Project Quality Management: Process & Metrics

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  • 0:00 What Is Project…
  • 0:51 Plan Quality Management
  • 3:30 Perform Quality Control
  • 4:42 Perform Quality Assurance
  • 5:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Laury Hales

Laury has taught in professional adult education settings for over 10 years and is currently working on a PhD in Organizational Psychology.

Project quality management is the knowledge area where quality is identified, assessed, and controlled throughout a project. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the processes and quality metrics commonly used.

What Is Project Quality Management?

The company you work for produces children's toys, and a project to implement a newly designed baby toy is underway. You want to make sure the toy is high quality, so you bring together the project team to discuss how to ensure a quality toy is produced. As the team sits down for the meeting, one of the team members, Sam, asks what quality is and how the team is going to make it happen.

You tell the team that quality is a measure of how consistently a product matches its intended purpose. How we get quality products is through project quality management. Project quality management is identifying, assessing, and controlling the quality of a product to consistently achieve acceptable quality levels. It follows specified processes, including:

  • Planning quality management
  • Performing quality control
  • Performing quality assurance

Plan Quality Management

Quality must be planned into a project in order for it to succeed. The quality management process involves identifying our quality requirements and standards and deciding how to show that a product meets the quality criteria. At the end of the meeting, you're going to have a few documents as outputs, including your quality management plan, which defines the acceptable level of quality and how the project will ensure quality is met in the product and processes, and your quality metrics, which is an objective measure of the quality standards.

The first task is to identify the quality requirements. The purpose of the new toy is to squeak when squeezed by a child. So, that's the first quality criteria. Government regulations state that the toy cannot have small parts a baby could choke on, so that's second quality criteria. Finally, our stakeholders require it to be easily washable, so that's the third quality criteria.

You can see that the product's quality criteria came from different requirement sources. These requirements are inputs, or prerequisite information, to the plan project management process. Inputs to a quality management plan are different depending on the project.

Now that we have our criteria, let's move on to the second task in the plan quality management process, which is to specify the measurements, or standards, for our quality criteria, the quality metrics.

For quality metrics, we want to determine the acceptable levels of quality. Our new toy has three criteria, so let's look at each one and determine what standard to set for each.

Our first criteria is that it squeaks when squeezed. Let's keep it simple with a yes or no measurement. However, some babies are stronger than others, so a weaker baby might not be able to make the toy squeak. For our quality standards, we'll ensure the toy squeaks 95% of the time.

Our second criteria is that the toy can't have small parts a baby could choke on. To measure this, our team will use a specialized small parts cylinder to ensure no part is small enough to present a choking hazard. Any part that fits inside the cylinder is too small. The standard for this quality criteria is 100%, meaning all parts must pass this test.

The third criteria is that the toy must be washable. We want to be sure the toy can be washed without showing significant wear. The metric would be that it can go through 100 wash and dry cycles and still look good.

The last thing the team needs to do is determine how to show we met the criteria. The team suggests recording the number of defects per 1,000 units and providing quality testing reports. Your team now has what they need for the quality management plan. You identified quality criteria, determined the metrics, and can provide proof the criteria was met.

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