Quality and quality management defined

It is vital to be crystal clear about what quality means in project management. It is very useful to know the generally accepted meanings of quality management, quality objectives, and quality management system. A slightly easier-to-remember definition of quality than the ISO/PMBOK one is 'conformity to requirements', which is a perfectly good definition for use in real-life project management[4].

ISO says

Quality

'Quality: the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements.' ISO 9000 (and also PMBOK)


Note that, on either definition, it is a mistake both to exceed quality as well as to fall short of it. If you deliver a Rolls-Royce car when the customer wanted a Ford, then either you or the customer is paying too much. And it could be that the Rolls-Royce is too heavy a car for the weak bridge that the customer has to drive over on their way home. This analogy illustrates a key point in real-life project management: if you deliver excess quality, then someone, either the project or the customer, is paying for it. This is not to deny that exceeding the required quality usually leads to much less pain for the project manager than falling short does, and when planning your margin of safety always aim high rather than low in terms of quality. But the point is that you should aim to meet or slightly exceed quality targets in your deliverables and processes, and you ought not to aim to exceed them by a great extent, or you will be wasting resources. As well as quality being too high or too low, it is possible to have excess variation in quality. This need not mean a deliverable swinging between too high and too low a standard of quality; it can be a problem where quality is within what is acceptable, but in a different way each time, confounding customer expectations. People, especially customers, tend to like consistency much more than constant surprise when it comes to management.

ISO says

Other key quality management terms defined

'Quality management system: management system to direct and control an organization with regard to quality.' ISO 9000

'Quality planning: part of quality management focused on setting quality objectives and specifying necessary operational processes and related resources to fulfil the quality objectives.' ISO 9000

'Quality objectives: something sought, or aimed for, related to quality.' ISO 9000

'Quality assurance: part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.' ISO 9000

'Requirement: need or expectation that is stated, generally implied, or obligatory.' ISO 9000

'Quality control: part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements.' ISO 9000


Top of Page



Definitive Guide to Project Management. The Fast Track to Getting the Job Done on Time and on Budget
The Definitive Guide to Project Management: The fast track to getting the job done on time and on budget (2nd Edition)
ISBN: 0273710974
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 217
Authors: Sebastian Nokes
BUY ON AMAZON

Similar book on Amazon
Measurement Made Accessible: A Research Approach Using Qualitative, Quantitative and Quality Improvement Methods
Measurement Made Accessible: A Research Approach Using Qualitative, Quantitative and Quality Improvement Methods
The Conflict Resolution Toolbox: Models and Maps for Analyzing, Diagnosing, and Resolving Conflict
The Conflict Resolution Toolbox: Models and Maps for Analyzing, Diagnosing, and Resolving Conflict
Financial Intelligence: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean
Financial Intelligence: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean
Management Skills: A Jossey-Bass Reader (The Jossey-Bass Business and Management Reader Series)
Management Skills: A Jossey-Bass Reader (The Jossey-Bass Business and Management Reader Series)

flylib.com © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: flylib@qtcs.net