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Quality Objectives in Project Management – Beauty is in The Eye of the Beholder

flower dogBeauty is in the eye of the beholder, even when it comes to project management. Quality objectives will differ depending on who the end user is. However, as James Clements explains in his article for PM Hut, some projects benefit many different people. Even if there is only one project, all of the different end users may have different quality objectives. The example Clements uses is building an apartment building. A speaker at a project management meeting told Clements that the tenant is the end user and therefore should be the focus of the project management team. Clement disagrees: Firstly, I do not disagree that the “The Tenant” does not derive benefit from the project, my problem with his answer is that it was too simplistic, and if he were the Project Manager for the Developer or the General Contractor sure to find himself under scrutiny. Those who derive benefit from projects are the stakeholders and there are nearly always more than one stakeholder and some stakeholders don’t derive benefit at all, sometimes quite the opposite. As Bid Managers and Project Managers we need to understand that in most, if not all projects, there will be multiple stakeholders and each of these stakeholders will have a different view of what “Quality” means. Although the tenant may be the major beneficiary, Clement reminds us that the owner/developer, the town council, and the contractor also have quality objectives. The owner/developer came up with the project in the first place, so it makes sense that they would “seek a considerable return on their investment.” Furthermore, the town council must be considered because they have put forth specific rules and regulations than need to be followed. Finally, the contractor must deal with matters such as scope and time while also dealing with the needs of others, so the end result must benefit them as well. Clements suggests defining what each party would consider to be a quality outcome through a stakeholder analysis. This should allow you to get a better idea of what your overall quality objectives are. Your project may not be to build an apartment complex, but you might have equally as many people to please. Remember, beauty and project success can truly be in the eye of the beholder.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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