Despite industry efforts over decades of work, many projects and project managers have difficulties in managing quality.
Quality management as a discipline has been with us for a long time. The two best known project management methods – PMBOK and PRINCE2 – both have specific sections that explicitly mention quality assurance and management.
Yet project after project, project managers and others (including some quality managers) are uncertain about what to put in the quality plan. “Doesn’t quality equate to testing?”
Reliability, availability and maintainability are the three most widely specified quality requirements.
Because they were the three mentioned in the PMP template that is widely used.
The problem with this is that those three were only intended to be EXAMPLES and not the required sections.
This is why you often see three paragraphs in many project plans or quality plans that are generic statements about these three attributes.
OK, but how can we improve?
One of the first steps you can take is to define what quality activities and tasks you have available to your project.
These activities can be:
e.g. deliverable reviews
static analysis tools – style and complexity checkers
e.g. audits and reviews checking that processes are appropriate and are being followed
Once you have your list you can define each activity and deliverable on your project and identify which quality activities will be applied.
Requirements Specification Peer review
Code Inspection, testing, static analysis
Product UAT, peer review
Project Management Audit
Design Audit, process walkthrough
Support Call Audit, 6 Sigma DMAIC
Once you have this information, you can ensure that it is included in the quality plan or project plan (or PID) and that the activities are included in the schedule.
By doing just this initial bit of planning – which should take not more than an hour or so – you’ll be light years ahead of many projects in the industry and well on your way to delivering a successful project.