Key Fundamentals of Quality Management in the IT Project

  • from ITtoolkit.com

Image of woman giving the 'thumbs up' sign giving the nod to project quality management.

Quality management is the practice by which "quality" is defined, produced and controlled within projects and as part of the project management process. But is that all it is?  In fact, "quality" goes beyond that to be a principle by which all projects should be managed and delivered.  This article discusses the varied roles that "quality" plays as a management principle and process. Read on for more.

What is quality? That is not an easy question to answer. In practical terms, quality is the degree to which project deliverables reflect best practices and expected results.

  • If the project is completed on time, is that quality?  Perhaps.
  • If the project is completed on budget, is that quality?   Perhaps.
  • If the deliverables meet success criteria, is that quality?  Perhaps.
  • If the project was completed using adopted standards, is that quality?  Perhaps.
The reason for all these "perhaps" is because quality is not defined by any single element - it is a totality of circumstances and conditions.  And that's the key to achieve "total" quality for any given project.  Quality must be defined for each project and once defined, all related tasks and deliverables can be measured against that benchmark.

Quality is a Partner for Project Management Success

Quality management is not an entirely independent project process. In fact, quality management has close tie-ins to many other project processes, to the point where quality management is often indistinguishable from its partner processes, including:

  • Requirements Planning: To form the basis of quality expectations and specifications.
  • Risk Management: To evaluate the likelihood and impact of quality related failures.
  • Change Management: To maintain quality expectations by limiting unwarranted changes to deliverables and scope.
  • Issues Management: To identify potential quality defects as soon as they arise to enable resolution early on in the project lifecycle.
  • Status Reporting: To ensure that the project manager is advised of potential quality defects and problems as soon as they arise.
  • Project Performance Evaluation: To evaluate "quality management" effectiveness, and to improve future practices.

Quality Management Goals and Objectives

To achieve project success on all essential levels (results, costs, time and customer satisfaction), quality management must be more than just an administrative exercise. Quality goals and objectives must be established at the project selection and definition phases, to include one or more of the following elements:

  • To minimize the subjective nature of quality by defining “quality” in clear, measurable terms.
  • To produce results that meet quality standards, within project scheduling and budgetary requirements.
  • To minimize costly defects and errors.
  • To eliminate costly and non-productive re-work.
  • To maximize customer satisfaction.
  • To maximize team morale, performance and productivity.

Taking Steps to Make Quality a Constant

Quality is an objective. As a practical matter, quality will be obtained when deliverables and outcomes are produced according to needs, plans and specification. Quality management is an ongoing process, applied within projects at a global level (through best practices and standards) and at the “per-project” level, where quality specifications and management steps are applied according to specific project needs. Process quality and deliverables quality are joined at the hip ... while high quality processes cannot guarantee high quality results; low quality processes will certainly impede high quality results. As such, the quest for quality, whether for process or deliverables, must address the following key elements:

  • Management Objectives - what are you trying to accomplish through quality management?
  • Quality Specifications - how is quality to be defined for your projects?
  • Quality Consensus - how will these quality definitions be applied, approved and accepted?
  • Quality Control - how will quality be managed and measured as the project proceeds?
  • Quality Defect Correction - how will quality defects be analyzed, mitigated and removed?

In order to achieve expected results, quality requirements and expectations must be clearly stated and defined. But definitions are only a beginning. Once a project is underway, quality must be continually managed and assessed to ensure that these requirements and expectations are fully realized. Quality control takes place at various points in the project cycle, through a number of validation and verification activities and techniques, including manual reviews, automated reviews, prototypes, pilot programs, lessons learned reviews and third party quality audits.

Take Note:  Project-specific quality management procedures should be documented as part of the project governance plan.


Learn to Fast Track

If you like our ITtoolkit.com articles, you'll love our easy online training courses. We teach you how to use our unique 'fast track management' approach for projects, committees and I.T. services. Our courses are self paced, and include lessons, videos and templates! And you can start for free! Get Started Now


CHECK OUT THE FAST TRACK PROJECT TOOLKIT.

If you're looking for a fast, easy way to achieve project planning success, you'll find it inside the Fast Track Project Toolkit. This unique, informative online course gives you everything you need to become a project leader and fast tracking expert. Here's what you'll learn:

  • How to plan and govern projects using strategic project fast tracking.

  • How to use strategic project fast tracking to save time and make the most of available resources.

  • How to use strategic fast tracking to overcome project constraints and limitations.

  • How to use strategic fast tracking to negotiate with stakeholders and build shared expectations.

  • How to use strategic fast tracking to become a more productive project manager and team member.

Source: Unless noted otherwise, all content is created by and/or for ITtoolkit.com


About Us

Right Track Logo

ITtoolkit.com staff writers have experience working for some of the largest corporations, in various positions including marketing, systems engineering, help desk support, web and application development, and IT management.

ITtoolkit.com is part of Right Track Associates, proprietors and publishers of multiple web sites including ITtoolkit.com, Fast Track Manage, HOA Board List and more. We started ITtoolkit.com in 2001 and have continued to grow our web site portfolio, Toolkit products, and related data services. To learn more, visit us at Right Track Associates.

ITtoolkit News

Get the Latest ITtoolkit Updates. No Inbox Overload.

we do not sell our list

Subscribe Now
I.T. Service Planning The Fast Track Project Toolkit Start For Free

If you'd like to learn how to quickly plan I.T. service strategies designed to meet every goal for technology service alignment, service quality and end-user service satisfaction, the I.T. Service Strategy Toolkit is the right course for you. Brought to you by the publishers of ITtoolkit.com, this self-paced course is easy, engaging and actionable, giving you both how-to lessons and take-action tools. Start for free now!.

Committee Management The Project Committee Toolkit Start For Free

If you'd like to learn how to form and operate successful committees, destined to be more productive and less prone to conflict, the Project Committee Toolkit is the right training course for you. Brought to you by the publishers of ITtoolkit.com, this easy course gives you both the lessons and the tools you need to be a better committee leader and organizer. Start for free now!.

Project Management The Fast Track Project Toolkit Start For Free

If you'd like to learn how to how to streamline project management activities to get work done in less time, using the resources you have, then the Fast Track Toolkit online course is what you need. Brought to you by the publishers of ITtoolkit.com, you'll learn how to 'fast track' every stage of the project management process, from pre-project planning to the post-project review. Start for free now!.