Quality Assurance: Outputs from Quality Management Planning

Plan Quality Management is a critical process within Project Quality Management, focusing on the outputs that ensure the project's deliverables meet the required standards and stakeholder expectations.

This section explores the outputs of the Plan Quality Management process, including the quality management plan, updates to the project management plan, updates to project documents, and quality metrics. These outputs provide a roadmap for achieving project quality objectives, specifying the activities, resources, roles, responsibilities, and tools required for quality control and management. They also facilitate continuous improvement by recording challenges, quality requirements, new risks, and additional stakeholder information.

The Plan Quality Management process interacts with other project management processes in several ways. For instance, the quality metrics generated during this process can inform decision-making in areas such as cost management, schedule management, and risk management. Similarly, the quality management plan and updates to the project management plan can influence the execution, monitoring, and control, and closure phases of the project. Ultimately, effective quality planning contributes to the successful completion of the project, delivering value to the stakeholders.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the role, components, and importance of the quality management plan in achieving project quality objectives.
  • Recognize that changes to the project management plan, including quality management, must go through the organization's change control process.
  • Understand the types of project documents that may be updated as a result of carrying out certain processes, including the lessons learned register, risk register, and stakeholder register.
  • Identify the purpose and examples of quality metrics in project management and how they are used in the Control Quality process.
  • Understand how customer satisfaction scores and test coverage can be used as quality metrics in project management.

Quality Management Plan

The project management plan houses a critical component - the quality management plan. This plan serves as a blueprint, detailing how the project team will put into action the relevant policies, procedures, and guidelines, all aimed at meeting the project's quality objectives. It meticulously outlines the necessary activities and resources that the project management team needs to harness to reach these objectives.

The quality management plan can vary in formality, detail, and scope, depending on the project requirements. Regardless of its form, it should be reviewed early in the project to ensure decision-making is based on accurate information. Early review of the quality management plan can lead to a clearer understanding of the project's value proposition, cost reductions, and less frequent schedule overruns due to rework.

The quality management plan includes several key components. It outlines the quality standards that will be applied to the project and defines the project's quality objectives. It assigns quality roles and responsibilities and identifies project deliverables and processes that will undergo quality review. The plan also details the quality control and quality management activities planned for the project and specifies the quality tools that will be utilized. Additionally, the plan includes major procedures relevant for the project, such as handling nonconformance, corrective actions procedures, and continuous improvement procedures.

To encapsulate, the quality management plan is more than just a tool—it's the heartbeat of ensuring the project meets its quality objectives. It acts as a compass for the project team, guiding them on the path of implementing quality policies, procedures, and guidelines. More than that, it's their trusted ally in managing quality throughout the project's lifecycle.

What is the primary purpose of a quality management plan in project management?
  1. To outline the implementation of relevant policies, procedures, and guidelines to meet quality objectives
  2. To provide a detailed schedule of all project activities
  3. To list all the stakeholders involved in a project
  4. To provide a detailed cost estimate of the project
A) To outline the implementation of relevant policies, procedures, and guidelines to meet quality objectives

Unlock Full Course Access

Take the next step in your career—purchase now and master project management with our comprehensive PMP exam prep course!

Project Management Plan Updates

The Plan Quality Management process may necessitate updates to the project management plan. Any changes to the project management plan must go through the organization's change control process via a change request. This ensures that all modifications are properly reviewed, approved, and documented, maintaining the integrity of the project management plan.

Components of the project management plan that might necessitate a change request include the risk management plan and the scope baseline. Decisions on the quality management approach can lead to changes in the agreed-upon approach to managing risk on the project. These changes are recorded in the risk management plan to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the new risk management approach.

The scope baseline may also change if specific quality management activities need to be added as a result of the Plan Quality Management process. These changes could include the addition of new tasks or deliverables to ensure the project's quality objectives are met.

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) dictionary is another component of the project management plan that may need to be updated. The WBS dictionary records quality requirements for each deliverable. If the Plan Quality Management process results in changes to these requirements, the WBS dictionary must be updated to reflect these changes. This ensures that all project team members have access to the most current information about the project's quality requirements.

What is the primary reason for a change request in the project management plan?
  1. To modify the project schedule
  2. To modify the project budget
  3. To modify components of the plan such as the risk management plan and the scope baseline
  4. To modify the project team
C) To modify components of the plan such as the risk management plan and the scope baseline

Project Documents Updates

Project documents are not static entities; they are living, breathing components that may undergo updates during the execution of certain processes. This is particularly true for processes tied to quality management. These updates act as a rejuvenating elixir, ensuring that the documents stay relevant, accurate, and mirror the project's current state.

One such document is the lessons learned register. This register is updated with information on challenges encountered during the quality planning process. By documenting these challenges, the project team can learn from them and improve future quality planning efforts.

Quality requirements specified by a process are recorded in the requirements traceability matrix. This matrix links each requirement to its origin and tracks it throughout the project lifecycle. By recording quality requirements in this matrix, the project team can ensure that these requirements are met and that the project's deliverables meet the expected standards of quality.

The risk register is another document that may be updated during the quality planning process. New risks identified during this process are recorded in the risk register and managed using risk management processes. This ensures that these risks are properly identified, assessed, and responded to.

In conclusion, the quality planning process may also prompt updates to the stakeholder register. Any additional insights gleaned about existing stakeholders or details about new ones during this process find their way into the stakeholder register. This enriched understanding of stakeholder needs and expectations empowers the project team, enabling them to manage stakeholder engagement with heightened effectiveness.

Which of the following project documents is typically updated with information on challenges encountered in the quality planning process?
  1. Project charter
  2. Lessons learned register
  3. Stakeholder register
  4. Risk register
B) Lessons learned register

Quality Metrics

Quality metrics are integral to project quality management. They describe specific project or product attributes and how the Control Quality process will verify compliance with these attributes. Quality metrics provide a quantifiable measure of quality objectives, enabling the project team to track performance and make necessary adjustments.

There are various types of quality metrics that can be used depending on the nature of the project and its objectives. For instance, the percentage of tasks completed on time is a common quality metric that measures schedule performance. Cost performance, measured by the Cost Performance Index (CPI), is another quality metric that assesses the efficiency of resource utilization.

Failure rate, the number of defects identified per day, total downtime per month, and errors found per line of code are quality metrics often used in manufacturing and software development projects. These metrics provide insights into product reliability, process efficiency, and code quality.

Customer satisfaction scores are a quality metric that gauges the perceived value and quality of the project's deliverables from the customer's perspective. This metric is crucial as it directly relates to the project's success in meeting customer expectations.

The percentage of requirements covered by the test plan is a measure of test coverage and can be used as a quality metric. This metric assesses the comprehensiveness of the testing process in validating that the project's deliverables meet the defined requirements.

In summary, quality metrics are essential tools in the Control Quality process. They provide objective measures of project or product attributes, enabling the project team to verify compliance with quality standards and make informed decisions to improve project quality.

What is the primary purpose of quality metrics in project quality management?
  1. To provide a detailed cost estimate of the project
  2. To describe a specific project or product attribute and how the Control Quality process will ensure compliance to it
  3. To list all the stakeholders involved in a project
  4. To provide a detailed schedule of all project activities
B) To describe a specific project or product attribute and how the Control Quality process will ensure compliance to it