This series of emails describes the five most common project management mistakes. In the past four weeks we have looked at a lack of planning (#1), poor scope change management (#2), not keeping your schedule up-to-date (#3), and poor project communication (#4).
The purpose of quality management is to first understand the expectations of the client in terms of quality, and then put a proactive plan and process in place to meet those expectations.
Mistake #5: Poor quality leads to poor results
Like the other common project management mistakes we have looked at, problems with quality show up in a number of areas. For instance:
Rework. Rework means that you have to fix a deliverable that you thought was complete. Rework is always caused by flaws in your quality management process.
Higher operations costs. If errors are caught within the project, there is a cost associated with correct and rework. However, quality problems may surface after the solution is in operations. This causes operations (and maybe support) costs to increase.
Client dissatisfaction. If a solution is of poor quality, the customer will not be happy. If the customer has a choice, they may not buy from you again.
Missed deadlines and budget. Projects that build poor quality products tend to miss their deadlines and exceed their budget. This can cause the entire business case to be less attractive.
Poor morale. No one likes to work on a project that produces poor quality solutions. Morale and motivation tend to go down on these types of projects.
Don't fear. Quality management can help.
What Can be Done?
There are three main components to delivering quality solutions.
Quality requirements. You cannot meet the customers expectations for quality if you don't know what the expectations are. Quality requirements are identified when traditional functional and non-functional requirements are gathered.
Quality control activities (QC). Quality control activities ensure the deliverables are of high-quality. This can include walkthroughs, completeness checklists, etc.
Quality assurance activities (QA). These activities ensure that the processes used to create the deliverables are of high quality. This can include third party audits and checklists to ensure that a process were completed.
Everyone on the team needs to have a quality mindset to ensure that work is completed with a minimum amount of errors – the first time.