Quality control is a process employed to ensure a certain level of quality in a product or service. It may include whatever actions a business deems necessary to provide for the control and verification of certain characteristics of a product or service. The basic goal of quality control is to ensure that the products, services, or processes provided meet specific requirements and are dependable, satisfactory, and fiscally sound. Essentially, quality control involves the examination of a product, service, or process for certain minimum levels of quality. The goal of a quality control team is to identify products or services that do not meet a company‘s specified standards of quality. If a problem is identified, the job of a quality control team or professional may involve stopping production temporarily. Depending on the particular service or product, as well as the type of problem identified, production or implementation may not cease entirely.
Phases of Quality Control Process
1. Planning for Review
In this phase the main focus is on collection of data. Data is the main input requirement of any successful project information system and therefore the project.
The steps to follow in this phase include:
- Preparing a suitable plan for data analysis after the data has been gathered.
- Obtaining necessary commitment from management and team members to participate actively and take actions on findings.
- Ensuring that every project member gives his or her commitment to participate and deliver the service/product in the project.
- Ensuring that review is planned for every stage of the project.
- Preparing schedule for each project review.
- Conducting the Review
In this phase, the review is conducted as a planned in the preceding phase. The review leader is the project manager. The steps to conduct the review include:
- Preparing an agenda before the review. The agenda should be well structured in terms of time and content.
- Making necessary arrangements to gather inputs for the review.
- Incorporating points, which are external to the project. These external points have to be well structured to be reviewed.
- Documenting key points of the meeting. A reporter should be designated for this job.
- Formulating an automated checklist for the session. Make use of flipcharts to collect data from participants.
- Taking actions on findings
In this phase, a project team takes actions on the findings of the review meeting. The steps to follow in this phase include:
- Determining the points which are critical to the project and its performance.
- Having brain storming sessions to discuss critical points.
- Making a list of all such items discussed and items suggested.
- Grouping the data into categories and then prioritise, either by group discussion or voting.
- Identifying action items
- Assigning the task to a project member or a team.
- Setting expectations of scope, investment, time, for each item and send a copy to the team
- Following up all the actions.
- Placing review reports in the project documents file, in the quality/productivity departments and in the library.
- Making reports available to managers of the life process for similar projects.
- Do continuous improvement
Continual improvement is one of the management mantras. Every organisation wants to improve continuously. It is not possible to achieve improvement unless sufficient measures are adopted to calculate improvement. The steps to ensure continuous improvement include:Encouraging the quality managers to look for quality themes that emerge from review meetings. The quality managers should highlight trends and de-escalate chronic problems.
- Acting on recommendations from previous projects as reviews are a continuous check process in the ―Plan-Do-Check-Act‖ cycle of a quality management cycle.
- Capturing project data to check do a retrospective analysis of the progress and improvement.
- Doing periodic project reviews that will trigger mid-project corrections.
- Conducting immediate and informal retrospective analysis after solving unexpected obstacles
- Understanding any impact on the remainder of the project.
- Recognising people for extra efforts and noteworthy contributions.
- Being open to attend reviews for other projects.
- Learning from similar ventures, warranty failures, customer surveys and experiences of other divisions and companies.
- Being a part of continuous organisational learning program that includes experimentation, evaluation and documentation with easy access and retrieval.
- Identifying Critical Success Factors
It is necessary that a company identifies critical factors in a project. These factors may slacken the project if not focused. Some of these success factors are discussed below.
Routine tasks may be assigned to lower level team members as this may relieve the project team from wasting their skill set on routine matters. In terms of project delivery, the project office can relieve project managers of tasks, like filling forms and templates, getting these forms signed off, mailing, receiving and checking items.
The project office can also help the project manager in the project scope definition, project kick-off preparation and planning tasks, through mentoring and coaching services.Regarding project quality reviews, the project management office adds value providing processes, tools and project management experience but any quality review process can be implemented by the team without sponsorship from the management level.
These are the combining strengths that make the project manager move forward and achieve the project success. It is necessary to identify all the critical success factors. One of the critical success factors for the project quality review process implementation is to convince and sell the benefits to the management team of the organisation. The team should exhibit better control of their project portfolio a and then demonstrate better control about business profitability.
- Results and Benefits of the Project Quality Reviews
The main benefits of the project quality review are that project status is formally visible to the whole organisation. It creates awareness and room for improvement. Through reviewing, in a detailed manner, we can have a clear idea about the lack of knowledge mistakes, errors, deviations, and their reasons.
The project quality reviews help the project manager to make the necessary adjustments and take the actions needed to finish the project on time, scope and budget. The entire project team including the project manager, the customer and the sponsor benefit from project quality reviews.