When it comes to quality, everyone wants to claim that they have the best of the best, but do they really? Unfortunately, organizations too often fall short in the quality department. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Kenneth Rose establishes a step-by-step plan to help managers ensure quality. There are seven steps to success:
- Identifying the customer
- Identifying requirements
- Establishing specifications
- Quality assurance
- Quality assurance plan
- Quality control
- Continuous improvement
The Look of Quality
How can you deliver what the customer wants or is expecting if you do not even know who the customer is? The customers are the essence of your business. There are three types of customers–the external, internal, and hidden–and all three need to be properly identified before progressing. The customers can likewise help you to better identify requirements you may need to meet, and meeting the requirements is where quality really begins. Having a conversation or conducting an interview is a simple way to uncover customer thoughts and determine what the product should accomplish. Any and all requirements should be transformed into specifications. They should be explicit, and they should be able to measure the success of the project.
The next step encompasses quality assurance. This process requires the product team to take the specifications and develop operational definitions and then a way to measure them. They must additionally take actions to ensure that the specifications are met, and the product is delivered well.
The quality assurance plan is the compilation of all of the quality assurance activities. According to Rose, the quality assurance plan should include this:
…a reference to a specific work package or work breakdown structure element, a description of the requirement, a description of the specification, a description of the quality assurance activity (what is to be done), an indication of when the activity should occur, and designation of the person who is responsible for completing the activity.
Following the planning process, there should be some quality control. This is to make sure that performance is consistent and maintains quality standards.
Even the best of plans have a little room for improvement. Specifications may need to be altered or improved over time. This is a continuous process that is always growing and evolving, like the business itself.
You can read the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/six-basics-project-management/