existing Imaging and workflow application upgrade is in progress. The project manager is working with the quality assurance department to improve stakeholders’ confidence that the project will satisfy the quality standards. Which of the following they should have before they start this process?
- A. Process Analysis
- B. Quality improvement
- C. Risk Register
- D. Quality control measurements
Correct Answer: D. Quality improvement is a result of Perform Quality Assurance, so it is output of this process. Process Analysis is tools and technique of this process, Quality Control Measurements is the input to this process
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