Goal: Plan for quality

Before a project begins, you should identify the quality (quality: The degree of excellence, or the desired standards, in a product, process, or project.) standards that are necessary to achieve the project objectives. After the quality standards are established, you can adjust the scope (scope: The combination of all project goals and tasks, and the work required to accomplish them.), resources (resources: The people, equipment, and material that are used to complete tasks in a project.), and schedule (schedule: The timing and sequence of tasks within a project. A schedule consists mainly of tasks, task dependencies, durations, constraints, and time-oriented project information.) as necessary to achieve the quality that you want.

 Tip   This article is part of a series of articles within the Project Map that describe a broad set of project management activities. We call these activities "goals" because they are organized around the project management life cycle: Build a plan, track and manage a project, and close a project.

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Quality User Goal

number 1  Identify the appropriate quality standards     You may want to incorporate in your project the measures that you can use to determine the successful implementation or outcome of the project. The quality standards that you follow should help your team satisfy all project goals, as well as prevent costly mistakes.

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A quality standard is a measure that you can use to determine the successful implementation or outcome of a project.

The quality standards that you follow should help your team satisfy all project goals as well as prevent costly mistakes, provide the resources (resources: The people, equipment, and material that are used to complete tasks in a project.) that are needed to complete the project, meet the project schedule (schedule: The timing and sequence of tasks within a project. A schedule consists mainly of tasks, task dependencies, durations, constraints, and time-oriented project information.) objectives, improve productivity, and meet the customer's requirements.

Quality standards that you can apply to a project include:

  • Your organization's quality policy    A quality policy expresses an organization's commitment to quality. It describes the kind of quality effort that an organization expects from its workers. If your organization doesn't have a quality policy, you can create one for the project.
  • A detailed description of the product or service provided by the project    A well-organized, comprehensive description of the product or service provides a blueprint to follow as well as a reference point that you can compare with the actual accomplishment.
  • Any standards that are specific to the product or service that is provided by the project    Industrywide standards exist for many products and services. For example, if you manufacture cars, you must comply with standards and regulations set by industry and government. Find out about standards that are relevant to your project, and make sure your team follows them.
  • A statement of project deliverables    Project deliverables (deliverable: A tangible and measurable result, outcome, or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project. Typically, the project team and project stakeholders agree on project deliverables before the project begins.) are the tangible results that you deliver to customers; they must satisfy the customer's needs. The deliverables statement includes the type, number, and quality of the items that your project team has agreed to deliver.

Learn more about how to create and manage project deliverables.

You should incorporate quality standards into the project planning process, because these standards can affect major aspects of the project, such as cost (cost: The total scheduled cost for a task, resource, or assignment, or for an entire project. This is sometimes referred to as the current cost. In Project, baseline costs are usually referred to as "budget.") and schedule. For example, to achieve the desired product quality, you might need to hire costly specialists or add more testing time to the schedule.

You can also incorporate advanced processes in your organization's search for quality by using Six Sigma. Six Sigma is a powerful, systematic approach to improving processes to do things better, faster, and at lower cost. It can be applied to every facet of your business, including production, human resources, order entry, and even technical support.

Number 2  Determine how the quality affects the scope     To adjust your project plan to meet your quality goals, you might need, for example, to add testing and approval steps.

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In examining how the quality affects the scope, you may want to consider the following:

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Applies to:
Project 2007