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Project Quality Management

What is Project Quality Management?


Project quality management focuses on the activities, quality policies, objectives, and measurements required to satisfy the needs of the project and ultimately the customer.

The following processes and the primary goals of Project quality management are defined below:

  • Plan quality. Goal: quality management plan
  • Perform quality assurance. Goal: change requests
  • Control quality. Goal: change requests


Project Quality Management

The process of Project Quality Management includes the organization’s quality policies, methods, and procedures designed to meet the objectives of the project and to satisfy the customer’s needs. Failure to meet the quality requirements of a project can have negative consequences for all stakeholders involved in the project. In worst case scenarios, failure to meet the quality requirements of a project may render the end product unusable. The project manager's job in performing project quality management includes some of the following elements:

  • Performing continuous improvement activities
  • Implementing a plan to continuously improve quality
  • Determining specific quality metrics that apply to the project
  • Verifying quality prior to the completion of a work package or a deliverable
  • Help to facilitate quality audits of the project

Cost-Benefit Analysis

With the cost-benefit analysis, project manager weighs the cost of implementing the quality requirements against the benefit it will deliver for the project. While there is always some cost to implementing quality, as we will see on the upcoming pages, costs of failing to implement quality are significantly higher.

The ultimate benefit that has to be considered is this: what is the customer willing to pay for in terms of quality? If the product or process does not meet the customer’s expectation of quality, will they pay for it? Stated in these terms, it may make a difference between whether or not you stay in business, based on whether you're meeting the customer's quality needs.

What are the benefits of meeting quality requirements in your project?

  • Decreased rework
  • Decreased costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased stakeholder satisfaction

The highest costs of quality, or should we say of poor quality, are described in the PMBOK® Guide, 5th edition as “non-conformance” issues which include internal and external costs. Phil Crosby brought the real cost of quality into focus when he stated that “The cost of quality is the expense of doing things wrong. It is the scrap, rework, service after service, warranty, inspection, tests, and similar activities made necessary by non-conformance problems.”

Studies have been done on what it costs a software organization when defects are discovered in a unit testing situation versus when those defects are discovered after they have been delivered to the customer. Studies suggest that the cost of delivering defects to the customer are anywhere from 1000 to 5000 times higher than catching them in a unit test.

PMP Certification Exam - Project Quality Management - Memory Check


  • ___Plan quality management
  • ___Plan quality assurance
  • ___Control quality

A. The process of auditing the quality requirements and results of quality control measurements to ensure that appropriate quality standards and operational definitions are used

B. The process of monitoring and recording results of executing the quality activities to assess performance and recommend necessary changes

C. The process of identifying quality requirements and standards for the project and its deliverables and documenting how the project will demonstrate compliance with quality requirements

Question 1: Who is responsible for project quality?

a. senior management
b. the project manager
c. the sponsor
d. the project team

Question 2: Part way through the project, one of the stakeholders approached you with a vexing problem. There was an issue with one of the components delivered in the project, however whenever the technical team tried to solve the problem, it kept coming back… As the project manager, you instructed the stakeholder that what was needed here was some form of root cause analysis. What is the best of the quality control tools to use in this situation?

a. Quality ROI
b. Process analysis
c. Monte Carlo analysis
d. Marginal analysis

Question 3: You are in the process of developing the quality management plan for your project. You have asked the technical team for some quality metrics that would be useful to document for the quality management plan. They've identified several other projects that are similar to this one, and seemed to think that the quality metrics established in these projects would also be applicable to the current project. This technique is called:

a. Quality audit
b. Process analysis
c. Benchmarking
d. Statistical sampling
Answer: B – The project manager is responsible for project quality. Senior management is responsible for overall organizational quality. The sponsor is usually the recipient of a quality product and the project team members are responsible for the quality of their specific element of the project work

Answer: D – This defines a marginal analysis: where the benefits from improving quality equal the costs to achieve that quality. In this case, if the costs to make improvements does not translate into something the customer will pay for, then it may not be beneficial to make the improvement

Answer: C – The process that is described in the question is known as benchmarking
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