Note if you are taking the PMP® exam from 26 March 2018 onwards: click here to read the updated PMP® study material based on PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition.
Project Quality Management is the fifth knowledge area of project management.
Based on chapter 8 of PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition, here you will find:
- project management graphic of Project Quality Management, a usefull reference guide with the best tips to master its core concepts
- Project Quality Management tips — by Project Quality Management processes
Project Quality Management Tips
by Project Management Process Group
1. Plan Quality Management
- Cause-and-effect Diagram. On the exam, it may be referred to as the cause-and-effect, Ishikawa, or fishbone diagram.
- Cost of Poor Quality. On the exam, it is used as synonyms for cost of quality.
- Cost of Testing Vs. Cost of Quality. The cost of quality is the cost of all of a project manager’s quality activities, not limited to the cost of testing (appraisal cost).
- Gold Plating. It occurs when there is an opportunity to deliver more than the customer expects (e.g., extra scope or better performance), and this work is undertaken without documenting it. It is always a bad idea to gold-plate a project because delivering better quality or grade uses time and resources usually at additional cost and the impact is sometimes not immediately known.
- Precision Vs. Accuracy. Precision refers to how tightly clustered a group of results is. A group of results that is tightly clustered demonstrates a high degree of precision. Accuracy refers to how close to the expected results the observed data points are.
- Prevention Vs. Inspection. Preventing a mistake is cheaper than correcting a mistake, in terms of time, money, and reputation.
- Product Quality Vs. Project Quality. Product quality is determined by the nature of the product (e.g., different requirements for estate development and software development). Project quality is driven by the conformance to the project requirements (e.g., project on budget or not).
- Product Satisfaction Vs. Project Satisfaction. Product satisfaction focus on customer satisfaction. Project satisfaction is a broader concept that includes also the expectations of the project team, the sponsor, vendors, regulatory entities, and other project-specific stakeholders.
- Quality Policy. Part of the organizational process assets input, it’s a guideline published by executive management that describes what quality policies should be adopted for projects the company undertakes. If a quality policy does not exist, it’s up to the project management team to create one for the project and to ensure that all key project stakeholders are aware of and have received copies of it.
- SIPOC. An acronym that stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers, it is a diagram used in the Six Sigma methodology to summarize the flow of goods and information between suppliers and customers in table form.
2. Perform Quality Assurance
- Audits Vs. Inspections. Audits are related to processes. Inspections are related to deliverables and products. Moreover, audits are always tools and techniques and never inputs or outputs.
- Change Requests. Most of the change requests resulting from Project Quality Assurance would be procedural changes.
- Quality Assurance Vs. Quality Control. Quality assurance uses audits and revolves around processes. Quality control revolves around inspections and the project deliverables.
- Quality Audits. Quality audits are best done by an independent person or a separate Quality Assurance department who can comment objectively, rather than by the project management team itself.
- Quality Management Flow. Even if PMBOK illustrates Project Quality Assurance in between Plan Quality Management and Control Quality, actually this is the last process of project quality management to be executed.
3. Control Quality
- Control Quality Vs. Validate Scope. Even if both processes measure deliverables, Control Quality process – verification – is performed internally and the customer may accept a product that failed it, as part of validating scope. On the other hand, Validate Scope process – validation – is performed by the customer and, this time, the latter may decide not to accept a product that passed control quality.
- Rule of Seven. It means that any time you have seven data points in a row that fall on the same side of the mean on a control chart, the process isn’t random. Henceforth, you need to find the cause of the variation.
- Seven Basic Quality Tools. For the exam, it’s paramount to master why you would choose one of these tools over the others.