Quality Control & Project Management

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Many failed projects today can be attributed to poor or total neglect of quality standards through lack of Quality control. Quality control, when implemented in a project, helps in yielding profit because the output is usually of great standard whereas when omitted, unavoidable losses are incurred. A project is said to be complete when the output not only conforms to pre-defined requirements but also to quality standards of the category it falls in. e.g. Standard for Quality Management Systems ISO 9001:2000

Automotive: ISO/TS 16949:2002
Energy: PC 242-ISO 50001
Food Safety: ISO 22000:2005
Medical Devices: ISO 13485:2003
Risk: ISO 31000
According to the ISO 8402-94 standards, “QUALITY” could be defined as “The set of characteristics of an entity that gives that entity the ability to satisfy, express an implicit needs“. It further states that “The purpose of quality is therefore to provide a client with a suitable offer with controlled processes while ensuring that this improvement does not translate into additional cost.1 Quality can be defined as a state of excellence whereby a product (due to our context) is free from defects, errors and produced according to standards defined by certain standards organizations. An example is the “ISO 9001” quality management standard.

Quality Control in Project Management according to “PMBOK” (2007) “includes all activities of the overall management functions that determine the quality policy, objectives and responsibilities. Usually carried out by a quality control department, it involves close supervision of result to ensure they conform to the stipulated quality standards and in cases of non-conformance, causes and solutions are devised to either eliminate or correct the defect. This process should also be carried out throughout the project duration. ü Its Input are: -

* Quality Management Plan derived from the quality planning. * Work results which include process and product results. Planned result alongside actual result should also be available. * Check List and Operational Definitions

ü Methods for implementing quality control: -
According to Nancy Tague, in her book “the quality toolbox”, second edition, 2004, she stated seven factors for a proper quality control. They are: - * “cause-and-effect diagram”: - this step ensures proper identification of root causes of problems and their effects on the project. * Check sheet: - it is a detailed and structured list that assists in keeping records of activities carried out during the project. * Control charts: - these are graphs that are used to track changes that occur with time. * Histogram: - a graph representation of frequency of occurrence of data, activities and functions within the project. * Pareto chart: - like a bar chart, shows the most significant factors on it. * Scatter diagram: - graphical representation of numerical data in pairs. Grouping one variable on an axis to search for relationship. * Stratification: - separation of data acquired from different sources to ensure patterns are reflected. ü Its Output are: -

* Quality Improvement
* Acceptance Decision: - The Inspected items are tabulated as “accepted or rejected”. Accepted works are marked as complete while rejected works are marked and returned for modifications. * Rework: - It is the task carried out on items rejected in the acceptance decision stage. It ensures the items are properly modified to conform to standards. * Check Lists (completed): - This list should be a part of the project record.

The Benefits of Quality Control in Project Management:-
Kenneth Rose in his book “Project Quality Management” stated the benefits of quality as: - 1. A project output (product) will yield high customer satisfaction. 2. It usually makes the client have confidence in you and will regularly patronize and consult you for future purposes. 3. Quality process and results achieved from a proper project quality management plan usually reduce cost, waste and...
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