What is quality? My clients are often confused as to what “quality” is, who is responsible for it, and when and how to determine it. The attributes of a product, service or activity that will satisfy expressed or implied needs is regarded as quality. It indicates the degree to which a product, service or result will satisfy a customer, primarily in fulfilling requirements, being fit for use and meeting expectations.
The project manager has the locus standi to ensure the project team and suppliers perform as contracted and produce quality results, products or services. All other stakeholders also have a role to ensure quality is achieved—and, more importantly, it includes the customers themselves. The customer should clearly articulate their quality expectations, particularly when the project is taking form and not after the project gets going.
Quality may be achieved through affirmative quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) activities. QA seeks to maintain the desired level of quality expected on results, services and products by making sure production conforms to planned quality processes. QC ensures production outcomes meet customer expectations by testing outcomes against formal specifications. QA is conducted as the outcome is being developed; that is, catching defects as a product is being developed, or finding errors as results are being
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