Monday 8 August 2022

Seven Steps to Consider Project Quality

In many cases, it is useful for a project to engage someone "from the outside" to evaluate the processes and results of the project for compliance with expectations. 


The project manager, functional manager or sponsor can provide for a planned audit of the project by including it in the Quality Management Plan (see the Quality Management Plan template in our store). Often, such audits may also be
stipulated by the requirements of the contract.

The "outside party" for the project can be a hired consultant or its own qualified specialist who is not involved in the projects. 


Some companies outsource the function of conducting a project audit to the Project Management Office. 


It is also possible that the project director or project sponsor will be able to conduct such an audit independently. Among other things, to ensure that your project is moving in the right direction and stakeholders will be satisfied with its results, you can also organize the consideration of your project by a temporarily unemployed employee.

The main attention in the audit of project quality should be paid to the effectiveness of the applied project management processes, as well as to the deviations of the project and its results from the specified parameters. 


The following simple process will help you to properly organize the consideration of the quality of the project and draw the most constructive conclusions from this event.

1.    Notify parties (Auditor) 


 The auditor notifies the project manager of the upcoming audit and agrees on the appropriate timing and location. Other key stakeholders are also notified of the audit.

2.    Prepare for Audit (Auditor) 


The Auditor may request certain information in advance. He or she may also ask the project manager to prepare to discuss certain aspects of the project. Such preliminary preparations will ensure the effectiveness of the forthcoming meeting.

3.    Conduct an initial interview (Auditor, Project Manager) 


 During the initial interview, the auditor asks relevant questions to determine if the project is deviating from the given course. If any areas of the project where there are deviations pop up, the auditor fixes them.

4.    Conduct as many other interviews as necessary (optional) (Auditor, Project Team) 


In many projects, the audit can be completed after the initial meeting. If the project is large or complex, the auditor may need more data for analysis. This may require interviews with project team members, clients, and additional documentation.

5.    Record the data obtained (Auditor)


The auditor documents data on the status of the project, on the applied management processes, compares them with best practices. If the organization has adopted project management standards and policies, the auditor determines how well they are being implemented. In addition, the auditor can record recommendations for more effective and proactive project management.

6.    Review the draft audit report (Auditor, Project Manager) 


The auditor meets with the project manager to discuss preliminary findings. The auditor describes the detected shortcomings in project management and gives recommendations for their correction. If necessary, the project manager has the opportunity to challenge the findings and provide additional information so that the audit findings are as adequate, accurate and productive as possible.

7.    Send and discuss the final report (Auditor and others) 


The Auditor sends a report with the data and recommendations received to interested parties. If necessary, the project manager can also send out his comment on the audit report. In his response, he can either agree with the conclusions of the audit and outline plans for their implementation, or express disagreement with certain points and explain his point of view. In the latter case, the project sponsor and the project director (the functional manager of the project manager) will have to decide in which part the project manager should follow the above recommendations and in which not.

The above process is easy to implement by supplementing the described step-by-step algorithm with the Project Quality Review document template, which allows you to reflect in a structured form the conclusions of the audit about the compliance of the project and the released results with the expectations of stakeholders.

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