Before I buy anything, I ask for people’s opinions about the product and try to find reviews online.
The worst types of reviews, in my opinion, communicate that a product arrived damaged or lasted only days before breaking.
We all know how disappointing it is to do our research on a product, put our hard-earned money toward the purchase, only for it to poop out immediately. And don’t even get me STARTED on the complexities of a return process, especially for items originally purchased online.
The best way to avoid this type of frustration, and to avoid having to execute your project risk management strategy, is to invest in project quality management.
What is project quality management?
Project quality management is the process of ensuring all aspects of a project are done right the first time so as to increase customer satisfaction and reduce the likelihood of having to course-correct.
Did you know it costs your company more to correct careless mistakes than it does to get it right the first time? You heard me - doing things right initially, no matter how difficult, is actually a time and money-saving measure in the end.
Project quality management concepts
As a project manager, you’re being pulled in multiple directions: people want you to complete a project on time, under-budget, and within the predetermined scope. It can be difficult to prioritize project quality alongside all of these other requirements, but it’s imperative you do.
A quality product or service is, to put it simply, “fit for its intended use.” A quality project has met its deliverables in a way that results in customer satisfaction.
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So, how can you execute project quality management alongside time management, project team member management, and project scope management?
The following three concepts will tell you what to focus on in order to make quality a clear priority.
1. Customer satisfaction
The customer or client is your number one concern when it comes to project success. You want to be sure they’re satisfied with your work and that your project does what it was intended to do.
Part of this is having clear deliverables and objectives so that everyone is referencing the same expectations. Additionally, frequently meeting with said customers or clients to determine whether they’re happy with progress is just as important.
Ensuring your customers are happy throughout various steps in the project life cycle will increase chances that they’re happy in the end. Checking in can decrease the risk of surprise dissatisfaction and will make your team feel more confident that their work aligns with expectations.
2. Prevention over inspection
In addition to the normal costs associated with your project (supply costs, employee paychecks, etc.), you’ll also have to factor in the cost of quality (COQ). This includes the money you spend during a project’s life cycle to resolve problems, as well as any money spent after the project’s completion to go back and rectify mistakes.
One great way to keep an eye on your projects is with a project portfolio management (PPM) solution. Companies use PPM solutions to optimize their project portfolios and maximize revenues and return on investment.
COQ can be split up into two categories: cost of conformance and cost of nonconformance.
Cost of conformance includes anything you spend money on in order to get a project done right the first time. Examples of cost of conformance are: testing, equipment cost, inspections, and employee training.
Nonconformance costs are anything you spend retroactively having to repair or rework part of or all of the project. Examples of nonconformance costs are: the cost of scrapping a project, any liabilities, or lost work.
Continuous improvement is exactly as it sounds. This is the concept of constantly adjusting and making changes to better your processes and products. These changes can be large or small, but should work toward the same purpose.
A huge part of managing a project is keeping a record of steps taken, responsibilities completed, and milestones that were hit or missed. By analyzing these records and asking yourself and your team how you could improve those processes in future projects, you’re focusing on continuous improvement.
Price and timeliness are great, but it’s quality that keeps customers coming back again and again. If you want to build a loyal, strong clientele that trusts you to get the job done, be sure you’re putting quality at the forefront of production.
Want help deciding if a project is right for your company right now? Learn how to conduct a feasibility study.
Grace Pinegar is a lifelong storyteller with an extensive background in various forms such as acting, journalism, improv, research, and content marketing. She was raised in Texas, educated in Missouri, worked in Chicago, and is now a proud New Yorker. (she/her/hers)