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Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:06

Quality Planning

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The PMBOK defines quality planning as “identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy them”. A key output of the planning process should be the quality management plan for the project.

Cost-Benefit Analysis - This is the process of determining the pros and cons of implementing any process, product, or activity. When it comes to project management, cost-benefit is concerned with the benefits of quality management activities versus the costs of the quality management activities. There are two major considerations with the benefit/cost analysis in quality management:


  • Benefit Completing quality work increases productivity because shoddy work does not have to be redone. When work is completed correctly the first time, as expected, the project does not have to spend additional funds to redo the work.
  • Costs Completing quality work may cost more monies than the work is worth. To deliver a level of quality beyond what is demanded costs the project additional funds. The types of quality management activities that guarantee quality may not be needed for every project.                                                      

Note: Benefits should always outweigh costs.

Benchmarking - Benchmarking involves comparing actual or planned project practices to those of other projects to generate ideas for improvement and to provide a basis by which to measure performance. Benchmarking is all about comparing this project to another. The purpose of benchmarking is to evaluate the differences between the two projects and then to make corrective actions to the current project.

Design of Experiments - The design of experiments approach relies on statistical what-if scenarios to determine what variables within a project will result in the best outcome. This approach is most often used on the product of the project, rather than the project itself.

Cost of Quality – Any cost that would not have been expended if quality were perfect contributes to the cost of quality. This includes things like re-work and failure costs.

  • Cost of conformance - This is the cost of completing the project work to satisfy the project scope and the expected level of quality. Examples of this cost include training, safety measures, planning, process control, product design validation, process validation, Quality audits, maintenance and calibration, Inspection, Field testing and other quality management activities to ensure that quality is met.
  • Cost of nonconformance - This is the cost of completing the project work without quality. The biggest issue here is the money lost by having to redo the project work; it’s always more cost effective to do the work right the first time. Other nonconformance costs include loss of sales, loss of customers, downtime, and corrective actions to fix problems caused by incorrect work, rework and repair, additional material or inventory, warranty repairs and service, Complaint handling, liability judgments, product recalls, field service and costs of expediting.   

In either form, cost of quality is a results-oriented approach to measuring and assessing the effectiveness and/or benefit of an organization’s project quality management process. It is a useful means of getting management attention to the need for quality, but provides little meaningful capability to manage quality proactively.




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