quality-communication-2Quality management process is the application of quality theory, methods and tools to focus on business and project requirements and to manage work processes with the objective of achieving continuous improvements or radical redesign.

The purpose of using quality management is to improve products and services while achieving cost reductions throughout the project. Quality management requires broadening the scope of the quality concept to a systems approach. Because the three processes (quality planning, assurance and control) interact with each other, as well as other processes within project management, quality management must be regarded as a system.

During “Quality Planning” the Project Team:

  • Identifies those quality standards relevant to the project
  • Determines how best to meet those standards. The activities within the quality planning process basically translate existing quality policy and standards into a Quality Plan through a variety of tools and techniques.

quality-communication-3Quality Assurance” requires that the Project Team evaluate overall project performance on a regular basis to provide confidence that the project will meet the relevant quality standards. This involves the use of quality audits to ensure that quality standards and the business and project requirements are met.

The Project Team conducts “Quality Control” by:

  • Monitoring specified project results to determine relevant quality standards have been met
  • Discovering and implementing ways to eliminate the causes of unsatisfactory performance.

Successful quality processes always strive to see quality through the eyes of the end user (customer). Customers are the ultimate judges of the quality of the product they receive. They will typically judge a project by whether or not their requirements are met. To ensure delivery of a quality product, the Project Team should ensure that requirements are addressed at each phase of the project.

quality-communication-6It is important to include a process that validates that the currently defined requirements will be satisfactory to the customer. It is counterproductive to develop a system that meets a documented requirement if you and the customer know that the requirement has changed. The change management process helps to control the number of such changes, but quality processes must be in place in order to make changes when they are necessary.

  • Define quality standards
  • Define quality management processes
  • Document these in the Quality Plan.

quality-communication-4Develop A Project Communication Approach: Communications planning involves defining the information needs of project Stakeholders and team members, as well as identifying which people need what information, when it will be needed, and how they will get it.quality-communication Communication is the cornerstone of how work gets done among different parties within a project. Communications planning is a process that overlays all other parts of Project Planning as well as the other project management phases. It addresses the way in which we transfer/share information about what needs to be done, how it will be done, when it needs to be done, who will do it, status reporting, issues management, problem resolution, etc. This information is documented in the Communication Plan.

quality-communication-5Develop A Configuration Management (CM) Approach: Configuration Management is a formal change control system applied to the product of the project. It ensures that:

  • Functional and physical characteristics are fully described
  • Any changes to plans or implementation are recorded and reported
  • Audits are performed to assure the product specifications are under adequate control.

Implementation of CM processes should be carried out on all projects, especially large or complex projects. In short, CM is a necessity whose processes should be implemented at the department level to ensure a consistent general approach, with consideration given to the special functions or needs of the project itself. The complexity or size of the configuration system is less important than its functionality and intent.

quality-communication-7Effective CM requires an effective and well-defined effort. The following are CM functions:

  • Defining who will be responsible for and have authority over configuration management
  • Setting standards, procedures, and guidelines for the full Project Team to follow
  • Defining tools, resources, and facilities to be used for configuration management

The Configuration Management document could range from a few pages to hundreds of pages (for very large software development activities with extensive procedures and control items). The size depends, of course, on the complexity of the project and the need for detailed control.