Quality Management

The overall purposes of quality management are to satisfy customers, ensure that requirements are met, achieve fitness for purpose, and ensure that products or services are fit for use. All these activities or tasks are required to make sure an organization’s products or services satisfy all needs for which they are intended (as documented in the statement of work) from the perspectives of processes and the people needed to make quality an effective and efficient aspect of successful project completion. Management oversight is included as a special interest component of this knowledge area because executive support is key to improving and ensuring process quality, as well as the quality of deliverables.

In an Adaptive/Agile Environment, agile approaches call for frequent quality and review steps built throughout the project rather toward the end of the project in order to navigate changes. All 12 “Agile Manifesto” Principles promote quality either directly or indirectly. Quality occurs during recurring retrospectives regularly check on the effectiveness of the quality processes looking for the root cause of the issues then suggest trials of new approaches to improve quality. Subsequent retrospectives evaluate any trial processes to determine if they are working and should be continued or new adjusting or should be dropped from use. To facilitate frequent, incremental delivery, agile approaches focus on small batches of work, incorporating as many elements of project deliverables as possible. Small batch systems aim to uncover inconsistencies and quality issues earlier in the project life cycle when the overall costs of change are lower.


Quality Management Planning

Quality planning involves identifying quality standards, practices, and associated activities. Planning for quality should be done in parallel with other project planning processes.

Hie main product of quality planning is a quality management plan that identifies the specific practices, resources, and activities relevant to a project and its deliverables. Quality planning includes strategies for implementing quality assurance and control.

Quality Management

Quality management—previously termed quality assurance in the PM I standard— requires an organization to develop and assess processes, procedures, and standards to assure that projects will meet relevant quality standards.[1]

Quality Control

Quality control involves monitoring actual project results to see if they comply with relevant quality standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory results. Quality control activities are necessary to ensure that project deliverables meet the quality objectives and attributes defined in the project team’s quality management plan.

Adaptive/Agile Environments: Product Quality, Testing and Continuous Integration

Product Quality—The key differences from a predictive environment are: testing is integrated in the team, not a separate function; working in parallel with development instead at milestones; and interacting with business to ensure the expectations from the customer are met instead of no customer interaction.

Testing—Unlike in a predictive environment, agile testing begins at the start of the initiative with continuous integration between development and testing. Agile testing is not sequential (in the sense it is executed only after coding phase) but continuous. In addition, agile testing requires testing be fully automated and is critical for continuous delivery and continuous testing. Test automation automates repetitive but necessary tasks in a formalized testing process already in place or perform additional testing that would be difficult to do manually.

Continuous Integration—Continuous integration is a matter of mindset rather than particular tools, and it relies on multiple types of tool: tools for testing; tools for automating build processes; and tools for version control. Continuous integration increases the frequency of integration to address complexity of integration.

Special Interest Component: Management Oversight

The purpose of management oversight is to understand, support, and participate in project management activities. Oversight involves two subcomponents:

Awareness and Support—Management must be cognizant of the importance of project management activities, have high-level understanding of project management processes, and advocate organization-wide implementation of project management processes and standards.

Involvement—Management involvement covers participation by management in project management activities, processes, and standards.

Adaptive/Agile Environments—Management’s stance toward team must change with the introduction of adaptive/agile methods. Some of this shift requires new learnings on the part of management, as well as changed expectations about reporting.

  • [1] In the Sixth Edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK? Guide), 2017 Edition, the term Quality Assurance is more focused on effective use of processes in the project, on meeting standards that address stakeholder requirements, and on product design aspects and process improvement.
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