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Quality Management - PMBOK

qualityCAPMQuality is one such that we always look for. When it comes to organizations and their project management, quality plays a leading role in transforming the known objectives into rock solid deliverables that not only pave the way to better results, but ensures that the Quality Standards are met appropriately and within the dedicated time.

Quality Management is a process or a chain of activities that assist the project development team in an organization to meet the Quality Standards, Procedures and Guidelines defined by it. It not only helps the project team overcome the quality challenges that customers expect, but ensures a sustainable and continuous quality improvement as and when the project progresses. Well, it is imperative that the following the quality standards will not only help the organization, but bring together a strong relationship with the customer too.

There are 3 pillars to the Quality Management process which are defined for any organization irrespective of their nature, size or industry. Each of these 3 pillars to the Quality Management ensures that the project requirements are met and validated as per the guidelines set by the quality standards.

Plan Quality Management

The Plan Quality Management is the 1st process of the Project Quality Management. It lays down the set of criteria, the process that will attach itself to the project and its deliverables and then controls the project in a timely fashion, ensuring that projects comply with the quality requirements.

Perform Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance activities are part and parcel of most of the industries today. QA activities are undertaken in the form of audits that may be either Internal or External to an organization. When it comes to Internal auditing, the QA department of the Organization handles the quality check process, while when it comes to External, an external QA vendor is hired to perform the quality assurance process for the projects that are briefed. The auditing function here ensures that the appropriate quality standards are met as lay down by the quality control process. This is one such pillar that protects the project and works hand-in-hand to enable the projects to get delivered better to the customers.

Control Quality

Controlling the project quality may take place throughout the project. It is one of those processes that monitors and captures the results of quality standard implementation in projects. Moreover, this process may point out necessary changes that many need to be implemented with respect to quality and ensure that the project delivers right performance in accordance with the quality standards that both the organizations and customers expect. On an overall front, Quality Standards not only ensure quality deliverables, but cover the organization from any impending losses related to cost, rework and efforts.

Quality Management Systems

qualitynewinpmThere are several key figures associated with quality management systems:

• Philip B. Crosby

• Joseph M. Juran

• Walter Shewhart, and

• W. Edwards Deming


Crosby devised the zero defects practice. This emphasizes quality planning and prevention of defects. If you prevent the defect from occurring, costs are lower and requirements are easier to meet.


• Zero defect product

Juran developed the fitness for use premise, which emphasizes that customer and stakeholder expectations should be met or exceeded. Fitness for use focuses on the customers' view of quality in terms of meeting quality expectations, satisfying real needs, and being both reliable and safe. Juran also brought in the concept of quality and grades.


• fit for use principle for product/service.

• presented ‘quality’ and ‘grade’ concepts

Shewhart is often called the grandfather of total quality management (TQM). He developed statistical tools to determine when a corrective action must be applied to a process. He invented control chart techniques and the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.


• invented Control Chart

• invented PDCA cycle

• invented TQM

Deming proposed that quality is a management problem, suggesting that as much as 85% of the cost of quality is management related. He popularized and further developed the TQM system. Deming also proposed that employees need to be shown what quality level is acceptable and that they need to understand that quality and continuous improvement are necessary elements of a project. These theories resulted in several quality management systems.


• quality is 85% management responsibility.

• modify PDCA cyle

• modify TQM system

Kaizen approach

The Kaizen approach was created in Japan and focuses on continuous improvement. This approach requires that you first improve the quality of the people, so that the quality of the products or service will then improve automatically. With this technique, everyone involved in a project should be looking for ways to improve quality at every stage of the process. This involves taking measurements, reducing variations in performance and production, reducing defects, improving cycle times, and improving processes by ensuring that they are waste free. TQM and Six Sigma are examples of continuous improvement systems that use Kaizen philosophy.


• emphasized on improving the quality of people.

• processes continuous improvement

The PMBOK approach to quality management system is consistent with modern quality management systems as below



ISO 9000 series:

It is a set of internaltional guidelines and quality management standards used to establish quality management systems. ISO aims to provide global, industry-wide standardization.

Six Sigma:

Six Sigma is a measurement-based system that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction. Six Sigma aims to eliminate defects and requires that no more than 3.4 defects per million are produced. There are two Six Sigma methodologies used for this purpose:

• DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify), which is used to develop new processes or products

• DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control), which is used to improve existing processes or products

Continuous improvement:

This is an ongoing effort to improve organization quality and performance. Its aim is to improve customer satisfaction through continuous improvements to products, services or processes. Examples are TQM and Six Sigma.


Total Quality Management (TQM) emphasizes that processes rather than people generate quality problems. TQM requires that quality be managed and that quality improvement should be a continuous and an integral part of how a business works.

Failure mode and effect analysis:

It is an analytical procedure in which each potential failure mode (case) in every component of a product is analyzed. A failure mode may be analyzed alone or in combination with other possible mode, to determine its effect on the reliability of a component.

Design of experiments (DOE):

DOE provides a statistical framework that enables you to change project variables simultaneously, instead of changing one variable at a time. This technique identifies the elements – or variables – that have the greatest effect on project outcomes and focuses on changing these elements. It is generally used for product quality, but can also be applied for project quality when weighing up quality trade-offs. DOE uses a limited number of sample cases to find the ideal solution for a problem. By doing this, it helps you to analyze multiple variables and determine which combination will produce the best result.

Voice of the Customer(VOC):

VOC is a planning technique used to provide product, service and result that meet customer requirements. It does it by translating customer requirements into the appropriate technical requirements for each phase of product development.

Cost of quality(COQ):

The cost of quality is the total cost to produce the product or service of the project according to the quality standards. These costs include all planned and unplanned work needed to meet the product requirements. It also includes the costs of work performed because of nonconforming quality requirements. There are three costs associated with the cost of quality: COQ= Prevention cost + Appraisal cost + Failure cost

• Prevention costs, which are associated with satisfying customer requirements by producing a product without defects. They cover aspects such as quality planning, training, design review, and supplier costs.

• Appraisal costs, which are the costs of checking the product or process against its requirements. This includes testing and inspection costs.

• Failure costs, which are estimates of price when things don't go according to plan or the cost of poor quality. These costs may be internal – such as corrective action, rework, and downtime – or external, for example when a customer returns a faulty product or when the organization needs to inspect or repair the product at the customer's site.

Validate Scope VS Quality Control

Validate Scope VS Quality Control: We know terms like inspection, testing or walk through is done to ensure that the deliverables meet the specified requirements. But are you aware that there are 2 project management processes that are involved in inspecting deliverables?


Although Validate Scope(5.5) and Control Quality(8.3) have much in common, but they are not same. The project manager must be aware of this difference. The relationship between activities of both of the processes needs to be thoughtfully planned and managed. These two processes coordinate based on the nature of project, requirement of stakeholders and monitor and control need of the project manager.

There are several key differences between these two processes such as:

  • What is the purpose of each process?
  • Who performs the process?
  • What the deliverables are viewed against?
  • When the process is performed?

The quality control team performs testing of deliverable at the close of each of the project phase ( phases could be several based on project/product complexity). Testing effort is done to ensure that no bug/error remain undetected and pass to next project phase. Quality control team uses mainly two types of requirements against which quality is measured:

  1. Functional requirements: Quality checklist to verify that all modules function properly.
  2. Organization quality standard and policies.

On other hand in validate scope process before the finalized product can be considered officially signed off as complete, the project manager must review the ‘verified deliverables’ with the customer or sponsor. If they are satisfactorily completed, formal acceptance will be provided by the customer or sponsor based on the acceptance criteria. Note that ‘acceptance criteria’ is a part of scope management plan through ‘project scope statement’. Validate scope activities can be referred as user acceptance testing (UAT) and is so important that without it project cannot be closed.

The Validate Scope versus Control Quality processes can be differentiated as below:


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