Of all the themes anyone ever looks at in Project Management the theme of quality is always very important. So, for the third in our series on Project Management themes we are almost compelled to consider the theme of quality and the Project Manager.
The reason for considering the notion of quality in a project is solely to ensure that the end-product is “fit for purpose” and, to for it to be fit for purpose, this means that it meets the original business expectations. To meet those demands the Project Manager has to clearly define the scope against which those expectations are to be measured and then only if those criteria are met can the project be deemed to have met the quality standards expected of it. Any acceptance of work below those standards by the Project Manager will almost inevitably lead to disputes regarding the finished product and the need to re-work the project. He or she also needs to remember that until the expected/required standards of quality are agreed in the first place – they cannot possibly arrive at a realistic or accurate cost and timescale for the project.
Ignore quality at your peril!
Allowing a project to begin before the quality standards are set is a very risky game to play for a Project Manager. Understanding the desired levels of quality and then planning for them are an essential element of project planning and are ignored at the Project Managers ultimate peril. Failure to plan for quality management activities will only result in lost time and over-spending due to having to re-work aspects of the project up to the end users expectations of the completed project’s quality standards. Even when quality standards are incorporated into a project plan; that is not the end of the need for the Project Manager to be constantly checking the quality themes within the project. As a project progresses what started out as the latest de facto definition in quality for a particular aspect could easily become superseded by newly available standards and working practices. To meet this challenge the Project Manager should not only implement quality standards but also track them for further improvements and developments.