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Ideas, suggestions and general thoughts about project management for development.

Who is Responsible for Project Quality?

In general, the project manager has overall responsibility for the quality management process. Some projects may also have specific roles for a quality assurance person or quality experts.

Even if the project has specific people with responsibilities for quality, project quality is not the responsibility of one or two people. It is everyone's responsibility. All the team members, including the stakeholders, have a role in ensuring that the deliverables produced are of high quality. Everyone is also responsible for surfacing ideas for improvement to the processes used to create the project deliverables. Some projects may also have specific roles for a quality assurance person or quality experts.

  • The project manager– Responsible for developing the quality management process and for ensuring that all the goods and services are delivered as they were designed.
  • Team members- Responsible for quality assurance and quality control for each of the tasks and activities they are assigned to complete. They are also responsible for ensuring all the quality standards are followed as designed.
  • The Organization- Responsible for standardizing quality controls and standards across all projects, responsible for ensuring all staff have the skills to deliver quality products and services.
  • Stakeholders– Responsible for communicating their expectations of quality product and services to the project and the organization, and responsible for accepting and approving the delivery of all goods and services

 

Quality is Not an Event

For Quality management to be effective, the team needs to adopt a continuous quality mindset. Team members need to take ownership of the deliverables they produce and ensure that all project deliverables are developed with quality when they are first created.  Team members must realize that a quality process allows the entire project team to produce quality deliverables, with a minimal amount of errors and rework.

Project quality starts with planning, but the implementation of quality must be carried out throughout the project. A holistic  approach to quality will include the following items.

  • Quality Definition, determining the quality standards for the project.
  • Quality Assurance, ensuring that quality is built into every element of the project.
  • Quality Control, monitoring and auditing quality.
  • Quality Improvements, making improvements to the project that will increase quality levels.

The project manager leads the quality management process from start to end and ensures that all parties involved have a good understand of the quality standards that will be used in the project. All quality management processes should be agreed and communicated to all participants.

An important strategy for quality management is to develop and foster a quality culture, by encouraging the belief that the right level of quality is more important than delivering the project under cost and under schedule. Everyone that participates in the project has a role to play in delivering quality results.

 
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What is the Decision Making Process?

All project managers need to make decisions, but good decisions usually come from the use of a logical and rational process. When used correctly, the project manager increases its chances of coming to the right decision. The steps for a good decision-making process are:

State The Problem - The first and the most important step in the decision-making process is to identify the problem. Only when there is a clear understanding of the problem or decision to be made, the project manager can proceed to seek a solution. If the problem is stated incorrectly or is unclear, then your decisions will be wrong.

Identify Alternatives – The project manager  and the project team should then start to list all possible alternatives. Most of the time there will be several alternatives, and it is worth spending enough time to ensure there are a good number of viable alternatives.

Evaluate The Alternatives - This is the step where the analysis of the alternatives begins. The project manager can use techniques to rank the alternatives. Two of such techniques are Decision Matrices and SWOT analysis. The purpose is to have a list that ranks the best alternatives using a set of criteria for viability.

Make A Decision – Once the alternatives have been evaluated. The project manager should select two or more of the high ranked alternatives. All low ranked alternatives should be eliminated. The project manager then will need to review the problem statement and test the solutions against the selected alternatives and decide on the solution that has the best chance at solving the problem.

Implement the Decision – Before the chosen solution is implemented, the project manager will need to make a revision of the project plan, schedule, budget and other resources to ensure the solution can be implemented. Part of the implementation phase is the follow-up, this ensures that the implementation of the solution has solved the problem.

Once the decision or solution has been implemented, the project manager should monitor and evaluate if the decision resulted in the expected results or benefits.

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