Quality Assurance is one of the key facilitating processes during project planning. It is an ongoing activity that is performed with other planning processes. Quality planning is aimed at identifying the relevant quality standards, incorporating quality standards into product and processes, determining how these standards will be achieved.
Before a project manager can plan for quality, he must know what the standard expectations are. In other words, he must be aware of the quality policy defined by the organization’s top management. It specifies the general intention of the organization with reference to quality as formally expressed by the highest management. It should be documented. The project team should adopt the quality policy of the organization to guide the project implementation. If there is no quality policy or project that involves multiple performing organizations, in the case of a joint venture, then the project management team should create a quality policy. The project stakeholders should be fully aware of the quality policy.
The project scope statement is another important input to quality planning. It defines important input to quality planning. It defines what will and what will not be delivered as part of the project along with project objectives regarding cost, schedule, and cost. Other inputs to the quality planning include a description of the product to be designed, standards, and regulations that may affect the project and outputs from the other processes.
Once the project manager has gathered the required inputs and evaluated the product description and quality assurance, he is able to measure the quality. Quality measurements are used for making estimates, tracking projects progress, analyzing defects and achieving continuous improvement, and evaluating tools. There are several techniques that the project manager uses to plan for the quality which is as follows :
- Benefit/Cost Analysis :
It is the process of estimating costs and benefits of various project quality management activities. The main benefit of meeting quality is less rework and therefore resulting in higher productivity, lower costs, and increased customer satisfaction. The main cost of meeting quality requirements is the cost associated with quality management activities. The coat of quality is generally of two types :
- Cost of Conformance to Requirements :
Cost of completing the project work to satisfy the expected level of quality and project scope. Example: Prevention costs and appraisal.
- Cost of Non-Conformance :
It includes cost due to some kind of failure, Internal failure related cost includes cost incurred before the customer receives the product, and external failure related cost after the customer receives the product. Cost also very high. Example: Startup cost, project-related cost, continuous cost.
- Cost of Conformance to Requirements :
- Benchmarking :
It involves comparing project practices with those of the other projects within the same organization or with other companies. It is done to generate ideas for improvement and provide a basis for measurement.
- Creating a Flowchart :
A flowchart is any diagram that shows how various components of a system are interrelated. There are two types of flowcharts used in quality management. These are –
1. System or Process Flow Charts :
It shows how various elements of a system interrelate. It shows the flow of the process through a system.
2. Cause-And-Effect Diagrams:
It is also known as Ishikawa or Fishbone diagram. It shows how variables within a process relate and how those relations create potential problems.
- Design of Experiments:
It is an analytical technique that relates to a what-if scenario to determine what variables in a project have the most influence on the overall outcome. This approach is often associated with product design; it can also be applied to project management met issues, such as costs and schedule tradeoffs. An optimally designed experiment, computing project costs, and duration considering the various combination of employees will provide an optimal solution.
The outcome of the quality planning process is to find a method to implement the quality policy.
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