A Project quality plan is a document, or several documents, that together specify quality standards, practices, resources, specifications, and the sequence of activities relevant to a particular project, or contract. It acts as the quality bible for the project. It contains a set of activities planned at the beginning of the project that helps achieve Quality in the Project being executed. The Purpose of the Project Quality Plan is to define these activities or tasks that intend to deliver products while focusing on achieving customer’s quality expectations. These activities or tasks are defined on the basis of the quality standards set by the organization delivering the product.
Project Quality Plan identifies which Quality Standards are relevant to the project and determines how they can be satisfied. It includes the implementation of Quality Events by using various Quality Materials (templates, standards, checklists) available within the organization. The holding of the Quality Event is termed as Quality Control. Quality Assurance deals in the preparation of the Quality Plan and formation of organization-wide standards.
Project Quality Plan should be written with the objective to provide project management with easy access to quality requirements and should have ready availability of the procedures and standards thus mentioned.
There are some components that can be found in a project quality plan.
1. Management Responsibility. This describes how the management is responsible for achieving the project quality. Since management is the controlling and monitoring function for the project, project quality is mainly a management responsibility.
2. Documented Quality Management System. This refers to the existing Quality Procedures that have been standardized and used within the organization.
3. Design Control. This specifies the procedures for Design Review, Sign-Off, Design Changes and Design Waivers of requirements.
4. Document Control. This defines the process to control Project Documents at each Project Phase.
5. Purchasing. This defines Quality Control and Quality Requirements for sub-contracting any part / whole part of the project.
6. Testing and Quality Assurance This component of the project quality plan takes precedence over other components. This is the element, which describes the main quality assurance functions of the project. This section should clearly identify the quality objectives for the project and the approach to achieve them.
7. Nonconformance. This defines the procedures to handle any type of nonconformance work. The procedures include defining responsibilities, defining conditions and availability of required documentation in such cases.
8. Corrective Actions. This describes the procedures for taking Corrective Actions for the problems encountered during project execution.
9. Risks & Mitigation This section identifies the project quality risks. Then, the project management team should come up with appropriate mitigation plans in order to address each quality risk.
10. Defect Management During testing and quality assurance, defects are usually caught. This is quite common when it comes to software development projects. The project quality plan should have guidelines and instructions on how to manage the defects.
11. Quality Records. This describes the procedures for maintaining the Quality Records (metrices, variance reports, executed checklists etc.) during project execution as well as after the project completion.
12. Quality Audits. An internal audit should be planned and implemented during each phase of the project. This is to check if the project system is implemented as per standard.
13. Training. This should specify any training requirements for the project team. This is also part of the Quality System to upgrade the staff within the project.
Project quality plan is one of the mandatory documents for any type of project. Without this, a project can be derailed if there are different interpretations of how and what determines acceptable quality for a project.
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