Saturday 5 October 2019

Quality Planning

The quality plan is made up of the processes and activities that are in place to ensure that the deliverable meet the requirements of the stakeholders & project objectives. The quality plan must also ensure that the project is running efficiently, the minimum quality metrics for a project are:
  • Schedule performance: are we on time
  • Cost performance: are we on budget
  • Scope performance: are we getting the work done
    • Based on deliverables
    • Deliverables 
    • Number of change requests 
  • Project Reviews
To manage the quality of a project metrics must first be established, typical metrics could be
  • Earned value analysis (add link): actual effort of activity vs estimated effort
  • Cost Performance based on Earned value analysis: actual cost of activity vs estimated cost
  • Requirements completion including test acceptance
  • Deliverable approval with test and customer acceptance
  • Rework hours or cost
  • Defects
  • Change orders with budget and scope impact
The metrics chosen should be easy to collect and provide valuable information as to the overall health of the project. 

The metrics selected must have a tolerance level, remember every project is different and no project plan is perfect it's normal for a %5 variance, depending on the metric and the project the variance could be greater or lower. If a metric is outside the accepted level of variance then the root cause must be identified. there are numerous approaches that can be taken to do this:

  • Cause and Effect Diagram: a decomposition technique that helps trace an undesirable effect back to its root cause.
  • Flowchart: the depiction in a diagram format of the inputs, process actions, and outputs of one or more processes within a system.
  • Checksheet: a tally sheet that can be used as a checklist when gathering data.
  • Pareto Diagram: a histogram, ordered by frequency of occurrence, that shows how many results were generated by each identified cause
  • Histogram: a special form of bar chart used to describe the central tendency, dispersion, and shape of a statistical distribution.
  • Control Chart: a graphic display of process data over time and against established control limits, which has a center line that assists in detecting a trend of plotted values toward either control limit.
  • Scatter Diagram: a correlation chart that uses a regression line to explain or to predict how the change in an independent variable will change a dependent variable.
Once the root cause of leaving the metric tolerance is established the PM must come up with an action plan to bring the project back within the acceptable tolerance, if this is not possible then the PM may have to submit a change request to cover the deviation in budget, schedule or scope. 

Project Reviews
It is in the quality plan that the project review meetings are defined, these meetings are used to monitor and control the quality performance and expectations of the project and its deliverable. common meetings are:

  • Management Reviews: typically a monthly summary level review of the quality metrics, the projects major accomplishments, and status. Can also include phase gate reviews.
  • Team Reviews: detail-level reviews of the quality metrics, project accomplishments, progress, and performance held as often as daily, however weekly is common.
  • Customer Reviews: summary level reviews with a focus on the production and acceptance of deliverables scheduled monthly or timed with the production of key deliverables.
  • Retrospective Reviews: used to collect feedback from Stakeholders as to what went well and what could be improved for future projects. A key outcome of this review is the collection of lessons learned and best practices that can be used in future projects.
Quality Audits
Project audits are typically performed by someone within the organization but not staffed on the project being audited, they are to provide 3rd party feed back as to the health and efficiency of the project as well as the level of compliance to internal processes.

Audits are completed to find ways of improving project performance this is why they are most valuable in the start of a project the sooner performance boosts are identified the longer the project will benefit from them. generally audits are completed near the end of the initiation and planning phases and at the start of the execution phase.