PROJ6002 Project Planning And Budgeting : Essay Fountain

Project management and quality planning go hand in hand to lead into customer satisfaction by meeting stakeholder needs which is the key objective of both exercises. The project manager needs to create a balance between the functional characteristics and quality of the project outcome which can be in the form of a product or a service. Quality requirements of a project have to be determined by the project manager at the beginning of any project by taking inputs from project stakeholders (Agarwal, 2007).

Quality management in projects consists of major processes that include planning, quality assurance, and quality control. Planning involves identification of requirements and standards for the quality of product and project. QA involves auditing of the identified requirements and standards. Quality control involves monitoring of results of the quality assurance for assessing the performance and suggesting improvements if needed (Smith, 2014).

There are certain quality management related terms that are worth discussing when it comes to using tools for management of quality on projects. These include validation, verification, precision, and tolerance (PM4DEV, 2016). Validation assures that the product which is the outcome of a project meets the stakeholder needs as accepted in the project planning process. Verification deals with the compliance of the project with the requirements defined. Precision is achieved by ensuring accuracy of performance measures. Tolerance defines the range in which when the results are obtained, they can be accepted on a project.

 

There are various quality management planning tools that can be used for managing the three core processes of quality management. These include:

Cost-Benefit Analysis: In this analysis, a cost benefit ration of the project would be calculated to assess the trade-offs between the product quality and cost of conforming to the quality requirement. A good balance has to be created between the cost of conformance to the quality requirements and cost of non-conformance so that mistakes are prevented and costs are within budget. Quality processes can add costs to a project (Khan & Beg, 2012). These can include training, planning, reliability engineering, data analysis, inspection, surveys, calibration, inspection, and test engineering. However, these steps also ensure that the outcome of the project is of the desired quality (Sartori, et al.). Not using these quality management steps can result into different kinds of failures that can be direct such as reworks, inventories, liabilities, and warranty costs, or indirect such as  loss of customer, reduced motivation in team or compromise of project efficiency (Parsons, 2007).

Brainstorming: It is used for gathering requirements of the project from stakeholder as for making decisions on the project plan to ensure that it meets all needed requirements. At the start of the project, brainstorming would happen between the project manager and the project stakeholders to identify requirements and refine on them to ensure that most requirements are fulfilled and all stakeholders remain satisfied. Based this brainstorming, procedures and standards can be defined for quality of the project and the product. Once project goes into the planning stage, brainstorming can be done between the project team members to refine on the methods and measures to be taken for quality assurance and quality control as well defining of the quality measures (Clark, 2009).

Force Field Analysis: This technique can be used for analysing ideas by grouping them with pros and cons such that the best idea is selected based on the minimum trade-offs and maximum benefits to the project. Choice can be made between different methods or measures to be used for quality assurance and quality control (UDS, 2015)

Techniques to achieve expected project outcomes 

The key objective of a quality management plan is to ensure that all the quality related processes and essentials are well documented in it. These include quality policy, quality assurance procedures, require requirements, and quality check schedules. The outcomes of the project need to be as per the expectations of the stakeholders. While quality planning would ensure that the project expectations are recorded, the project monitoring and performance measurement would help in ensure that the management practices are efficiently used and the project outcomes are achieved as expected. The focus of the project manager must remain on the outcomes when measuring performance. Performance metrics can be used for this.

A project value is determined by its success and success of a project is achieved with its outcomes achieved as expected. Outcomes can include events and changes in behaviour, attitudes or conditions that indicate achievements of the project goals. Outcomes must be meaningful, specific, and measurable. For developing project outcomes, project stakeholders can be asked about what they would be expecting from each project output. For instance, when implementing increase in productivity of working professionals could be an expected outcome for deliveries of the project hat involves leadership training to them (Belson, 2016).

Metrices have to be chosen based on if they are focused on the outcomes of the project and reflect upon the compliance of the project to the value. With these metrices, the impacts of the project outcomes can be demonstrated. A value-oriented approach can be taken for this which would demonstrate a cause and effective relationship between different projects. Two types of challenges can be faced when doing this and these include high cost of scientific validation and complexity of projects that are multi-variant. A way to deal with these challenges is measuring the long-term impacts by comparing progress with the intermediate outcomes and making predictions on how they can impact the long term outputs (Kusek & Rist, 2004).

Performance measures can be used for monitoring progress and comparing the actual results of the project with the expected. These measures should be expressed in quantifiable terms such as percentages, scores, and indices. They should be focused on the results in terms of goal achievement and demonstrate the value in terms of effectiveness of quality.  The value can be demonstrated in terms of scale, reach, cost, time, and sustainability (Pennypacker, 2005).

Project managers can set the benchmarks on the performance measures based on the past experiences of similar projects. These benchmarks can be provided by a third part expert such that the measures are accepted for the project and the team would ensure that actual performance measures turn out to be higher or better than the benchmarks. Benchmarks are used for creating a baseline for the expected quality to be achieved (Vleems, 2018). These baselines can include level of achievement, change in achievement level, and the change in the relation. For instance, if a survey has been used in a project for gathering information then the performance metrices may measure the methodologies that were used or the population that was surveyed (Eckerson, 2009).

For ensuring that the outcomes of the project are achieved as expected for quality management, the first step would always be to use the planning tools for requirement gathering such as brainstorming and understand the requirements of the quality in terms of stakeholder expectations. Based on these expectations, team can discuss and define quality parameters. These parameters must be checked with past project experiences so that baselines can be identified to reflect upon the performance. The performance metrics developed would then be used for recording progress of the project and the assessment would be made on the quality management effectiveness by comparing the actual outcomes of quality assurance or control activities with the benchmarks set (SDC, 2015).

 

References

Agarwal, V. (2007). Project Quality Management for IT Company. JAMK University.

Andersson, L. (2007). Quality Assurance in the IT Project Management Process . Upsalla University.

Belson, D. (2016). Quality Improvement Methods . University of Southern California.

Clark, H. (2009). HANDBOOK ON PLANNING,MONITORING AND EVALUATING FOR DEVELOPMENT RESULTS. United Nations Development Programme.

Eckerson, W. W. (2009). performance management strategies. TDWI.

Khan, P. M., & Beg, M. S. (2012). Measuring Cost of Quality (CoQ) on SDLC Projects is Indispensible for Effective Software Quality Assurance. International Journal of Soft Computing And Software Engineering (JSCSE), 1-15.

Kusek, J. Z., & Rist, R. C. (2004). Ten Steps to a results based monitoring and evaluation. The World Bank.

Parsons. (2007). CONSTRUCTION QUALITY CONTROL/QUALITY ASSURANCE PLAN . GENERAL ELECTRIC .

Pennypacker, J. S. (2005). Measures of Project Management Performance and Value . CBP.

PM4DEV. (2016). Project Quality Management: PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS. PM4DEV.

Sartori, D., Catalano, G., Genco, M., Pancotti, C., Sirtori, E., Vignetti, S., & Bo, C. D. (n.d.). Guide to Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investment Projects. EU.

SDC. (2015). DEVELOPMENT OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO EXECUTE A SUCCESSFUL CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM. San Diego COuntry Water Authority.

Smith, A. (2014). Requirements Management: a Core Competency for Project And Program Success. PMI.

UDS. (2015). Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation Using the Logical Framework Approach. Umhlaba Development Services.

Vleems, M. (2018). Measuring project performance: a method of project comparison. Open University of the Netherlands

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