PMP Certification: Project Quality Management Terms (based on PMBOK® Guide, 6th Edition)


Project Quality Management Terms

by Project Management Process Group

1. Plan Quality Management


  • Benchmarking. A technique for comparing a project, or parts of a project, against other projects to infer improvements and to provide some reference points to measure quality performance.
  • Conformance to Requirements. Ensuring a project produces what it said it would produce.
  • Six Sigma. A measurement-based strategy focused upon reducing quality defects to as close to zero as possible (no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities).
  • Statistical Sampling. A tool for testing only a small part of a whole population and inspecting this subset to determine whether it falls within acceptable variances.
  • Total Quality Management (TQM). A theory stating that everybody within an organization has the responsibility to continuously improve the quality of products and processes.
pmp 2018 project quality management terms pmbok guide 6th edition tipsographic main

Project Quality Management Terms

by Project Management Process Group

1. Plan Quality Management


  • Benchmarking. A technique for comparing a project, or parts of a project, against other projects to infer improvements and to provide some reference points to measure quality performance.
  • Conformance to Requirements. Ensuring a project produces what it said it would produce.
  • Continuous Improvement. A commitment to continuous quality improvement throughout the life of the project, in relation to both process and product.
  • Cost of Quality. The cost of ensuring quality, broken down into cost of conformance (prevention costs plus appraisal costs) and cost of non-conformance (internal failure costs plus external failure costs).
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis. A tool for analyzing the expected costs to be incurred against the expected benefits to be gained. The benefits should outweigh costs by at least 50%.
  • Customer Satisfaction. A state of fulfillment in which the needs of a customer are met or exceeded for the customer’s expected experiences, as assessed by the customer at the moment of evaluation.
  • Design of Experiments. A technique that uses experimentation to determine statistically what variable will improve quality.
  • Fitness for Use. A product or service that must satisfy real needs, as it was intended.
  • Grade. A category for products or services that are of the same type but have differing technical characteristics. Low quality is usually not an acceptable condition; however, low grade might be.
  • Process Improvement Plan. A subsidiary of the project management plan that describes how project management and product development processes will be analyzed and enhanced.
  • Quality. The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements. The closer the defined set of observed characteristics to the predefined set of requirements, the higher the level of quality.
  • Quality Management Plan. A subsidiary of the project management plan that describes how the quality requirements will be met.
  • Quality Metrics. Project or product attributes, how they will be measured, and allowable variations (i.e., time performance.).
  • Seven Basic Quality Tools. Seven charts and diagrams used to graphically measure, assess, and determine causes of quality issues. They include the following:
    • cause and effect diagram
    • flowchart
    • checksheets
    • Pareto diagrams
    • histograms
    • control charts
    • scatter diagrams.
  • pmp 2018 kit free online course tipsographicSix Sigma. A measurement-based strategy focused upon reducing quality defects to as close to zero as possible (no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities).
  • Statistical Sampling. A tool for testing only a small part of a whole population and inspecting this subset to determine whether it falls within acceptable variances.
  • Total Quality Management (TQM). A theory stating that everybody within an organization has the responsibility to continuously improve the quality of products and processes.

2. Manage Quality


  • Just in Time. An inventory control system in which suppliers provide materials just before they are required. It forces an organization to maintain a high level of quality, since there is no excess inventory on hand in the warehouse to depend on when poor quality is produced.
  • Kaizen. A Japanese philosophy that focuses on what can be loosely translated as “continuous improvement” of processes.
  • Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle. An iterative cycle for describing continuous planning and checking processes.
  • Process Analysis. A tool that executes the steps in the process improvement plan to determine ways to improve effectiveness and efficiency of existing processes.
  • Quality Audits. A tool for checking whether the defined project processes are in place and are being carried out as per the quality management plan.

3. Control Quality


  • Attribute Sampling. Pass-fail testing; notably, a result meets the requirement or does not.
  • Control Limits. The area of variation delimited by three standard deviations either side of the expected mean – set by the process.
  • Inspection. A tool used to search for bugs in requirements and products, by physically looking at, measuring, or testing results.
  • Quality Control Measurements. The physical representations of the measurements taken during control quality activities.
  • Tolerance. The range of acceptable results – set by the customer.
  • Validated Changes. Approved change requests that have been implemented correctly.
  • Variable Sampling. The degree to which a result meets a requirement on a continuous scale.
  • Verified Deliverables. A deliverable that has met the expected quality requirements and standards, as verified during the process of inspection.

Click here for a detailed analysis of each project management process group and knowledge area.

SOURCES: Project Management Institute (2017). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). 6th ed. Newtown Square: Project Management Institute.

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