We strive for quality in everything we do, whether it is running a project or perfecting our oven-fried chicken recipe. Quality is multifaceted though, hence why achieving it is often a marathon more than a sprint. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Lindsay Scott shares eight tips for quality in projects:
- Quality means different things to different groups.
- Customer needs, expectations, requirements, and associated specifications must be understood.
- The delivery of quality depends on a rational agreement on requirements and applicable specifications.
- Customer expectations for quality will evolve and change.
- Early and late adopters have different quality expectations.
- Project quality and product/service quality are both applicable.
- Delivery of quality is evolving to include providing the expected intangible experience for the project customer.
- Continuous improvement is always possible.
You, end-users, and sponsors probably all have your own idea of what quality looks like in a deliverable. You need to reconcile those differences, especially placing weight in what is important to customers:
A project is undertaken with agreements. There are agreements that relate to goals, deliverables and requirements. Whether there is a formal contract or an informal arrangement, agreements are made. Quality is delivering on those agreements. Understand and agree on requirements about deliverables, time and cost, then follow through on delivering accordingly. That’s quality. Deliver less, but add-on bells and whistles, quality expectations are missed. Deliver on the agreement of requirements.
Technology is always expected to improve as time goes on, but on top of that, a business’s knowledge and experience is expected to increase as well. As a result, customer quality expectations increase because the business should know how to deliver more at a lower cost. Along those same lines, early adopters of new products and services are tolerant of defects as part of the development, but late adopters expect those kinks to have been worked out.
Another thing customers expect these days is to actually enjoy, or at least appreciate, their experience with a product or service. Make the presentation fun and/or attractive if at all possible. Give people one more reason to feel good at work.
For further elaboration on these tips, you can view the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/quality-challenges-projects/