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Quality Assurance

“There likely was a tremendous rush to rescue your organization’s troubled project, and if everything went according to plan, a quality assurance team was in place to maintain the prescribed level of quality within the project deliverables. Here are some questions to ask to help align the future quality assurance process in the organization and also to identify any weaknesses that may have pervaded the rescue intervention:

  • How important is quality to the organization?
  • What quality tradeoffs were made to meet the deadline? (Hopefully the answer is none)
  • How can we increase the investment available to maintain a high level of quality in all the project deliverables?
  • How effective was the quality assurance team?
  • Which role provided the best support for quality assurance?
  • What problems were encountered in the quality assurance process?
  • What improvements can be made to increase the process efficiency?
  • Are any formal quality assurance processes, like those offered by ISO, appropriate for the organization? Who needs to champion this in the future? The Quality Assurance Institute (QAI), Six Sigma, Total Quality Management (TQM), Taguchi, and Quality Function Deployment (QFD) provide best practices in this space.”

Controls

“Control processes are relevant to all types of organizations and at all times. In the specific instances of projects, processes need to be defined for controlling such things as project costs and timesheets. The PMI Body of Knowledge defines an extensive number of control processes. Here are a set of questions to evaluate the effectiveness of the controls used in the project rescue:

  • Were the actual budget numbers modified after reporting, because of newly found financial items?
  • How close were the budget forecasts to the actuals?
  • How many times were budget or time submissions submitted late?
  • Are the financial policies (e.g. expense reports, timesheet submission) well defined? What exceptions were needed to make things work?
  • What are the team members saying about the controls?
  • Did the controls negatively impact the project timeframe? How so?
  • Which controls can be eliminated?
  • Which new controls are required?”
 
Figure 3

Project Management Controls