This video explains why quality management is so crucial, despite ‘quality’ often being something that is hard to define.
- The quality of an output is a key constraint for any project along with the time and cost. But it's also arguably one of the most subjective and can be difficult to agree with stakeholders. The best way to ensure that the expected level of quality for project output is through proper quality management. This is because quality management doesn't just focus on outputs. It also focuses on the benefits and the overall process that they're delivered. Quality management has four key components, as you can see in this diagram. Let's go through each briefly. First up quality planning, quality planning sets out the quality that the stakeholders and the organization expect from the project and how these will be tested, as well as potentially referencing external standards or regulations. You'll need to put this together by consulting the project team to get everyone's input and make sure the whole team understands what's expected of them. The quality plan might include things like expected quality standards, methods and procedures that need to be used, specific tools that need to be used, records and reports that should be created, timelines and specific roles and responsibilities. The second component of quality management is quality assurance. This is a proactive activity done by someone independent of the project. The aim here is to help prevent problems from occurring in the process by making sure that all of the processes are fit for purpose, and they operate smoothly. It's primary aim is to provide assurance to the stakeholders. Next up we have quality control. Unlike quality assurance, this is a reactive assessment and measurement of project deliverables, to make sure that they live up to the expected quality standards. This is normally done by a project team member. And the goal is to make sure that deliverables are fit for purpose. Now, fitness for purpose can be a very difficult concept to define and measure, but the term basically means that the project team fully understands the project need or purpose before expectations can be met. Normally this is measured against a number of predefined acceptance criteria. The final component of quality management is continuous improvement. And it does what it says on the box. The general idea is to look to improve throughout the project life cycle. This can happen iteratively over time, or at a breakthrough moment, all at once. One of the models you can use to achieve continuous improvements, is the PDCA cycle. Which terms for plan, do, check, and act. To do this, identify an opportunity and plan for change, then implement the change on a small scale. Use data to check how successful it's been, and then use those results to implement on a wider scale while still monitoring progress. Control or run charts monitor, control, and improve process performance over time by studying output variance, and why it occurs. If a variation is random, the process is under control. Check sheets helps teams systematically record and gather data, and check performance against agreed criteria. Cause and effect diagrams document the possible causes of an effect, and a great for root cause analysis. Histograms are graphical representations of frequency distribution, and are great if you have a lot of data to deal with. Pareto charts are a kind of histogram, but with issues prioritized in terms of frequency. Flow charts show the individual and logical sequence of a process. They can help you to deal with unexpected complexity or show inefficiencies in a process. Finally, scatter diagrams are all about showing correlations between variables by creating a visual and statistical method of testing the strength of a potential relationship. Last up for this video, I just want to go over a few of the benefits of quality management. Quality management will help build your delivery credibility, which in turn will build confidence with project stakeholders. It will also help decision making, and create more consistent approach to project activities as a whole. Because of the quality assurance and control, there'll be less errors too. Lastly, it can also help the organization learn new lessons and create better products or services down the line. And that's it for this video. Quality management is a great way to deal with the often fluffy idea of quality. In this video, we've covered the four components of quality management, tools and techniques you can use, and the benefits of quality management.