We all know the saying “if you can measure it – you can manage it”, but how can we apply that to the concept of managing the quality delivered to the customer at the end of a project? Well the initial clue to solving this problem has already been said – that the project will be assessed according to the things it delivers, rather than any of the activities and events that lead up to the completion of the project.
Measuring the quality.
On the basis that you will have been measuring all of the individual sections of the project as they are being worked on and delivered in order to manage them, you will automatically have been managing the quality of what was being done. Therefore, you will already be in a position to manage the total outcome of the project by virtue of the fact that you have measured and managed the individual sections of it. However, as the Project Manager, you can’t spend all your time overseeing, measuring and micro-managing every little detail of a project; so what are the key things you should do to manage the overall quality of the project?
Rules for managing quality.
1) Before any work is begun on the various aspects of the project get all the team members responsible for it together and review the specifications and deliverables. Then set out your clear objectives for what will make that completed deliverable ‘fit for purpose’. ie. Let everyone know your expectations and how you will measure their success; and there should be no need for work to be re-done later on.
2) Make the time to randomly personally check (measure if you will) the work as it is in progress. OK, so you have under-managers and Team Leaders working and reporting to you, but don’t ever let that be a reason not to personally check on things from time to time, giving praise when work is proceeding well and establishing with your colleagues what needs to be done if things aren’t going well.
3) As the project progresses and the completion date gets nearer – correcting problems will be become even more time critical. So, instill in all of your teams that fixing a problem when the job is done is not good enough, problems need encountering as they occur.