BSB60215 Danford College Manage Project Quality Case study Paper

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Case study regarding manage project quality. I’ve uploaded 2 files, one consisting whole unit file and other is only questions. If you’ve any questions, please ask.

Business, Accounting and Finance
BSBPMG513 Manage project quality
Learner Materials and Assessment Tasks
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Table of Contents
About BSBPMG513 Manage project quality …………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Determine quality objectives and standards with input from stakeholders ………………………………… 6
Activity 1 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
Activity 2 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
Document, in a quality management plan, quality metrics for the project and product output ….. 21
Activity 3 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38
Select established quality management methods, techniques and tools to resolve quality issues . 40
Activity 4 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51
Activity 5 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 55
Distribute, discuss and support quality requirements with project team and stakeholders ………… 56
Activity 6 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 61
Include agreed quality requirements in the project management plan, and implement as basis for
performance measurement ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 63
Undertake quality assurance audit of project processes for compliance with agreed plans ………… 68
Activity 7 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 70
Activity 8 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74
Assess quality control of project and product output according to agreed quality specifications … 76
Activity 9 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 80
Identify causes of variance to quality metrics and undertake remedial action…………………………… 81
Activity 10 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 86
Maintain a quality management system to enable accurate and timely recording of quality audit
data …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 87
Activity 11 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 93
Review processes and implement agreed changes continually throughout the project life cycle to
ensure continuous quality improvement ……………………………………………………………………………….. 94
Review project outcomes against performance requirements to determine the effectiveness of
quality-management processes and procedures …………………………………………………………………….. 98
Activity 12 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 98
Identify and document lessons learned and recommended improvements ………………………………. 99
Activity 13 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 103
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About BSBPMG513 Manage project quality
Application
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to manage quality within projects. It involves
determining quality requirements, implementing quality control and assurance processes, and using
review and evaluation to make quality improvements in current and future projects.
It applies to individuals responsible for managing and leading a project in an organisation, business,
or as a consultant.
No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of
publication.
Unit Sector
Management and Leadership – Project Management
Elements and Performance Criteria
ELEMENT
PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
Elements describe the Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate
essential outcomes.
achievement of the element.
1. Determine quality 1.1 Determine quality objectives and standards with input from
requirements
stakeholders
1.2 Document, in a quality management plan, quality metrics for the
project and product output
1.3 Select established quality management methods, techniques and tools
to resolve quality issues
1.4 Distribute, discuss and support quality requirements with project team
and stakeholders
1.5 Include agreed quality requirements in the project management plan,
and implement as basis for performance measurement
2. Implement quality 2.1 Undertake quality assurance audit of project processes for compliance
processes
with agreed plans
2.2 Assess quality control of project and product output according to
agreed quality specifications
2.3 Identify causes of variance to quality metrics and undertake remedial
action
2.4 Maintain a quality management system to enable accurate and timely
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recording of quality audit data
3. Implement project 3.1 Review processes and implement agreed changes continually
quality improvements throughout the project life cycle to ensure continuous quality improvement
3.2 Review project outcomes against performance requirements to
determine the effectiveness of quality-management processes and
procedures
3.3 Identify and document lessons learned and
recommended improvements
Foundation Skills
This section describes language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills incorporated in the
performance criteria that are required for competent performance.
Skill
Performance
Description
Criteria
1.1, 1.2, 2.1,  Interprets, analyses and assesses textual information obtained
2.2, 3.1-3.3
from a range of sources and determines how content may be
applied to requirements
Reading
Writing
1.2, 1.5, 2.1,  Develops and documents quality requirements for project plan
2.4, 3.3
 Records results of quality audits according to organisational
requirements
Oral
Communication
1.1, 1.4
Numeracy
1.1, 1.2, 2.2,  Interprets information to determine measurable objectives
2.3
 Interprets numerical information to measure outcomes
against objectives
 Participates in a verbal exchanges using clear language and
appropriate non-verbal features to provide and seek relevant
information
 Uses active listening and questioning techniques to elicit views
and opinions of others
Navigate
the 1.1
world of work
 Takes responsibility for identifying and following policies,
Interact
others
 Selects and uses appropriate communication practices in a
with 1.1, 1.4
procedures and standards
range of work contexts
 Collaborates with others to foster shared understanding of
quality requirements
Get the work 1.3, 1.5, 2.1,  Sequences and schedules complex activities, monitors actions
done
2.2-2.4, 3.1against goals, adjusting plans and resources where necessary
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3.3
 Uses analytical skills to review and evaluate process and
decide on future improvements
 Uses digital applications to access, organise, integrate and
share relevant information in effective ways
Unit Mapping Information
Code and title
Code and title
Comments
Equivalence status
current version
previous version
BSBPMG513
Manage BSBPMG513
Manage Updated to correct Equivalent unit
project quality
project quality
missing element
Release 2
Release 1
Assessment requirements – Modification History
Release
Comments
Release 2
This version first released with BSB Business Services Training Package
Version 1.2.
Release 1
Version created to correct missing elements
This version first released with BSB Business Services Training Package
Version 1.0.
Performance Evidence
Evidence of the ability to:




work with others to decide a project’s quality requirements
document a quality-management plan
implement quality control and assurance processes for a defined project using a range of
tools and methodologies
review outcomes and recommend process improvements.
Note: If a specific volume or frequency is not stated, then evidence must be provided at least once.
Knowledge Evidence
To complete the unit requirements safely and effectively, the individual must:





explain quality management theory
explain relevant standards that apply in the organisation
describe quality assurance and control techniques, key tools and methodologies
describe roles and responsibilities of quality management personnel
explain methods for managing continuous improvement.
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Determine quality objectives and standards with input from stakeholders1
Project Quality Management
When gathering requirements for a project, a manager needs to go beyond specifying what is being
developed (scope) and when it will be delivered (time). They also need to plan quality measures into
each deliverable, which contributes towards the end product or service. One can think of quality
management as answering the “how” part of problem solving. In the planning process, a project
manager assesses product/service specifications and arrives at S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable,
Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) quality criteria for each deliverable. These plans are executed
throughout the project lifecycle (via testing, inspections, walkthroughs etc.). As the project manager
controls and monitors the project, they may modify and correct product/service specifications and
plans to achieve better quality. Lastly, the project manager conducts an audit of product/service
quality as the project reaches closure. A key concern of the project manager at this stage is to have
stakeholders formally accept the final product/service through achieving a sign-off document. If
quality planning and execution are done properly within a project, it makes the end-product more
appealing to stakeholders.
What is Quality?
Project quality management is all of the processes and activities needed to determine and achieve
project quality.
But what does “quality” really mean?
At its most basic level, quality means meeting the needs of customers. This is also known as “fit for
use.”
1
Source: Project Management Skills, as at http://www.project-management-skills.com/project-qualitymanagement.html, as on 6th October, 2016.
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I like this simple definition of quality because its focus is where it should be, on the customer. This
basic definition also implies that the requirements of the project have been met since the
requirements should reflect the customer’s needs if collected properly.
As the project manager, there are three key quality management concepts that will help you deliver
a high quality project…



Customer Satisfaction
Prevention over Inspection
Continuous Improvement
3 Key Quality Management Concepts
Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is a key measure of a project’s quality. It’s important to keep in mind that
project quality management is concerned with both the product of the project and the management
of the project.
If the customer doesn’t feel the product produced by the project meets their needs or if the way the
project was run didn’t meet their expectations, then the customer is very likely to consider the
project quality as poor, regardless of what the project manager or team thinks.
As a result, not only is it important to make sure the project requirements are met, managing
customer expectations is also a critical activity that you need to handle well for your project to
succeed.
Prevention over Inspection
The Cost of Quality (COQ) includes money spent during the project to avoid failures and money
spent during and after the project because of failures. These are known as the Cost of Conformance
and the Cost of Non-conformance.
Cost of Conformance
Prevention Costs




Training
Document Processes
Equipment
Time To Do It Right
Appraisal Costs



Testing
Destructive Testing Loss
Inspections
Cost of Non-conformance
Internal Failure Costs


Rework
Scrap
External Failure Costs



Liabilities
Warranty Work
Lost Business
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The cost of preventing mistakes is usually much less than the cost of correcting them.
Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement is a concept that exists in all of the major quality management approaches
such as Six Sigma and Total Quality Management (TQM). In fact, it is a key aspect of the last
concept, prevention over inspection.
Continuous improvement is simply the ongoing effort to improve your products, services, or
processes over time. These improvements can be small, incremental changes or major,
breakthrough type changes.
From a project perspective, this concept can be applied by analyzing the issues that were
encountered during the project for any lessons learned that you can apply to future projects. The
goal is to avoid repeating the same issues in other projects.
Quality Management for Projects
Project Quality Management has three key processes that you should perform in your projects…
Plan Quality
Plan Quality involves identifying the quality requirements for both the project and the product and
documenting how the project can show it is meeting the quality requirements. The outputs of this
process include a Quality Management Plan, quality metrics, quality checklists and a Process
Improvement Plan.
Perform Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance is used to verify that the project processes are sufficient so that if they are being
adhered to the project deliverables will be of good quality. Process checklists and project audits are
two methods used for project quality assurance.
Perform Quality Control
Quality Control verifies that the product meets the quality requirements. Peer reviews and testing
are two methods used to perform quality control. The results will determine if corrective action is
needed.
Quality management is the process for ensuring that all project activities necessary to design, plan
and implement a project are effective and efficient with respect to the purpose of the objective and
its performance.
Project quality management (QM) is not a separate, independent process that occurs at the end of
an activity to measure the level of quality of the output. It is not purchasing the most expensive
material or services available on the market.
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Quality and grade are not the same, grade are characteristics of a material or service such as
additional features. A product may be of good quality (no defects) and be of low grade (few or no
extra features).
Quality management is a continuous process that starts and ends with the project. It is more about
preventing and avoiding than measuring and fixing poor quality outputs. It is part of every project
management processes from the moment the project initiates to the final steps in the project
closure phase.
QM focuses on improving stakeholder’s satisfaction through continuous and incremental
improvements to processes, including removing unnecessary activities; it achieves that by the
continuous improvement of the quality of material and services provided to the beneficiaries. It is
not about finding and fixing errors after the fact, quality management is the continuous monitoring
and application of quality processes in all aspects of the project.
The Purpose of Management of Quality
The main principle of project quality management is to ensure the project will meet or exceed
stakeholder’s needs and expectations. The project team must develop a good relationship with key
stakeholders, specially the donor and the beneficiaries of the project, to understand what quality
means to them. One of the causes for poor project evaluations is the project focuses only in meeting
the written requirements for the main outputs and ignores other stakeholder needs and
expectations for the project.
Quality must be viewed on an equal level with scope, schedule and budget. If a project donor is not
satisfied with the quality of how the project is delivering the outcomes, the project team will need to
make adjustments to scope, schedule and budget to satisfy the donor’s needs and expectations. To
deliver the project scope on time and on budget is not enough, to achieve stakeholder satisfaction
the project must develop a good working relationship with all stakeholders and understand their
stated or implied needs.
Project management consists of four main processes:
 Quality Definition
 Quality Assurance
 Quality Control
 Quality Improvements
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Quality Characteristics
All material or services have characteristics that facilitate the identification of its quality. The
characteristics are part of the conditions of how the material, equipment and services are able to
meet the requirements of the project and are fit for use by the beneficiaries. Quality characteristics
relate to the attributes, measures and methods attached to that particular product or service.








Functionality is the degree, by which equipment performs its intended function.
Performance, it’s how well a product or service performs the beneficiaries intended use.
Reliability, it’s the ability of the service or product to perform as intended under normal
conditions without unacceptable failures.
Relevance, it’s the characteristic of how a product or service meets the actual needs of the
beneficiaries, it should be pertinent, applicable, and appropriate to its intended use or
application
Timeliness, how the product or service is delivered in time to solve the problems when its
needed and not after.
Suitability, defines the fitness of its use, it appropriateness and correctness.
Completeness, the quality that the service is complete and includes all the entire scope of
services. Training sessions should be complete and include all the material needed to build a
desired skill or knowledge.
Consistency, services are delivered in the same way for every beneficiary.
Quality characteristics are not limited to the material, equipment or service delivered to the
beneficiaries, but also applies to the material, equipment and services the project staff uses to
deliver the project outputs. These include the vehicles, computers, various equipment and tools and
consulting services the project purchases and uses to carry out its activities.
Quality characteristics must be included in all material, equipment and services the project will
purchase, the procurement officers must have a complete description of what is required by the
project, otherwise a procurement office may purchase the goods or services based on her or his
information of the product.
Commentators have differing views on what constitutes a quality project. The generally agreed
parameters are that it delivers the desired outcomes on time and within budget. Through our long
experience, the Transformed team has identified 6 key factors that improve project quality2:
Key Success Factor 1: A Good Plan
The Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle is fundamental to achieving project quality. The overall project plan
should include a plan for how the project manager and team will maintain quality standards
throughout the project’s cycle.
Key Success Factor 2: Appropriate Communication
2
Source: Project Smart, as at https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/6-success-factors-for-managing-projectquality.php, as on 6th October, 2016.
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Despite good project planning and scheduling, poor or absent communication with team members
and stakeholders can bring a project undone. Project managers need excellent communication skills
and a comprehensive scheme that encourages formal and informal discussion of expectations,
innovation, progress and results.
Key Success Factor 3: Manage Stakeholders
Stakeholders include everyone who has an interest in, can influence or is affected by the project’s
implementation or outcomes. To engage stakeholders, identify who they are, analyse their concerns
and what they need to know and then prepare a strategy to provide the appropriate amount of
information and opportunities for involvement.
Key Success Factor 4: Good Measurement
Early in the process it is important to identify the key outcomes and outputs of the project and how
you will measure whether they have been delivered. Implement processes that measure progress,
both qualitatively and quantitatively, throughout the project at individual, team and whole project
levels. This ensures that problems can be identified early and successful tactics can be promulgated
throughout the project.
Key Success Factor 5: Constant Review
Along with good measurement go good review mechanisms. Successful project managers diligently
and regularly review progress against the schedule, budget and quality elements of the project.
Regular review allows problems to be identified early so that corrective action can be taken to keep
the project on track. Review also helps team members to learn and improve their skills.
Key Success Factor 6: Act Early
Measurement and review are important, but they are only effective if the project manager takes
action on issues identified. Leaving problems to be fixed up later is a recipe for disaster. Simple
issues should be addressed immediately. More complex issues should be added for action into the
project plan and resources allocated to address them.
Quality management has four components; quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and
continual improvement. These include procedures, tools and techniques that are used to ensure that
the outputs and benefits meet customer requirements.
The first component, quality planning, involves the preparation of a quality management plan that
describes the processes and metrics that will be used. The quality management plan needs to be
agreed with relevant stakeholders to ensure that their expectations for quality are correctly
identified. The processes described in the quality management plan should conform to the
processes, culture and values of the host organisation.
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Quality assurance provides confidence to the host organisation that its projects, programs and
portfolios are being well managed. It validates the consistent use of procedures and standards, and
ensures that staff have the correct knowledge, skills and attitudes to fulfil their project roles and
responsibilities in a competent manner. Quality assurance must be independent of the project,
program or portfolio to which it applies.
The next component, quality control, consists of inspection, testing and measurement. It verifies
that the deliverables conform to specification, are fit for purpose and meet stakeholder
expectations.
Quality control activities determine whether acceptance criteria have, or have not, been met. For
this to be effective, specifications must be under strict configuration control. It is possible that, once
agreed, the specification may need to be modified. Commonly this is to accommodate change
requests or issues, while maintaining acceptable time and cost constraints. Any consequent changes
to acceptance criteria should be approved and communicated.
The last component, continual improvement, is the generic term used by organisations to describe
how information provided by quality assurance and quality control processes is used to drive
improvements in efficiency and effectiveness. A P3 maturity model provides a framework against
which continual improvement can be initiated and embedded in the organisation.
Quality management aims to “get it right” for the key stakeholders (i.e. the customers) at all stages
of the project. Getting it right does not just involve evaluating the product or service at the end of
the project. Everyone involved in the project must work hard throughout the project to:
define the standards and measures of quality that will be applied
comply with the defined quality standards so that customers and
stakeholders will be satisfied; and

monitor and improve on both the processes and products/services of the
project so that quality continues to improve.
“Project Quality” in this set of materials covers the following broad areas:

the principles underpinning project quality management and how they
apply to specific projects

responsibilities for managing project quality

use of quality management systems, standards and techniques to projects

where quality management fits in to the stages of the project life cycle

the capabilities, limitations, application and contribution to project
outcomes of different quality management methodologies


Definitions and main activities involved in project quality management
There is no single definition of quality, nor a standard units of measurement: time can be measured
in months, days, hours etc; cost can be measured in dollars and cents; but quality is defined and
measured by the stakeholders, particularly the client/customer and will be different for each project.
Quality means different things to different people.
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Project quality is concerned with getting things right. The standard that is acceptable will vary from
project to project. In some there may be almost no margin for error, whilst in others it may
acceptable to provide a service/product that is “good enough.” For example in building and
construction, the exact fit of prefabricated pieces is critical and there is no margin for error. In an
area where a prototype is to be developed and trialled, such as in information technology or human
resources management areas, it may acceptable to produce an outcome that is the next stage in an
continuous improvement process. The actual specifications of the final product/service may not be
known until the end.
The principles of project quality
The project quality management system should embody some key principles, including:






planning work so that quality is built in from the beginning of the project.
This includes setting quality standards to be met.
each individual taking personal responsibility for work products and
processes, with an emphasis on ‘getting it right first time’ or coming close
exposing project products to scrutiny so that errors can be detected and
removed at the earliest possible stage
applying accepted standardised processes to improve efficiency and
effectiveness
making sure that feedback is sought and gained at times in the project
when it can be used to improve products and processes
implementing project improvements continuously
Achieving project quality costs. Spending time and effort accurately defining the
quality of project processes and products can seem costly. However if the
correct processes and procedures are not put in place at the beginning, the cost
of rectifying mistakes at the end are far greater. The relationship is illustrated in
the diagram below.
Planning and appraisal
costs
Failure costs
1
2
3
4
Project stages
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What is involved in managing project quality?
Managing project quality will involve all of the following:









Understanding the need of the customer/client and
Implementing processes to meet customer/client needs
Providing effective leadership and co-ordination
Ensuring there is a culture where all team members work to achieve
planned project outcomes
Recognising and utilising the abilities of all team members
Only employing processes that contribute to effectiveness and efficiency in
achieving objectives.
Implementing continuous improvement linked to project goals
Ensuring reliable evidence underpins decision-making
Developing and maintaining a mutually beneficial supplier relationships
The following are the steps in ensuring this happens:



Determine quality requirements
Implement quality assurance
Implement project quality improvement
The Relationship of Project Quality Management and Project Phases
Project quality management is important at all stages of project operations. You must demonstrate
an understanding of. The summary below provides information on considerations at the different
stages that impact on learning and assessment activities.
Proponent phase – ie before a project proposal is submitted (initiation/concept phase) involves
exploring and determining a broad framework of quality for the project to ensure that project
specifications will be accurate. The quality framework will cover:




processes to be applied
specifications of outputs to be delivered
identifying experts who can monitor and check quality throughout the
project and at the end
identifying the quality criteria that must be met before project sign off can
occur
Approval phase – once a project is approved (planning/development) will include:
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developing and agreeing on the quality criteria that will be applied to the
project; and
identifying the processes that will be to measure, monitor and report
compliance with quality criteria
Implementation phase – when the project is underway (delivery) will include:



clearly defining and communicating to all stakeholders and project team
members the performance indicators and measures that must be met,
collecting information on the product and services and processes at
different times to monitor achievement of quality measures
incorporating feedback from quality monitoring into the project’s processes
and outputs to ensure continuous improvement.
Throughout the implementation phase all those involved in the project will have varying degrees of
responsibility for quality assurance, depending on their role.
Completion phase -review (finalisation) involves checking the products and project outcomes for
compliance with specifications/requirements. This may require sign off by key stakeholders.
Responsibilities for managing project quality
Quality is not the responsibility of quality managers or specialist quality assurance teams, but is the
responsibility of all project team members. Everyone should monitor the quality of their own
processes and products/services and seek and implement ways to improve them. The table below
lists responsibilities in relation to quality, by all those involved in the project.
Personnel
project manager
Responsibility
Development of project quality plan
Monitor collection of feedback on quality processes and products
Manage incorporation of feedback into project processes and products
Manage team delivery of quality outcomes
authorizing
agent/agency
Manage communication and reporting on project quality to project sponsor
and stakeholders
Identify and communicate required quality standards for project
outcomes/processes
Agree on monitoring and reporting processes
project sponsor
Evaluate quality outcomes against requirements
Agree and monitor project quality criteria and how they are met
May lead external project quality monitoring processes such as project
management committees etc
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Personnel
project team
member(s)
Responsibility
Understand quality standards required (for products and processes)
Comply with quality requirements
Provide feedback to other team members and project manager on quality
issues as they arise
stakeholders
Contribute to collecting, checking and reporting quality issues
Identify quality criteria required to be met by the project e.g. environmental
standards, product specifications; consultation processes etc
Identify processes for monitoring how the project meets that criteria (ongoing
and at the end)
Stakeholder involvement in project quality management
Project stakeholders have a specific and clearly definable stake/interest in the project. Stakeholders
are usually both internal and external to the organisation that is authorising the project. It is anyone
who is affected by the project processes or the project results.
Different stakeholders of the project will have different views about quality, depending on their
interests and expertise. For example the project sponsor’s focus on quality may be on producing
outcomes that meet specifications, within budget and timeframes; funding bodies may be looking
for reliability and value in project products ensuring they contribute to strategic objectives; and
consumers may be primarily concerned with the quality of consultation processes. If you fail to
meet stakeholder expectations of quality can often be very damaging to an otherwise successful
project. For example a building must not just satisfy a customer’s design, but must also comply with
all relevant local regulations.
Activity 1
Provide a definition of Quality with respect to project management.
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Activity 1
Determining quality objectives
At the outset of the project, the quality requirements will be defined in a quality management plan.
The major components of the quality plan are:



The definition and components of quality as it relates to the project. These
are also known as the quality objectives.
The standards/measures that are to be met
The level of performance/ quality required. This will determine the quality
management methods, techniques and tools that will be employed
throughout the project.
Quality objectives may be defined in many ways. It may be:



Being fit and/or suitable for a defined use or purpose
Satisfying customer needs
Compliance with existing standards such as Australian standards, industry
standards, production standards, professional standards etc.
There Australian and international standards relating to quality that are often
used to determine quality objectives. (AS3563/ISO9000)
The quality requirements may be defined by:




the client and other stakeholders
a higher project authority
negotiated trade-offs between cost, schedule and performance
those which may impact on customer satisfaction
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Determining quality management methods tools and techniques
Quality Management should focus on three main areas:



Prevention
Checking
Testing
Prevention, and as far as possible getting it right first time, can be best achieved through:




careful planning at the outset that includes defining goals in terms of
deliverables and their quality measures,
applying best practice processes
selecting the right expertise on the team
defining and implementing monitoring and gap analysis processes
Checking will involve testing and monitoring throughout the project that processes and products
comply with the agreed quality criteria and will deliver the quality outcomes.
Testing of the product/service to ensure it will work may be undertaken internally or include
external experts. If it is undertaken internally, it is important that the person doing the teasing is not
the same person as responsible for delivery. This will ensure that there is no perceived conflict of
interest, that impartial advice is provided and that assumptions are thoroughly tested.
Testing may be undertaken in a simulated environment or a real life test and it should be thorough
and designed to pick up errors.
If testing reveals that project outcomes do not met specifications, this could be an expensive
exercise so it should always be combined with thorough prevention measures to ensure that errors
are picked up before the final testing stage.
Identifying quality criteria
Defining the quality requirements of the project requires consultation with clients and relevant key
stakeholders and with the higher project authority. It is usually an iterative process, with the results
being recorded in a Quality Definition Table. The process outlined in this section of the Learner
Guide It will allow you to develop a Quality Definition Table.
The Quality Definition Table will include:


the quality items that are essential to the project. Quality items might
include: reliability, useability, functionality, attractiveness, specific design
features, innovation, timeliness, value for money, economic sustainability
etc
Measurable Items. In defining the quality definition table, it is crucial that
all items can be measured.
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Unit Measure and Standards for each item. Unlike areas such as time and
costs, there is no accepted measure of quality: it will be defined according
to the needs and wishes of the key stakeholders and will usually be in
descriptive, outcome terms.
Items that can be compromised. It is assumed that the project will aim to
imbed the highest quality in all aspects of the project, but there are some
items that will be essential and some that may be sacrificed due to
resourcing or time considerations. For example, in the Events Management
case study, players’ uniforms did not match existing standard colour
schemes because there was less than 2 weeks to finalise all arrangements.
It was considered in this respect that close enough would be good enough,
since the final outcomes (i.e amount of money raised) was unlikely to be
influence by a colour variation).
Sample quality definition table
Quality item
Measurable
Unit Measure and
Item
Standards
Error reports
Average time between failures
Reliability
Uptime
Easy to use, Intuitive/user friendly
Downtime
Fewer support calls
Appropriate training
Productivity
Good end user documentation
% uptime compared with %
downtime
Number of calls to help desk
Measure actuals productivity
of users their work before and
after the new system
Help desk support
Process for developing quality definition table
The following activities might assist you to develop a quality definition table
Step 1 Collect Information
Meet with the customer, project team members and key
stakeholders separately, and have them each complete the
sentence, “ it would be good if the project….”.
Then have them answer the questions “Anything else?” until they
have exhausted their list. Record all statements.
Step 2 Group and aggregate Write up the list of results and combine similar items
quality items
Step 3 Record aggregated Organise items into column 1 of the quality definition table.
project quality items in Quality
Definition table
Step 4 Scope how to measure Brainstorm with your team how you might measure each item to
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quality items
Step 5 Validate, refine and
agree on final list of quality
items with customer
fill in column 2
Take the draft table back to your customer to make any
adjustments or additions to the entries and have them identify
items that are essential i.e. required for sign off of the project.
Once essential items are identified have them arrange the
remaining items in priority order by asking the question “if you
could have one more item what would it be?”, until all items that
are required, are exhausted.
Step 6 Finalise quality items Take the prioritised list to your project team. Review and improve
and measures and identify the measurable items and add standards and units of measure.
tools to be applied to quality There may existing tools, measures or standards that will assist
measurement
you in this, such as national, international and industry standards
and legislation
Activity 2
Provide an example of one SMART project objective related to project quality.
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Document, in a quality management plan, quality metrics for the project and
product output3
Quality Planning
Quality is the degree to which the project fulfills requirements. Quality management planning
determines quality policies and procedures relevant to the project for both project deliverables and
project processes, defines who is responsible for what, and documents compliance.
The quality management plan identifies these key components:
Objects of quality review
Project Deliverables
Project Processes
Quality Measure
Deliverable Quality Standards
Customer Satisfaction
Process Quality Standards
Stakeholder Expectations
Quality Evaluation Methods
Quality Control Activities
Quality Assurance Activities
The following is a brief explanation of each of the components of the quality management plan.
Project
Deliverables The key project deliverables and processes subject to quality review.
and Project Processes
Deliverable Quality
The quality standards that are the “measures” used to determine a
Standards
successful outcome for a deliverable. These standards may vary
dependent on the type of information technology project.
Customer Satisfaction The customer satisfaction criteria describe when each deliverable is
complete and acceptable as defined by the customer. Deliverables are
evaluated against these criteria.
Process Quality
The quality standards that are the “measures” used to determine if project
Standards
work processes are being followed. A Process Guidelines Checklist can be
used as an aide.
Stakeholder
Stakeholder expectations describe when a project process is effective as
Expectations
defined by the project stakeholders. An example is the review and
approval of all high impact changes to the project.
Quality Control
The quality control activities that monitor and verify that the project
Activities
deliverables meet defined quality standards.
Quality Assurance
The quality assurance activities that monitor and verify that the processes
Activities
used to manage and create the deliverables are followed and are effective.
Projects
Projects that are part of a program may well have much of the quality management plan developed
at program level to ensure that standards are consistent with the rest of the program.
3
Source: Virginia Tech, as at http://www.itplanning.org.vt.edu/pm/qualitymgmtplan.html, as on 6th October,
2016; Wikibooks, as at https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Project_Management/PMBOK/Quality_Management, as
on 6th October, 2016.
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Stand-alone projects need to develop their own quality management plans, either from scratch or by
adapting those from other similar projects. This may seem to be an administrative burden at the
beginning of smaller projects, but is always worthwhile in the end.
Projects deliver tangible outputs that are subject to many forms of quality control, depending upon
the technical nature of the work and codes affecting particular industries. Examples of inspecting
deliverables include crushing samples of concrete used in the foundations of a building; x-raying
welds in a ship’s hull; and following the test script for a new piece of software.
Inspection produces data and tools such as scatter diagrams, control charts, flowcharts and cause
and effect diagrams, all of which help to understand the quality of work and how it may be
improved.
The main contribution to continual improvement that can be made within the timescale of a project
is through lessons learned. Existing lessons learned should be consulted at the beginning of every
project, and any relevant lessons used in the preparation of the project documentation.
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At the end of every project, the lessons learned should be documented as part of the post-project
review and fed back into the knowledge database.
Plan Quality Management: Inputs4
A lot of the product quality planning happens concurrently while developing the project
management plan. For example, as you plan for scope and requirements management and gather
requirements, you’re looking at performance, reliability, and maintainability requirements (and so
forth). These are all related to product quality.
As you create the scope statement, the work breakdown structure (WBS), and the WBS dictionary,
you will find additional information about product quality. In fact, product scope and product quality
are so tightly linked that on smaller, less-complex projects, they aren’t really differentiated.
Many other inputs are used to plan for project quality. For example, you use the schedule and cost
baselines to determine the quality of the project performance. The risk register can identify events
that can negatively impact project or product quality. The stakeholder register documents
stakeholders with an interest or impact on quality management.
Many products have standards and regulations that need to be followed for compliance or
marketability reasons. Building codes are an example of regulations that affect the quality-planning
process. Computer hardware configurations — such as USB ports, pin configurations, and the like —
are examples of standards that affect the marketability of a product and that need to be considered
when planning for product quality.
Your company policies often define processes that must be followed to ensure project and product
quality. A key piece of information you can reference is the organisation ’s quality policy (assuming
that one exists), which you can use as a foundation to develop a project-quality policy.
Plan Quality Management: Outputs
The output of all this work is a quality management plan, which is a component of the overall project
management plan, describing how you plan to conduct the various quality processes on your
project. In particular, it should address





Roles associated with quality management
Responsibilities associated with the roles
Quality assurance approach
Techniques and measurements used for quality control
Plans for quality improvement activities
When planning for quality control, you need to establish very detailed descriptions of what you will
be measuring and what the acceptable measurements are: in other words, metrics.
4
Source: Dummies, as at http://www.dummies.com/careers/project-management/pmp-certification/planquality-management-inputs-and-outputs-on-the-pmp-certification-exam/, as on 6th October, 2016.
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A metric is a measurement or definition that describes in very specific terms what something is and
how it will be measured.
You can create checklists for processes to ensure that the proper steps are carried out in the proper
order. Another use for checklists is to help audit the process or for a quality control person to use to
monitor results.
When working on a process-improvement project, or if part of your project charter includes
instructions to improve the processes used for a project, you will include a process-improvement
plan as well. Contents for the process-improvement plan include





Process description
Process metrics
Targets for improvement
Improvement approach
Flowchart of the current process (sometimes called the “as-is process”)
Programs
The responsibility of the program management team is to develop a quality management plan that
encompasses the varied contexts and technical requirements contained within the program. This
sets the standards for the project quality management plans and also acts as a plan for quality in the
benefits realisation parts of the program.
A comprehensive quality management plan at program level can greatly reduce the effort involved
in preparing project-level quality management plans.
Quality control of outputs is mainly handled at project level, but the program may get involved
where an output from one project is an input to another, or where additional inspection is needed
when outputs from two or more projects are brought together.
The program is responsible for quality control of benefits. This is a complex task since the
acceptance criteria of a benefit may cover subjective as well as measurable factors but benefits
should be defined in measurable terms so that quality control can be applied.
The typical scale of programs means that they have a very useful role to play in continual
improvement. Program assurance will ensure that projects do take existing lessons learned into
account and then capture their own lessons for addition to the knowledge database.
Portfolios
The very nature of a portfolio means that it is unlikely to need a portfolio quality management plan.
Quality management for the portfolio should be indistinguishable from the quality management
policies of the host organisation as a whole.
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It may be necessary for the portfolio management team to provide guidance on the application of
general policies or perhaps augment them where the portfolio creates special requirements.
The portfolio is responsible for delivering strategic objectives. These may be expressed in very broad
terms resulting in difficulty in applying quality control. When establishing the scope of a portfolio,
attention should be given to defining acceptance criteria for strategic objectives so that they can be
quality controlled.
Continual improvement is very much a concern at portfolio level. The portfolio management team
needs to ensure that the management of projects and programmes becomes more effective and
efficient with the passage of time.
Basis for Quality Planning5
In quality planning, the project manager defines and codifies the standards the project will be
required to meet to be successful, and how those standards will be achieved and confirmed.
Managers consider quality planning in conjunction with the rest of the project planning because it
influences costs, scheduling and other factors. Without strong quality planning, a project carries an
increased risk that the client won’t be satisfied with the results.
Sets the Standards
Quality planning determines the scope of what’s going to be measured, what metrics will determine
whether the project is successful, and how those will be satisfied, from beginning to end. Usually,
the scope depends on the specific deliverables and processes the project manager is responsible for.
Quality assurance systems should be defined and implemented, whether that consists of audits,
product testing, peer review or other measures. In addition, stakeholder expectations should be
documented to ensure there are no surprises later. Without this, a project can be derailed if there
are different interpretations of how and what determines acceptable quality for a project.
SMART Benchmarks
Except for very short-term projects, quality plans should include benchmarks. These points of
reference identify the progress of a project against expectations generated from previous projects,
industry standards or other measurements, and measure progress periodically from the initial
development stages to the final product. Like other processes, quality planning should include
metrics that are specific, measurable, agreed-upon, realistic and time-bound. Such SMART goals can
serve to keep the project on course and help identify quality problems early. For example, if one of
your project phases involves outsourcing the manufacture of key components, one benchmark
might measure testing each component at various points in time. This would let a project manager
know if the quality of raw materials or workmanship deteriorates before it’s incorporated into the
final product.
5
Source: Chron, as at http://smallbusiness.chron.com/quality-planning-important-project-management81402.html, as on 6th October, 2016.
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Delegates Responsibility
A quality plan should detail not only what the benchmarks are, but who’s responsible for meeting
them and which stakeholder has the authority to confirm standards are being met. This
accountability helps mitigate the risks that a project won’t satisfy the client, finish on budget or stick
to the schedule. A quality checklist that stays with the project manager can be used to serve as a
reference. This helps lessen the risk of unwelcome surprises later on in the project.
Controls Costs
A central reason for quality planning is its impact on costs. Conducting a cost-benefit analysis
determines how much each incremental improvement affects the bottom line, so an informed
decision can be made when separating must-haves from nice-to-haves in project design. A building
that must remain fully functional during a flood, for example, will have different quality standards
and different costs than one with a less rigorous design. If the building is located in a flood plain,
these quality standards may be necessary. In a more arid environment, however, the cost of these
standards may outweigh the benefit. A quality plan can help identify these variables.
Quality planning involves identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and
determining how to satisfy them. It is important to perform quality planning during the Planning
Process and should be done alongside the other project planning processes (i.e. Time Planning, Risk
Planning, etc.) because changes in the quality will likely require changes in the other planning
processes, or the desired product quality may require a detailed risk analysis of an identified
problem. It is important to remember that quality should be planned, designed, then built in, not
added on after the fact.
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Inputs
Enterprise Environmental Factors
Factors which are related to the type of business the project is being produced for can have an effect
on its quality. Such factors include government or industry standards, marketplace conditions and
stakeholder risk tolerances.
Organisational Process Assets
Organisation Process Assets (or “OPAs”) are inputs which come from the organisation (s) producing
the project. They include quality policies, procedures and guidelines, historical databases and lessons
learned from previous projects. An organisation ‘s quality policy may be adapted to a particular
project, or used “as is.” If no quality policy exists, or if more than one organisation is working on the
project, the project management team needs to develop one. The project management team is also
responsible for making sure the stakeholders are aware of quality policy.
Project Scope Statement
The project scope statement details the deliverables, objectives, thresholds and acceptance criteria
that the project must meet. This makes it very important to quality planning.
Acceptance criteria describe the requirements and conditions that must be achieved before
deliverables will be accepted. If the deliverables satisfy the acceptance criteria, then the result is the
customer’s needs being met. The acceptance criteria can drastically increase or decrease the costs of
project quality. In addition, the product scope statement may contain a scope description which
contains issues that may affect quality planning.
Tools and Techniques
Cost-Benefit Analysis
During the quality planning process it is important to consider cost-benefits trade-offs. The key
benefit of meeting sufficient quality requirements is that it results in less rework, which in turn
results in higher productivity, lower costs, and greater satisfaction from the stakeholder. The main
cost of achieving such quality requirements is the expense the comes with activities relating to
Project Quality Management.
Benchmarking
The process of benchmarking compares planned or existing project practices to the practices set in
place for other projects in order to generate ideas as to which areas of the project could be
improved upon. Furthermore, it is also used to provide a basis for measuring overall performance.
The projects used for comparison can be from within the performing organisation or from a source
outside of it, and do not necessarily have to be from within the same application area to be used.
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Design of Experiments (DOE)
Design of Experiments (DOE) is a method used to identify factors which may influence certain
aspects of a product or process during the time it is under development or in production. It also
holds a key role in the process of optimizing products/processes. An organisation would use DOE to
reduce the sensitivity of product performance to factors caused by differences in manufacturing or
the environment. The main benefit of DOE is that it provides the organisation with a framework to
systematically change all of the important factors associated with a project, rather than changing
them one at a time. By analysing the data obtained, an organisation can find the optimal conditions
for their product/process, with a focus on factors influencing the results, and showing the existence
of correlations and interactions within the factors.
Cost of Quality (COQ)
Quality costs are the total of all costs incurred in preventing non-conformance to established
project/process requirements, appraising the product for conformance to requirements, and any
rework necessitated by a failure to meet requirements. Failure costs are divided into internal and
external costs. Failure costs are also known as cost of poor quality.
Additional Quality Planning Tools
Additional quality planning tools are often used to better define the situation and assist in planning
effective and efficient quality management activities. These include brainstorming, affinity diagrams,
nominal group techniques, matrix diagrams, flowcharts, and prioritization matrices.
By keeping the benchmarks for required levels of quality in mind, such as Enterprise Environmental
Factors and Organisational Process Assets, projects will be much more likely to satisfy end-user
requirements. In addition, by utilizing the tools listed above, the costs incurred for assuring quality
can be minimized, while ensuring project success.
While all PMBOK areas are an important part of a project, quality controls are what shape the final
product. By holding the project itself to high standards of quality, that project will produce results of
similar worth.
Developing the Quality Management Plan
The quality management plan will normally include:




established processes
authorisations and responsibilities for quality control
quality assurance
continuous improvement
It will cover the components of the quality definition table with the addition of:
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Identification of tools, techniques and methods that will be used to monitor
quality. These will vary with the project but could include:

















Group Work Activities
Brainstorming
Benchmarking
Charting Processes
Ranking (Or Items, Candidates, Products Etc)
Defining Control
Undertaking Benefit/Cost Analysis
Processes That Limit And/Or Indicate Variation
Control Charts
Flowcharts
Histograms
Pareto Charts
Scattergrams
Run Charts
Timeframes for application of quality management processes. Timeframes
should at least address each of the four project stages. See section 2.1.2
for quality management activities relating to each project stage.
Ways of reviewing quality management processes throughout the project.
Cover not just products, but all aspects of the project including:









Validity of the methodology
Change management approaches and strategies
Adherence to review and acceptance procedures
Resolution of emerging issues
Monitoring of progress
Engaging appropriate project personnel and skills
Maintenance of documentation and records
Outputs that meets agreed customer requirements
Adherence to budget within time and cost
The quality plan, once complete, becomes part of the overall project plan.
An Example of a Quality Plan – AUSAID
AUSAID has developed a quality plan (framework) for application in the projects it funds.6 It
identifies 4 quality attributes/objectives. They are: appropriate objectives and design; managed in a
professional manner, achieves its objectives and has sustainable outcomes. Standards have been
developed for application to each of the attributes and matched to project timeframes. Checklist
can be generated by selecting the timeframe and using the relevant standards for that phase. The
timeframes related to their quality management Framework are identified as being: Ident
(Identification and initial assessment); PFS (pre-feasibility study); FS and Apr (feasibility study and
appraisal); QAE (quality at entry); Impl (Implementation);
6
Source: AusAid, as at http://www.ausaid.gov.au/ausguide/ausguidelines, as on January, 2005.
29 | P a g e
A small extract from the AUSAID quality management plan is recorded below to illustrate that for
each project the quality framework will be peculiar to that project. (NOTE the whole Plan is
approximately 20 pages in length).
Quality Standards
Indicator 1 Appropriateness
of Objectives
1.1 Objective clear and
measurable
1.6 Needs of target
population reflected in
objectives
3.13 Key preparation
documents produced and
readily accessible
Ident
PFS
FS &
Appr
QAE
Impl
Notes on Standards and Guide
to Assessment
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Objectives easy to understand
and measure. This standard
should be given a high
weighting
in
overall
assessment against Indicator 1
Log frame addresses specific
target population needs
X
Response to appraisal should
specify decisions taken against
each
appraisal
recommendation
There are seven inputs to the plan quality process7:
Scope baseline.
This is the main input to plan quality, as the scope baseline defines the project requirements along
with their acceptance criteria. Since we are concerned here with planning to ensure that the
products and deliverables meet the quality criteria, then the scope baseline is vital to understand
precisely what deliverables are to be included.
Cost performance baseline.
As described above, quality and scope are closely aligned, and this as a result of any changes to the
scope, but these will need to be evaluated against the budget and the schedule.
Schedule baseline.
For the same reasons as above the schedule baseline will need to be evaluated against any changes
to the scope.
Stakeholder register.
The stakeholder register contains information on all of the stakeholders along with their particular
interest areas and expertise. Therefore, the stakeholder register will help identify those with an
7
Source: PM Primer, as at http://www.pm-primer.com/plan-quality/, as on 6th October, 2016.
30 | P a g e
interest or expertise in the quality requirements of particular products, as well as those with
expertise in quality and hence will need to collaborate with the plan quality process.
Risk register.
Meeting quality requirements poses risk to the project. For this reason, the risk register will identify
quality-related risks and in particular, those relating to customer acceptance. Although not listed as
an output for this particular process, it is likely that a new or modified quality-related risks will be
added to the risk register as a result of the plan quality process.
Organisational process assets.
Key areas here is a reference to the organisation s quality policy which should be applied to this
particular project in plan quality. In addition lessons learned, templates, and previous similar quality
management plans for previous projects will aid the structure, approach and content of the quality
management plan.
Enterprise environmental factors.
The quality expectations of the project stakeholders should be considered here including the
environment within which the project’s end-product is to operate. As a simple example, an electric
pump working deep underground would need quality attributes such as near zero maintenance, high
reliability, and premium materials. Whereas a similar pump used at ground level would focus on
quality attributes such as cheap to run and easy to replace.
There are five outputs from the plan quality process:
Quality management plan.
This is the main output from the plan quality process as it describes in detail how an organisation ’s
quality policy will be met and forms part of the project management plan.
Quality metrics.
These will be entirely dependent upon the nature of the products to be created, and therefore the
measurements described here could cover any criteria or metric. Since the success or otherwise of
the project will depend upon its meeting the quality metrics, then careful thought should be given
when describing the quality metrics in the plan quality process. For a start they must be measurable
in some way. Any ambiguity hear will be open to interpretation later, and will normally lead to cost
overruns and delays.
The process improvement plan.
This links in with the concept of ‘the learning organisation’ and is therefore a form of lessons
learned. The process improvement plan forms part of the project management plan, and lays out
exactly how quality activities will be refined, streamlined, and improved both for this, and future
projects.
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Quality check lists.
As the name suggests this checklist is there to make sure that all steps were performed and carried
out in the correct sequence. The quality check lists are created in the plan quality process and
implemented in the process ‘perform quality control’.
The project document updates.
As a consequence of completing the process plan quality, other players and documents may need to
be updated particularly the quality management plan and the process improvement plan.
There are nine tools that are used in the plan quality process:
Control charts.
These were developed originally to ensure that ANY process is statistically ‘in control’, and these
charts which are in the form of a graph, showing whether or not a process is in control. They are
often used within the manufacturing environment where the manufactured product undergoes a
series of creation steps before it is ready to be shipped to the customer.
For the process of manufacture to be under control, then it must be checked, usually by sampling,
that the resulting product falls within quality limits.
Suppose an automated machine created bars of metal that were to be 10 inches in length plus or
minus, say, one 10th of an inch. If after inspection a significant number of these bars fell outside
those limits, then the root cause needs to be found. Control charts can be used here to plot and
discover such errors.
The control charts plots statistical variations, and if the measurements fall outside of the control
limits, then the process is out of control and the cause of such deviation must be determined.
Standard deviation is used here to determine if a processes in control:
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Flowcharting.
These show graphically how the components relate to each other within a system, and are used to
predict where quality problems may happen. Cause and effect diagram is an example of
flowcharting.
Cost benefit analysis.
PMBOK states that products should not be ‘gold plated’, meaning that extra work and cost to
produce a quality which is greater than that which would be acceptable to the customer, is wasteful
and often the cause for project cost and schedule overruns. The mindset here is that the cost of all
quality activities within a project must be outweighed or at least equaled by the benefits obtained.
This means that no activities should be performed that would equal or cost more as the expected
benefits. To use a business term, this cost benefit analysis should show that the level of quality is
viable from a cost perspective and is vital in the process plan quality.
It is helpful to see cost benefit analysis as a set of scales that need to be balanced; on the one side
the cost of achieving the expected quality, and on the other side benefits such as customer
acceptance, lowered costs and rework reduction.
Cost of quality (CoQ).
As the name suggests, this technique identifies all of the costs in order to achieve the appropriate
level of quality. Examples here are cost of materials and equipment, inspecting and audit, etc.
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Benchmarking.
Benchmarking is simply a quality standard reference that is used for the current project. This may be
a benchmark used within the performing organisation , or one that is used across a specific industry.
The value of using this technique is to compare the current project’s quality standards with those of
other similar projects.
Design of experiments (DOE).
This is a complex and specialist area but is an important technique in plan quality. By the use of data
analysis, optimal conditions for the creation of products within this project are determined by data
analysis.
This technique is used in plan quality rather than conducting a series of individual trials to determine
system optimization A serious of structured tests are created and planned input changes are made
to the process while observing and assessing the output. The focus here is on the output significance
based on variable inputs and their combination.
Statistical sampling.
The purpose here is to avoid measuring everything within a product or system, but merely to select a
random sample and to treat this as representative of all units. The purpose here is to cut down on
the number of measurements that need to be taken, and hence is a more reflective method to
measure quality.
Proprietary quality management methodologies.
You need not worry too much about this for the exam, but merely to note that everything covered
here is the methodology of PMBOK, but acknowledging that other proprietary approaches to quality
can also be used.
The outputs are inputs to the other two quality processes as well as other project management
processes from other knowledge areas.
PLAN QUALITY MANAGEMENT
OUTPUTS
1.
Quality management plan
2.
Process improvement plan
3.
Quality metrics
4.
Quality checklists
Describes how the organisation ’s quality policies will be
implemented, and how the project management team
plans to meet the quality requirements.
Details the steps for analyzing project management and
product development processes to identify activities which
add value.
Describes an attribute of the project or product and how
the quality control process will measure it. They are used
in both the quality assurance and control quality processes.
Verifies that a set of required steps has been performed.
They should incorporate the acceptance criteria included in
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5.
Project documents updates
the scope baseline.
 Stakeholder register
 Responsibility assignment matrix
 WBS and WBS dictionary
2. Outputs of Plan Quality Management
a. Quality Management Plan
The main output of the process Plan Quality Management is the Quality Management Plan. This
outlines the quality policies that will be implemented, so that they can be audited in the next
process Perform Quality Assurance, and the quality requirements that the management team plans
to meet, which is demonstrated during the monitoring and controlling activities that take place in
the process Control Quality.
b. Process Improvement Plan
The definition of a project has been changed in the 5th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide. Before it was
“a unique product, service, or result”; now it’s “a unique product, service, or result OR an
improvement on an existing product, service, or result.” This expanded definition of what a project
is allows for process improvement like Six Sigma to be included as projects as well.
The Process Improvement Plan is one of the four subsidiary plans (the other three are Change
Management, Configuration Management, Requirements Management) in the Project Management
Plan, which consists of the performance baselines and the knowledge area management plans (like
the Quality Management Plan) in addition to the subsidiary plans.
Here are the elements of the Process Improvement Plan




Process boundaries (the purpose of the process, its inputs and outputs, process owner, and
the stakeholders of the process)
Process configuration (showing how the various processes fit together)
Process metrics (if there are any control limits to the processes)
Targets for improved performance
The process configuration and process boundaries are analogous to the WBS and the WBS
dictionary, respectively, but for processes rather than activities, in that they show how they fit
together and they give details concerning them. The metrics and the targets for improved
performance show what the current performance baseline is for the current state of the processes
and the future (“new and improved”) state of those processes.
c. Quality Metrics
What are the measurable project or product attributes that can be monitored and controlled in
order to control the quality? On-time performance, defect frequency, failure rate, are all examples
of such quality metrics.
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d. Quality Checklists
Checklists are used to ensure consistency in tasks, to remove the variability that the human element
naturally brings.
e. Project Document Updates
 Stakeholder updates (to include who gets involved in decisions about various processes, or
who gets informed about them)
 Responsibility assignment matrix (to include who “owns” the various processes
 WBS and WBS dictionary
The first three of these five outputs (Quality Management Plan, Process Improvement Plan, Quality
Metrics) will turn into inputs for the next process
Project Quality Plan8
Every project delivers something at the end of the project execution. When it comes to the project
initiation, the project management and the client collaboratively define the objectives and the
deliveries of the project together with the completion timelines.
During the project execution, there are a number of project deliveries made. All these deliveries
should adhere to certain quality standards (industry standards) as well as specific client
requirements.
Therefore, each of these deliveries should be validated and verified before delivering to the client.
For that, there should be a quality assurance function, which runs from start to the end of the
project.
When it comes to the quality, not only the quality of the deliveries that matter the most. The
processes or activities that produce deliverables should also adhere to certain quality guidelines as
well.
As a principle, if the processes and activities that produce the deliverables do not adhere to their
own quality standards (process quality standards), then there is a high probability that deliverables
not meeting the delivery quality standards.
To address all the quality requirements, standards and quality assurance mechanisms in a project, a
document called ‘project quality plan’ is developed by the project team. This plan acts as the quality
bible for the project and all the stakeholders of the project should adhere to the project quality plan.
8
Source: Tutorials Point, as at
https://www.tutorialspoint.com/management_concepts/project_quality_plan.htm, as on 6th October, 2016.
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The Components of a Project Quality Plan
Depending on the nature of the industry and the nature of the project, the components or the areas
addressed by a quality plan may vary. However, there are some components that can be found in
any type of quality plan.
Let’s have a look at the most essential attributes of a project quality plan.
Responsibility of Management
This describes how the management is responsible for achieving the project quality. Since
management is the controlling and monitoring function for the project, project quality is mainly a
management responsibility.
Document Management and Control
Documents are the main method of communication in project management. Documents are used
for communication between the team members, project management, senior management and the
client.
Therefore, the project quality plan should describe a way to manage and control the documents
used in the project. Usually, there can be a common documentation repository with controlled
access in order to store and retrieve the documents.
Requirements Scope
The correct requirements to be implemented are listed here. This is an abstraction of the
requirements sign-off document. Having requirements noted in the project quality plan helps the
quality assurance team to correctly validate them.
This way, quality assurance function knows what exactly to test and what exactly to leave out from
the scope. Testing the requirements that are not in the scope may be a waste for the service
provider.
Design Control
This specifies the controls and procedures used for the design phase of the project. Usually, there
should be design reviews in order to analyse the correctness of the proposed technical design. For
fruitful design reviews, senior designers or the architects of the respective domain should get
involved. Once the designs are reviewed and agreed, they are signed-off with the client.
With the time, the client may come up with changes to the requirements or new requirements. In
such cases, design may be changed. Every time the design changes, the changes should be reviewed
and signed-off.
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Development Control and Rigor
Once the construction of the project starts, all the processes, procedures and activities should be
closely monitored and measured. By this type of control, the project management can make sure
that the project is progressing in the correct path.
Testing and Quality Assurance
This component of the project quality plan takes precedence over other components. This is the
element, which describes the main quality assurance functions of the project. This section should
clearly identify the quality objectives for the project and the approach to achieve them.
Risks and Mitigation
This section identifies the project quality risks. Then, the project management team should come up
with appropriate mitigation plans in order to address each quality risk.
Quality Audits
For every project, regardless of its size or the nature, there should be periodic quality audits to
measure the adherence to the quality standards. These audits can be done by an internal team or an
external team.
Sometimes, the client may employ external audit teams to measure the compliance to standards
and procedures of the project processes and activities.
Defect Management
During testing and quality assurance, defects are usually caught. This is quite common when it
comes to software development projects. The project quality plan should have guidelines and
instructions on how to manage the defects.
Training Requirements
Every project team requires some kind of training before the project commences. For this, a skill gap
analysis is done to identify the training requirements at the project initiation phase.
The project quality plan should indicate these training requirements and necessary steps to get the
staff trained.
Project quality plan is one of the mandatory documents for any type of project.
As long as a project has defined objectives and deliverables, there should be a project quality plan to
measure the delivery and process quality.
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Activity 3
What should be included in a project quality plan?
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Select established quality management methods, techniques and tools to
resolve quality issues9
Quality Management techniques10
There are several techniques that can be used in the quality planning process but it is very unlikely
that any individual project manager would be expected to be skilled in using all of them.
A better approach would be to have an appreciation of what each one involves and then to select
those that best suit the project and delegate the work to project team members who have expertise
in that technique.
A cost-benefit analysis is by far the most important decision making tool and involves nothing more
than common sense and judgment based on experience. All quality management activities have a
related cost and that cost must be justified in terms of benefit to the project sponsor and the
organisation as a whole.
No activities should be performed that would equal or cost more than the expected benefits. It
should show that the level of quality is viable from a cost perspective and justify its inclusion in the
quality plan.
The cost of quality includes all costs incurred over the life of the product and looks at the costs of
conformance to quality standards and the costs of non-conformance.
9
Source: Bright Hub Project Management, as at http://www.brighthubpm.com/certification/72854-aroundup-of-quality-control-tools-and-techniques/#imgn_2, as on 6th October, 2016.
10
Source: Free Management eBooks, as at http://www.free-management-ebooks.com/dldebk-pdf/fmeproject-quality.pdf, as on 6th October, 2016.
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For example, the proposed quality standard for the production of a metal pressing might mandate a
tolerance of 1mm. In other words the finished part can be up to 1mm bigger or smaller than the
specification.
The costs of conformance include both the prevention and appraisal costs incurred in conforming to
this standard (Training, equipment, additional time, testing and inspections).
The costs of non-conformance include internal and external costs that would be incurred if this
quality standard were not achieved. These would include the costs of reworking or scrapping the
failed parts (internal cost) and the costs associated with sending out parts that were unacceptable to
the customer.
Project decisions can impact operational costs of quality as a result of product returns, warranty
claims, and recall campaigns. Therefore, due to the temporary nature of a project, the sponsoring
organisation may choose to invest in product quality improvement, especially defect prevention and
appraisal, to reduce the external cost of quality.
Most of the techniques described here are based on statistical analysis and are most appropriate
where the project deliverables are products that can be measured in some way.
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For example, If parts are being produced on a production line then it will be straightforward to
measure dimensions, tolerances, failure rates, etc. However, many project deliverables are not like
this and it is not possible to collect this type of data.
For example, anything that provides a user ‘experience’ can be difficult to measure in this way. The
best approach is to be aware of what tools and techniques exist and to select those that are
appropriate for the project you are working on. It may even be possible to adapt some of them in
order to provide useful data about quality even if you are not making a product that can easily be
measured.
Quality Management Tools
To ensuring Quality Assurance and Quality Control, you must involve the use of several quality
control tools and techniques.
The Perform Quality Control process of the Project Quality Management knowledge area has several
quality control tools and techniques that are also used in the Perform Quality Assurance process.
The quality control tools and techniques include:









Cause and Effect Diagrams
Control Charts
Flow-Charting
Histogram
Pareto Chart and Pareto Analysis
Run Charts
Scatter Diagrams
Statistical Sampling
Inspection
Cause and Effect Diagrams
Cause and Effect diagrams are also known as Ishikawa or Fishbone diagrams. These diagrams are
used to identify the root cause(s) of potential or existing problems. An example of this quality
control tool is shown below.
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Apart from being used as a quality control tool, these diagrams are also used in risk analysis.
Also called Ishikawa diagrams or fishbone diagrams, they illustrate how various factors might be
linked to potential problems or effects. Factors are usually grouped into major categories as shown:
● People —Anyone involved with the process
● Methods —How the process is performed including: policies, procedures, rules, regulations and
laws
● Machines —Any equipment, computers, tools, etc. required to accomplish the job
● Materials —Raw materials, parts, pens, paper, etc. used to produce the final product
● Measurements —Data generated from the process that is used to evaluate its quality
● Environment —The conditions, such as location, time, temperature, and culture in which the
process operates
This is not a statistical technique and is therefore applicable to almost all types of project. It does
have its critics precisely because is not quantitative and requires a lot of subjective analysis and
judgment.
It’s strengths are that it can help you to make sense of a situation where there are a lot of variables
that are interacting with each other, none of which are quantifiable. It is also a powerful visual tool
when you are trying to explain your analysis to others.
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Control Charts
Control charts are used to illustrate the stability of a process. This quality control tool gauges the
behavior of a process over time. If, during the recorded time, process shows unacceptable variance,
the process is deemed unstable. Unacceptable variance would be a process that shows seven
consecutive readings above or below the central line. The upper and lower limits are also set for the
process and are usually at 3-sigma.
These answer the question:
‘Is this process variance within acceptable limits?’
The pattern of data points on a control chart may reveal random fluctuating values, sudden process
jumps, or a gradual trend in increased variation. By monitoring the output of a process over time, a
control chart can help assess whether the application of process changes resulted in the desired
improvements.
When a process is within acceptable limits it is in control and does not need to be adjusted.
Conversely, when a process is outside acceptable limits, the process should be adjusted. Seven
consecutive points above or below the central line indicate a process that is out of control. The
upper control limit and lower control limit are usually set at (plus or minus) three Sigma, where one
Sigma is one standard deviation.
Although used most frequently to track repetitive activities required for producing manufactured
lots, control charts may also be used to monitor cost and schedule variances, volume, and frequency
of scope changes, or other management results to help determine if the project management
processes are in control.
Flow-Charting
Flow-charting requires you to follow the flow of a process to determine potential or existing
problems in the process. You can use this quality control tool to predict potential flaws in a process.
Apart from being used as a quality control tool, these diagrams are also used in risk analysis.
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This is a graphical representation of a process showing the relationships among process steps. There
are many styles, but all process flowcharts show: activities, decision points, and the order of
processing.
Flowcharting can help the project team anticipate quality problems that might occur and this
awareness can result in the development of test procedures or approaches for dealing with them.
A flowchart is common type of chart that represents an algorithm or process, showing the steps as
boxes of various kinds, and their order by connecting them with arrows.
There are many different types of flowcharts, and each type has its own repertoire of boxes and
notational conventions. The two most common types of boxes in a flowchart are:
A processing step (usually called an activity) that is denoted as a rectangular box, and A decision,
which is usually denoted as a diamond.
Flowcharts are used in designing and documenting complex processes. Like other types of diagram,
they help visualize what is going on and thereby help the viewer to understand a process, and
perhaps also find flaws, bottlenecks, and other less-obvious features within it.
Histogram
A histogram is a graphical representation of event frequencies. This quality control chart is also
known as a column graph.
This is a vertical bar chart showing how often a particular variable state occurred, with the height of
each column representing the relative frequency. Histograms are useful when presenting project
data to stakeholders as they can give a clear indication of which problems are the most important to
tackle.
Pareto Chart and Pareto Analysis
The Pareto Chart shows the Probability Density (depicted by the blue line) and the Distribution
Function (depicted by the red line). The probability density is the probability of the occurrence of a
variable. An example of a Pareto Chart is shown below.
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This is a special type of histogram where the values being plotted are arranged in descending order.
The graph is accompanied by a line graph that shows the cumulative totals of each category.
Left vertical axis shows the frequency of occurrence, cost or other important unit of measure. Right
vertical axis is the cumulative percentage of the total. In quality control, the Pareto chart often
represents the most common sources of defects, the highest occurring type of defect, or the most
frequent reasons for customer complaints, etc.
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The Pareto chart was developed to illustrate the 80-20 Rule, which states that 80 percent of the
problems stem from 20 percent of the various causes.
Run Charts
A run chart is a series of recorded data over time that is graphically represented. This trend will help
in understanding whether there is a problem or not. The following diagram gives an example of a
run chart.
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Scatter Diagrams
A scatter diagram shows the correlation between two variables. Scatter plots can show the
relationship between two parameters. For example, you can use Scatter Plots to understand
whether there is a relationship between team attrition and working late hours.
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f
These use Cartesian coordinates to display values for two variables for a set of data. The data is
displayed as a collection of points, each having the value of one variable determining the position on
the horizontal axis and the value of the other variable determining the position on the vertical axis. A
scatter diagram can suggest various kinds of correlations between variables with a certain
confidence level. Correlations may be:
A) Positive (rising)—If the pattern of dots slopes from lower left to upper right, it suggests a
positive correlation.
B) Negative (falling)—If the pattern of dots slopes from upper left to lower right, it suggests a
negative correlation.
C) Null (uncorrelated).
A line of best fit can be drawn in order to study the correlation between the variables.
One of the most powerful aspects of a scatter diagram is its ability to show nonlinear relationships
between variables.
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Statistical Sampling
Statistical Sampling involves measuring a portion (sample) of the entire population instead of
measuring the entire population. This can save quite a bit of time. For example, if you have to
inspect 10,000 units a day, then it would take forever to complete the activity. By sampling, it takes
much less time.
Checksheets
These are also known as tally sheets and may be used as a checklist when gathering data. They are
used to organize facts in a manner that will facilitate the effective collection of useful data about a
potential quality problem and are especially useful for gathering attributes data while performing
inspections to identify defects.
Inspection
Inspection involves reviewing the product to see if it meets the defined quality norms. Conducting
reviews is an example of inspection.
Benchmarking
Benchmarking is simply a quality standard reference that is used for the current project. This may be
a benchmark used within the performing organisation , or one that is used across a specific industry.
It involves comparing actual or planned project practices to those of comparable projects to identify
best practices, generate ideas for improvement, and provide a basis for measuring performance.
The value of using this technique is to compare the current project’s quality standards with those of
other similar projects.
Quality Meetings
Meetings involve people who are responsible for quality management including the project
manager, the project sponsor, selected project team members, selected stakeholders, anyone with
responsibility for any of the quality management processes, and others as needed. Collective
decision-making is very important area of project management that can make or break this part of
the project.
Almost all of the processes that for part of project time management will involve meetings between
the project manager, the team and other stakeholders in order to make decisions about the activity
definitions and associated estimates. How well these meetings are conducted will have a major
impact on how smoothly the project runs.
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Activity 4
When would you use a pareto chart?
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Project Management and ISO Quality Management
The ISO approach to quality management emphasizes the following concepts:
Customer Satisfaction
Quality means delivering the product so that its requirements meet the customer’s expectations.
However, this does not mean gold plating, or adding requirements that the customer did not
request.
Prevention over Inspection
Inspection can reduce the probability of defects, but prevention through planning, designing, and
building in quality can reduce that probability of defects for a lot less cost than through the
inspection process.
Continuous Improvement
The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, which is the basis of the concept of continuous improvement, is
derived from a business process model developed by Walter A. Shewhart and popularized by W.
Edward Deming. This iterative four-step management method is used for the control and continuous
improvement of processes and products.
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Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, and the Japanese Toyota Way are modern
quality improvement initiatives that improve the quality of project management while improving the
quality of the final deliverables. The steps in each successive PDCA
cycle are:
Plan —Understand the existing situation and then establish the objectives and processes necessary
to deliver results in accordance with the target or goals.
Do —Implement the plan. That is, execute the planned process.
Check —Study the actual results of the previous phase and compare them against the expected
targets or goals to discover any differences. Look for deviation from the plan in implementation and
also look for the appropriateness and completeness of the plan to enable the execution. Convert the
collected data into a form that can be used in the next step.
Act—Where there are significant differences between actual and planned results request corrective
actions. Analyse the differences to determine their root causes.
Determine where to apply changes that will include improvement of the process or product.
Management Responsibility
Rather than thinking that quality is what job operators do on the factory floor, the modern concept
of quality improvement initiatives mentioned in the last paragraph require the approval and active
participation of management.
Cost of Quality
This is the cost of implementing quality standards. For example, if the defect is caught before the
product gets shipped to the customer, this is an internal cost of non-conformance, and involves
scrapping the part or reworking it so that it is in conformance with the quality standards.
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However, if the inspection process does not catch the defect, and it goes out to the customer, then
the costs could be in terms of the claims the customer makes for replacement or repair under
warranty. The cost could potentially involve legal liability, if the customer or a third party is injured.
The International Standard for Quality management (ISO 9001) adopts a number of management
principles that can be used to guide organisation s towards improved quality.
The principles include:
Customer focus —Since the organisation s depend on their customers, they should understand
future needs as well as current ones. They also need to meet customer requirements and try to
exceed their expectations where possible.
An organisation attains customer focus when all people in the organisation know what customer
requirements must be met to ensure that both the internal and external customers are satisfied.
Leadership —Leaders of an organisation establish unity of purpose and direction of it. They should
go for creation and maintenance of such an internal environment, in which people can become fully
involved in achieving the organisation ’s quality objective.
Process approach—The desired result can be achieved when activities and related resources are
managed as processes.
System approach to management—Identifying, understanding and managing all interrelated
processes as a system that contributes to an organisation ’s effectiveness and efficiency in achieving
its quality objectives. Quality control involves checking transformed and transforming resources in
all stages of production process.
Continual improvement —One of the permanent quality objectives of an organisation should be the
continual improvement of its overall performance.
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Factual approach to decision making —Effective decisions are always based on the data analysis and
information.
Mutually beneficial supplier relationships —Since an organisation
and its suppliers are
interdependent, a mutually beneficial relationship between them increases the ability of both
parties to add value.
Activity 5
Explain the Deming Cycle.
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Distribute, discuss and support quality requirements with project team and
stakeholders11
Communications are a critical deliverable of every successful project and a key project management
soft-skill. You may not have thought of communications as an actual project deliverable, but it is. It
may not be the one your client or customer places the most emphasis on, but that’s because every
client and customer will take good communications for granted.
Project communications is one deliverable that you are personally responsible for and it’s one that
has a large influence over your project’s success or failure. I say this because personal experience
has taught me that the best managed projects, delivering on all their promises, on time, and on
budget can still get a bad reputation and be perceived as failures. The reason: the project manager
did not do an adequate job of communicating project success to their stakeholders.
We hope that the information and template in this section will help guide you to choose the right
information, schedule, and communication vehicles for your project.
The Major Elements of Project Communications
Who to communicate to…
You could just say that it’s important to communicate with all the project’s stakeholders and leave it
at that, but this approach would guarantee failure. Each individual stakeholder has a different set of
requirements for project information, and prefers different ways of receiving their communications.
It will not be possible to define a unique set of communications and communication vehicles for
each stakeholder in most projects, so the best you can do is identify the different category of
stakeholder and define the required information and communication methods that best suits the
group.
Executive Sponsor/Business Sponsor
Probably the most important customer(s) of your project communications. It’s going to be worth
your while to define a custom set of comm…
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