Many organizations have taken the key step of developing a quality management plan to improve their project quality. However, things don’t always work in the most desirable fashion, and a quality management plan is not a quality insurance card. The Project Risk Coach Harry Hall points out seven common mistakes that you may easily make in developing a quality management plan:
- Failure to define quality
- Failure to develop requirements
- Failure to right-size your quality management plan
- Failure to use the right quality tools
- Failure to improve project processes
- Failure to engage stakeholders in quality assurance
- Failure to engage stakeholders in quality control
Make Your Plan Useful
Before creating a quality management plan, you have to make sure that you’re on the same ground with others about what exactly quality means. It is basically known as the degree to which a project meets the requirements. To determine the scope of a project, requirements about business, stakeholders, solutions, and transition must be analyzed and documented by a project manager or a business analyst. This helps clarify the objectives of an organization, the needs of individuals, and processes to meet these objectives.
As a project manager, you also need to know some basic quality tools and how to apply them, including cause-and-effect diagrams, flowcharts, checksheets, Pareto diagrams, histograms, control charts, and scatter diagrams. Once your plan is implemented, bear in mind that processes are prone to problems, such as defective or in consistent outputs. Therefore, always evaluate and tweak your project processes following each stage of the plan.
Equally important, stakeholders play crucial roles in the process, and are able to make or break your work:
Project managers and their teams define their approach to quality. But plans are of little value if they aren’t used. In the quality assurance process, the project manager and team ensure that the quality plan is actually being executed.
Before the project deliverables are submitted for approval, the project team inspects and ensures that the deliverables are error free. The quality control process includes inspections and reviews to ensure the quality standards have been met.
Make your quality management plan work by being pragmatic in planning, assuring, and controlling quality to benefit the project and to meet business objectives. All in all, it’s about minimizing project risks to drive business far ahead.
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