Quality Planning Tools for Quality Management Plan

06 May, 2011

Yesterday on Twitter, we were asked about Quality Planning and so, thought it might be useful if we posted some information here, on this topic.

Quality Planning Tools is a commonly asked question on the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam. It is crucial that a Project Manager would be familiar with all aspects of Quality Planning Tools on the course in order to gain PMP® Certification.

What is Quality?
• “Quality is fitness for use” – Juran
• “Quality means conformance to requirements” – Crosby
• “Quality is the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfil requirements” – Project Management Institutes, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) - Fourth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2008 & ISO9000: 2000
• Quality is meeting customer expectations

What are the Quality Planning Tools?
Quality Planning Tools form part of the Quality Management Plan. There are six tools:

1. Control Charts
• Purpose is to determine whether or not a process is stable or has predictable performance
• Data gathering tool to show when a process is subject to a special cause variation
• Illustrate how a process behaves over time
• E.g. Project: Used to monitor cost or schedule variances. Product: Used to determine if the number of defects found during testing are acceptable or unacceptable
• Upper & lower control limits

2. Cost-Benefit Analysis
• Consider the cost-benefit trade off
• Benefit is less re-work, higher productivity, increased stakeholder satisfaction
• Cost is the expense associated with project quality mgmt activities

3. Benchmarking
• Comparing actual or planned project activities to those of other projects
• Generate ideas for improvement
• Provide a basis to measure performance
• Can be internal or external projects

4. Design of Experiments (DOE)
• Statistical method that helps identify which variables have the most influence on the product or process
• “What if” analysis to determine what variables will impact product quality
• Also plays a role in optimization of product or process
• E.g. Car manufacturers use DOE to determine which combination of tires and suspension give the most desired ride characteristics at a reasonable cost

5. Cost of Quality
• Looking at how the cost of conformance & non-conformance to quality will cost the project and creating a balance
• Prevention costs
• Appraisal costs
• Failure costs
• Internal
• External

6. Additional Tools

• Flowcharting
A diagram showing how parts of a process or system relate
Used in Quality Planning to analyze potential future quality problems
Used in Quality control to analyze quality problems
Cause and effect
• Ishikawa diagrams
• Fishbone diagram
Brainstorming, Affinity Diagrams, Force field analysis


Remember, Quality Planning Tools is a commonly asked question in the PMP® Exam. In order to achieve the PMP® certification a project manager must be familiar with the Quality Planning tools.

If you have any other Project Management related questions that you would like us to answer, just comment under this blog, ask us on facebook or tweet @velopi on twitter!





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