Describe about the Quality Management Plan for Business Quality Planning.
The validation of the completion of the project deliverables with an acceptable quality level is the purpose of managing quality. The quality of the output of the project processes used to manage the deliverables and the creation of deliverables are assured by quality management. The level of quality is defined with the help of a quality management plan. Typically the level of quality is defined by the customers. The quality management plan describes how the project is taken and will ensure the quality level of the deliverables and the work processes. It is an integral part of any project management plan. It describes how the quality will be managed throughout the project lifecycle. It gives instructions as to how the project team will implement, communicate and support the project quality practices (Ahuja, 2012). It also clarifies the procedure and processes for conducting quality assurance, quality planning, quality control, and the process of continuous improvement. It is necessary that every stakeholder is aware and familiar with the quality procedures. The outcome of the whole quality management plan will depend on the products produced and its quality.
Here a quality management plan will be developed that will elaborate all the steps required for a successful quality management of products (Chen & Wang, 2016).
Steps of Quality Management Plan
Purpose and Objectives
The Quality Management Plan or QMP will authorize the procedures, processes, and activities for making sure of the quality product upon the project’s conclusion. Under the purpose and objective heading it will document, a high level, the all-around approach for the management of quality for the project and it defines the plan’s purpose in delivering the quality product. The main purposes of QMP are to:-
- Ensure quality is planned
- Defining the management of quality
- Defining the quality assurance activities
- Defining the quality control activities
- Defining the standard quality that is accepted by all (Hanaysha, Abdullah, & Ghani, 2016)
Quality Management Scope
The scope of the quality management activities will be defined in this section. If there are particular project areas where the application of quality standards is required, then those areas should be mentioned in the quality management scope. The activities of quality management are spread in the whole project lifecycle. From the staring that means from the initiation to the closure, the scope of quality management will appear in all the activities of the project phase (Kilgore, Radich, & Harrison, 2011).
For attaining success, a project has to meet the quality objectives by utilizing a unitary quality approach that defines the quality standards, measure it and continuously improve it. This step of QMP will be taken in the starting of the process by including stakeholders and quality assurance team members. This will allow the focus of the team on the items related to the quality of the product in the starting stages. This is done to incorporate specific quality activities and standard earlier in the project (Konidari & Abernot, 2006). A weekly and monthly measurement report of the quality can be used as a tool to communicate the risks or issues that may arise in the quality. In the quality management scope step of the QMP following elements will be described and defined:-
- Quality Planning, assurance, and control
- Quality standards and activities relevant to the product
- Relevant quality measures and metrics for standards for project product functionality, management performance, deliverables, and documentation and testing.
- Quality assurance and control roles and responsibilities
- Software and tools required supporting quality management (Lau, Yam, & Tang, 2011)
The step of quality planning will be defining the requirements and standards of quality to be used for the project. This step should be performed along with the other planning processes of the project. For example, the changes proposed in the product to meet the described standards of the quality that may require schedule adjustment or cost, and a detailed analysis of risk that may impact the plan. The inputs that can be included in the quality planning includes the Scope Baseline (the work breakdown structure, the scope statement, and work breakdown structure dictionary), the organizational process assets, the stakeholder register, schedule baseline, cost performance baseline, risk register, organizational process assets, and enterprise environmental factors (Lyhne, Cashmore, Runhaar, & van Laerhoven, 2015).
Some tools and techniques which may come in use in this step for quality planning include quality management methodologies, statistical sampling, flow-charting, design experiments, benchmarking, control charts, the cost of quality, and cost-benefit analysis. Its output will include quality metrics, process improvement plans, quality checklists, quality management plan, and process document updates (O'Mahony & Garavan, 2012).
The quality planning requires the support of the senior project manager, team, sponsor, and other experienced and important seniors. Implementation and compliance with the quality planning with the QMP is a shared responsibility of all the project personnel. Quality planning includes following processes:-
Establishing Quality Standards- the process of quality planning establishes the quality assurance and quality control standards, the project, procedures, standards, and descriptions that the project team may need. The quality process standards, description, and procedures applicable to the project phases will be defined and developed by the quality manager and senior project director in collaboration with the process owners and the team leaders (Wong, Tseng, & Tan, 2013).
Identify Quality Metrics- this part of the process identifies the metrics that the team may use. The quality manager and senior project director will work in collaboration with the team leaders, and process owners, who have developed and identified the quality metrics that may, needed to apply to the project. At different phases, the metrics which were based on project team established quality standards will be refined and documented in QMP. The quality metrics will be evaluating the goal achievement (Yang, 2011).
Create Quality Checklists- the team will be using a quality checklist identified by the quality planning process. As an integral part, the project team will use the quality checklist on the process and product quality reviews. The application process of the quality checklist will be discussed in the process of quality assurance and product quality assurance sections.
Problem Remediation- to determine the corrective actions and the improvements required for the process a discussion will take place in a meeting scheduled by the senior project manager separately. The outcome of the meeting will act on, wherever possible for improving the success of future project phases. It will be done by incorporating the experiences and lesson learned during the phase of planning activities. The quality of the project activities and the deliverables will increase through the incorporation of the quality management recommendation came into view from preceding review. This step will help in minimizing the issues at the end of the project and promotes a successful go-live (Gershon & Rajashekharaiah, 2013).
Quality assurance is the section of QMP that explain the way to define and document the process of auditing the requirements for the quality and results that would be achieved from quality control measurements for quality standards compliance. It provides confidence that the quality requirements are getting fulfilled and helps in ensuring that the process of the project being used to deliver and manage the project’s product is effective and applied properly (Huotari & Havrdova, 2016). Throughout the project’s life-cycle an iterative quality process will be used to ensure the quality.
In quality assurance planning following actions need to be taken:-
- Determine the key processes need to be reviewed
- Determine the quality review standards
- Determine the expectations of stakeholders for effective business process
- Explain the quality assurance tools and activities
- Build measurement timelines and concluding actions (Indelicato, 2013)
The techniques and tools that can be used for quality assurance process analysis, cause and effects diagrams, cause analysis, quality audits, control charts, quality control logs, and process flow mapping. The output of the quality assurance can be described with the help of organizational process assets updates, project management plan updates, change requests, and project document updates (Ip, 2009).
Once all the activities of the quality assurance will be completed the senior project director will be scheduling a regular meeting for reviewing its findings. These reviews will include an agenda that will be a review of project processes, any error or variation, the findings of the audit coming from the quality manager, and the discussion on the initiatives taken or need to be taken on the process improvement. All the changes made will be documented, implemented and communicated to the members of the team regarding the process improvement efforts (Levin, 2014).
The method of defining and documenting the process to monitor and record the results of the executing the quality activities are known as quality control. This will be done to assess the performance and recommend the necessary changes. This is the part that apply on the product of the project. It includes the acceptable standards and the deliverable performance of the product and the method of measuring them (Li, Yang, & Wu, 2008). The actions need to be completed as a part of quality control planning is as follows:-
- Determine the key deliverables need to be reviewed
- Determine the quality review standards
- Determine the correctness and completeness criteria suggested and defined by the customers
- Explain the quality control tools and activities
- Build measurement timelines and concluding actions
- Determine the owners of ongoing improvement and monitoring of project processes (Liang, 2010).
Quality control inputs may include the quality metrics, work performance measurements, updated documentation deliverables, project management plan, quality checklists, approved change request, and organizational process assets. In quality control, the techniques and tools that can be used are control charts, cause and effect diagrams, flowcharting, Pareto charts, histograms, scatter diagrams, run charts, statistical sampling, approved change requests review, and inspection (Madadi & Wong, 2014). The output can consist of quality control measurements, change requests, validated changes, organizational process assets updates, validated deliverables, project document updates, and project management plan updates. The steps that a quality control process involves are as follows:-
- Monitoring, validating, and verifying the work products to make sure that the requirements need to fulfilled for quality and scope of work are getting fulfilled or not.
- Inspection of documentation and deliverables and comparing them to a standard of quality that the stakeholders of the project have defined.
- To verify that the technical specification and the user’s requirements are met before as well as after the product gets approved and promoted to a stable production environment.
- To monitor the output of the workflow progress, detection of problems and defects, and allowing for taking corrective steps before the delivery of the services and products (Persic, Markic, & Persic, 2016).
Regular meetings will be scheduled by the senior project manager for the review of documents, management, and project. The agenda of the review will be revolving around the review of the products, any discrepancies or variation, and suggestion and discussion of product improvement initiatives (Prida And & Grijalvo, 2008).
Quality Management Roles and Responsibilities
Quality management is the responsibility that has to be taken by all the members of the project team. This section of QMP will describe the primary roles and responsibilities that the project staff will handle in relation to the practice of the quality management for the project. All the role responsibilities and roles need to be clearly documented, defined and agreed upon between the project sponsor, senior project director, and quality manager (Rodrigues, 2007). As they all play a very important role in the quality management for the product. It is essential for a team that it makes sure that the work is completed as per the level which is the adequate quality level from individual work packages till the deliverables of the final project.
For the project the quality roles and responsibilities required are as follows:
- It the responsibility of the project sponsor to approve the quality standards for the project
- A project sponsor reviews the quality report and then provides assistance in the resolution of the escalated issues
- The final acceptances of the project deliverables are to be signed off by authority of the project sponsor (Sagiv & Ladany, 2006).
Senior Project Director
- Senior project director makes sure that all the processes, documentation, and tasks are in compliance with the plan and to do so he has to implement the quality management plan
- It is his responsibility to maintain quality management throughout the project’s duration
- He should collaborate with the quality manager, specialists, and process owners to develop the quality metrics and standards according to the phases.
- He should ensure the compliance of team members with quality management processes (Starzyrska & Hamrol, 2013)
- Supporting the quality manager in securing resources for performing the quality management
- Senior project director should participate in the review of quality management as required
- The quality standards need to be communicated to the project team and stakeholders (Steensen, 2010).
- A quality manager provides the overall leadership of quality management activities that includes the managing quality reviews and overseeing of the follow-on of the corrective actions
- He should develop and maintain the assurance plan of the project software quality
- He should generate and maintain the schedule of activities of software quality assurance
- He should collaborate with the quality specialist, senior project directors, and process owners for the development of quality metrics and standards (Taboada & Coit, 2007).
- Raise the issues of non-compliance with the senior project director.
- He should keep the quality management plan updated and maintain the quality standards of the overall project processes and products (Tomazevic, Tekavcic, & Peljhan, 2015).
Quality Specialist/ Team Leaders/ Managers
- A team leader has a responsibility to support and oversee the application of quality standards set for the project process
- He should collaborate with the other team members like the senior project director, process owners, and quality manager in developing the quality plan which includes the quality metrics and standards.
- As required the team leader should participate in the quality management reviews.
- He should conduct the inspection of the quality assurance and quality control as appropriate (Tsui, 2010)
- The tools and methodologies for tracking quality and standards will be recommended by the team leader to establish acceptable quality levels.
- He should create and maintain the logs of quality control and assurance throughout the project
- He should conduct the assessment of the process and products, as explained in the plan
- Metrics need to developed and maintained (Welikala And & Sohal, 2008)
- A project owner should oversee and support in the project process by implicating the quality standards on the assigned processes.
- Keeping collaboration with the other team members that includes the quality manager, quality specialists, and senior project director
- His participation should be there in the reviews of quality management (Wickramasinghe & Perera, 2012)
Quality Management Records and Reports
The section of the quality management plan that will keep the general information about the types of records and report that gets created and retained as a project’s quality activities part. The location of the retention and the report and data format will vary from project to project. By maintaining these records the objective evidence and traceability of the assessment performed can be provided throughout the project’s lifecycle. Some examples of the records are the assessment reports of process and products, metrics, weekly and monthly status reports, and completed checklists. A shared document repository can be used by the team members as a part of the quality activities and reviews that will contain the reporting data and the reports produced. The maintenance of the records will be done through the implementation phase of the project (Yang, 2011).
Quality Measurements & Tools
The section of quality measurements and tools will contain a sample or useable log or a table that can be used in taking quality measurements and then for doing the comparison of them against standards and requirements. There are various formats of these forms. To provide documentation of the finding is the most important aspect of this log. Some action needs to be taken if the actual measurements do not meet the requirements or standards. This can be done during the regularly scheduled meeting for the project status or if necessary throughout the life-cycle of the project. Work is going on in the development and designing of a standard project measurements and metrics plan that can be applicable to all the projects (Gershon & Rajashekharaiah, 2013). The team can use different tools when activities are performed of quality management for the project (Huotari & Havrdova, 2016).
The tools that can be used are as follows:-
Software Quality Tools
- Microsoft Office Tools like Excel, Power Point, Word, and Project
- Test management software
- Test Management Repository
- Defect Tracking Software and Defect Management Repository (Li, Yang, & Wu, 2008).
Project Management Tools
- Project Server
- Issues and risk management system
- Deliverables Repository
- Software Vendor Problem Reporting
- Schedule Management and Tracking software (Madadi & Wong, 2014)
Problems and Solutions
Problems that an organization may face while implementing the quality management standards are as follows:-
Competitive Markets- the main force and a reason of many other obstacles to quality is the competitive markets. It is a mental barrier that occurs by misunderstanding the definition of the quality. Companies equate quality with high cost, but the actual definition is bringing quality in the product in every function of the company. If the functions of the company are poor then the result in the form of the product will also be poor (Persic, Markic, & Persic, 2016).
Abdication of responsibility- the poor management practices, competitive environment, and a general lack of higher expectations has inflated the unhealthy and unproductive attitudes. Such attitudes are expressed by saying "It's not my job." Employees are trained to follow management with closed eyes which foster the motivation and creativity of them.
Lack of leadership for quality- many layers and levels of management often result in duplication of responsibility and duty. This makes the quality implementation a management’s job. This lead to discrepancies in taking the responsibility of quality between employees and the management. Employees involved in production and has a responsibility to incorporate quality in the product do not feel attached with process and hence do not take the initiative to make quality checks as per the customer's demand (Chen & Wang, 2016).
Deficiency of Cultural Dynamism- every organization has its own work culture which is preferred to be followed by the people associated with it. They like to stick to its old culture, which is in need of change to give the customer the quality he wants from the product. Inadequate cultural dynamism makes it difficult to implement the quality control steps in the organization.
Inadequate resources for implementing quality management standards-Most of company’s strategic plans do not include the standards of quality management and little funds are being allotted to it. When bringing the new changes in the company to get the adequate quality outcome, requirement of resources increases which affects the budget of the company. Many companies find it as an unnecessary expense for the company (Starzyrska & Hamrol, 2013).
Lack of Customer focus- most of the organization’s strategic plans are not customer driven. They are more profit-oriented objectives in given period. Little market research is done to find out what are the customer’s requirements and demands from the product related to its quality.
Lack of effective measurement of improving quality- QMP focuses on customer’s demand and need to be fulfilled from the product related to its quality. It is based on the customer’s feedback in developing the standards of the quality in the product. Many companies lack the effective measurement tools which are necessary to measure the quality and the improvement required in the quality (O'Mahony & Garavan, 2012).
Poor Planning- when a sound strategy is absent from the planning then it contributes to the ineffective quality improvement. In the starting phase only the planning goes wrong which affects the whole process and the outcome of the quality of the product is not up to the mark.
Lack of management commitment- announcing and taking initiative in the implementation of quality management plan are two different things. Just by setting up the steps and design of the quality management plan is not sufficient, implementation and running of is properly is also very important to get the desired outcome from the planning. It is the management duty to effectively implement the quality plan in the organization (Taboada & Coit, 2007).
Resistance of the work-force- sometimes the work-force employed by the organization becomes unwilling to take up the initiative to improve quality by implementing the quality management plan. The reason may the changes in the procedure that the organization will go through or the extra pressure and workload they will face due to it
Lack of proper training- if changes are to be brought in the working of the organization, then training for the changes needs to be given to employees. This will familiarize them with the change. Many times this does not happen and the result is poor implementation of the management plan (Yang, 2011).
Recommendations or Solutions
For successful implementation of the Quality Management Plan to achieve the Quality Management Standards are as follows:-
The purpose towards improvement of the product should be created consistently to bring competitiveness in business and provide jobs to people required to bring the quality management
The dependency on mass inspection should be ceased and instead of that the statistical evidences should be considered around which quality is built on.
Adopting new philosophy as per the requirement of the new age. Effective work-force, no mistake, best material, and no delays should be the focus of the company.
Proper training to the employees regarding the expected changes will help them to become familiar with the new procedures and accept them easily.
Still the company find it difficult to implement the quality management plan, and then a thorough search is required to find the exact problem and the factors behind the problem (Prida And & Grijalvo, 2008).
Quality is an important factor that an organization tries to maintain with a lot of efforts. A plan of maintaining the quality of the product as per the demand and requirements of the customers need to be designed and this is done through the quality management plan. There are many steps that are needed to be followed to reach the quality maintenance throughout the project’s life-cycle. This includes the quality assurance, control, and role and responsibilities of the people associated with the project and quality management plan. If properly followed, then all the barriers that may arise during the process can be overcome, and total quality can be found in the product.
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