Within any project there are a number of factors that are right up there and often preoccupy members of the Project Team. These include making sure that the project completes on time, making sure that the project does not go over budget and ensuring that all the team members are focussed on delivery of the completed project.

But there is also another factor that should be right up there, in order to make sure that the project is completed satisfactorily and that is quality.

Quality is delivering a project that will at least meet and preferably exceed the client’s expectations through actions and deliverables that create a really excellent product, in this case, the project.

If a project is delivered, but it fails to meet the specification agreed and fails to meet the client’s or customer’s expectations, then the project has in fact failed, because it is not a positive outcome and the end result is that nobody is happy, since that sense of failure permeates the project, so there is a real need to ensure that quality is central and pivotal to any project.

The Project Quality Plan

A Project Quality Plan is the most commonly used way of doing this and the Quality Plan will identify all the tasks and activities that need to be undertaken to ensure the quality expectations of the customer are met.

The Plan will also base itself on the quality standards that have been set out for the company or team who are delivering the project and may include several different types of Quality Assurance techniques.

These techniques may include several quality events, where quality is actually measured and evaluates as well as different checklists. Sometimes audits are used so that careful analysis is carried out so that each different strand of activity is scrutinised and assessed in terms of how quality is being delivered.

A good Quality Plan will be holistic in its approach, so it will encompass different ways of evaluating and assessing quality as well as ensuring that quality is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts during the progress of the project.

The Project Quality Plan In Detail

The Quality Plan needs to clearly identify who is responsible for what aspects of quality assurance, from very senior members of staff to those who are at the front line.

The Plan also needs to details all the procedures and systems that will ensure a quality project, from the way that documents are stored and handled, to how purchases are made and then signed off, right through to how the project will be audited and subject to rigorous quality assessment.

The Project Quality Plan And Quality Assurance

Although the Quality Plan and Quality Assurance are often talked about as being the same, they are slightly different. The Plan will provide the framework for a quality project, but Quality Assurance is the way that the final project will be tested and inspected to actively demonstrate that all quality expectations have been met, so to some extent, the Quality Plan is the foundation for all Quality Assurance. The two may be different, but they are really closely interlinked and mutually dependent.

How Is Quality Communicated Within A Project?

The Quality Plan and Quality Assurance are always held electronically so that the information is readily available to all members of the team. This ensures that everyone is clear about the processes involved in delivering a quality project and that communication is very easy, since quality is very much dependent on good communication.

The progress of the Quality Plan and Quality Assurance techniques should also be regularly aired at meetings of the Project Team as well as the Steering Board to ensure that everyone is focussed on quality at every stage of project delivery.

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