For some people, there is something more satisfying than simply being able to finish the work assigned to them, and that is producing quality work. While the meaning of the word “quality” may be different for one person and another, the main goal is an exceptional result that will make customers, clients, and business owners happier.
Ensuring project quality is first and foremost on the list of priorities for business managers and team leaders alike. There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment in getting this done. Whether your team is working on a product or service, it’s important that the company’s outlook on what high-quality output looks like. To help with this, you will need project quality management stages, checks, and techniques put in place.
Ensuring project quality is a whole lot more manageable with a good, solid project quality management plan. An effective and well-thought-out project quality plan comprises the tasks, procedures, degrees, and levels for attaining high-quality outturns that meet the project goal and expectations of the company, clients, and customers.
The merits and methods outlined in the project quality plan should be both practical, reasonable, and easy to follow. Keep in mind that the results – incredible or lackluster – rely heavily on the plan itself, along with the input from your team and the tools you’ve chosen to work with. If you’re wondering how you can come up with a plan that helps in ensuring project quality, read on. Here are a few tips and tricks that we hope you will find helpful.
You can plan all you like, but honestly, without the right people, your efforts may still fall short. Before you get started on any project, take great care in assembling your team. When ensuring project quality, keep a lookout for those who can work well under pressure and with minimal supervision, and detail-oriented team players. They need to be able to work well together, even without ample time to get to know each other or bond. After all, they can bond within the bullpen while the work is getting done.
If you’re not doing it yourself, get a project manager who’s not only qualified but also has enough experience to warrant your trust and confidence. If the success of the project is of utmost importance to you and your company, you can even go as far as getting an industry-certified project quality manager to guarantee that every step your team makes toward completion is sure and correct.
Have a sit-down with your clients or customers to find out what they expect from you and want they want out of the project. Create a questionnaire to really get a pulse for their vision or goals for the project. You can ask questions like:
What does success look like?
What are the non-negotiables in terms of deliverables, people, and time?
What are the areas in the project or deliverables that need to be prioritized?
How will you weigh the quality of the project?
What is the timeline?
Once you have your team together, you can deliberate on the questions you will put forward to your clients and customers. This will give you a broader view of what you may need to accomplish as a team, with the project quality plan in mind.
This, your project quality manager can help you with. Your checklist must be composed of a set of binary questions that should be addressed at specific stages of the project. It needs to have at least detailed questions covering the following stages of the project:
The beginning – Identifying the stakeholders, objective, scope, and deliverables as well as the resources and timeline
The end of the initial phase – Checking that all the initial phase documentation and agreements have been approved and signed by all involved, as well as the availability of tools and resources, etc
Project milestones – These are various periods within the build stage where an inspection is carried out to check on the adherence to the schedule and deadlines along with the risk management and whether or not issues are being addressed properly and in a timely manner
Live or launch – Is your team and the project quality plan in place? Is the chain of command clear? Is there a reliable communication plan to be followed?
Project close – Check for completion and work quality. What will you change? Has the turnover been completed? Have all the necessary documents been signed off or approved?
There are a lot of online templates that you can use, or you can start from scratch to create a template of your own that other teams can use in the future.
Once your checklist is done, get your team together to ensure they understand its importance. You can also check for their understanding of the importance of project quality management. Get their commitment to deliver on time and as expected. If there are areas that cause confusion or might be the starting point of miscommunication, identify them and address them accordingly.
Be sure that each member of your team fully understands the task that’s being set before them and what’s expected in terms of timeliness and quality. Take your time in pairing the person with the task, ensuring project quality, and keep in mind to perform probes at various stages of the project to guarantee they’re on track to finish on time.
Track your team’s performance by monitoring how much time they spend on each task, the progress they’ve managed to make so far, and how much time and work they have left until the deadline. Being on top of things as they happen will help you stay proactive in dealing with potentially missed deadlines if you notice someone lagging, getting overwhelmed and confused, or losing motivation.
Use a project management tool for this part so you can see a clear layout of the tasks and the people assigned to them, along with the expected outcome. This kind of wide oversight will give you the vantage point of anticipating a bottleneck or a point of congestion in your project’s lifecycle. You can then be able to plan ahead and make changes to your current plan to avoid these obstacles and help your team achieve great success.
It is crucial to ensure project quality at each stage by performing thorough quality assessments and checks. This allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of the project quality plan and determine if the deliverables meet the client’s or customer’s expectations.
A project quality plan is not the be-all and the end-all. It’s a malleable program that can be changed to steer a project the right way or help the team get its bearings toward efficiency, exceptional products, and impressive service. If you discover a better way of doing things or a hole in your current plan that’s proven to be a hindrance to the team, do not hesitate to make modifications to the project quality plan.
Try as we might, we cannot always go it alone. We need the help of technology – software, and tools – to aid us in ensuring project quality. This is where you can afford to have a little “give” or wiggle room within the budget. You can’t be too tightfisted if you want to get your hands on top-quality tools so you can provide top-quality results.
You can use some, if not all, of the following tools based on your needs, the scope of the project, and the size of your team:
Flowcharts – The steps in your project or your planned workflow in graphical representations. Your charts should show the different tasks, processes, decision points, and order of steps up to the completion of the project. This makes your project quality plan easier to follow. In case one step in the workflow does not give you the desired results, you can adjust the plan accordingly and recalibrate the project’s trajectory.
To-do lists – These can be created in weekly increments or for the many stages of the project. Having a list of tasks and subtasks that need to be finished within a given timeframe creates a sense of accountability within your team. Each member can also make their own to-do list. These lists can be shared among team members so everyone can stay on top of multiple tasks and deliverables at the same time.
Gantt charts – Another form of a flowchart, only this time, tasks are converted into horizontal bars, spanning different project management scheduled deadlines. Gantt charts are helpful in allowing users to visualize the lifespan of a project by how much time each task and subtask might take. If your team is forecasted to run into a time crunch, you can make adjustments as you go.
Kanban boards – An agile project management tool that helps users visualize work, and the time spent in completing said work and maximize efficiency to allow for a more effortless workflow. With Kanban boards, you can have a clearer and broader view of tasks and subtasks for optimum productivity.
File sharing and storage – You need a secure but shared file storage that can be easily accessible by everyone involved in the project at any time and from anywhere.
Reporting – You can save time by getting a project management tool that provides you with customized reports. You can then use these reports to drive your team to better performance and efficiency while ensuring project quality.
Once the project is all wrapped up and done, sit down with your team for an end-of-project debrief session. Take a look back at everyone’s efforts and highlight the wins as well as the losses or the areas for improvement. Celebrate the wins, you deserve to give yourselves pats on the back for doing so well! Take note of the processes that you would like to replicate in your future projects, and consider creating templates or automating your workflows to save even more time.
As for your areas for improvement, surveying them is not meant to be turned into a blame game. This is an important step for you to take as a team to ensure project quality in the future and to avoid making the same mistakes. Document your briefings and debriefings and store everything in your shared drive so anyone can look back on the project for inspiration and motivation.
If you’re uncertain as to where to start or shop for tools and software to help you and your team execute your project quality plan to perfection, you’re in luck. Bitrix24 is your one-stop shop for everything you can possibly need, from communications, tasks and projects, and reporting. Bitrix24 also has your shared drive in all sorted out.
Discover the treasure trove of tools at your fingertips with Bitrix24. Visit our website and register now to explore our comprehensive range of solutions designed to meet your specific needs. Get in touch with us today and become the newest Bitrix24 partner. We’ll help you knock that project out of the park!
Project quality management is the process of defining quality standards for the deliverables of any given project. The process also sees to it that the preset definitions for quality are met not only with the final product but also with every step of the project.
The four main stages of project quality management are:
PMP quality management is a project management professional certified by the Project Management Institute after validating their exceptional skills in people management, process foresight, and recognizing what impacts a business environment.
Six Sigma is a method of quality management used to improve current processes, products, and/or services by recognizing and removing imperfections. The overall aim is to make quality control more efficient.
The four quality management techniques are: