Project management is a carefully planned, organized effort to manage the resources in order to successfully accomplish specific project goals and objectives. It involves the entire life cycle of a project right from the feasibility study of the project, project planning, implementation, evaluation, support, and maintenance of the project. Each phase of the project is a vast topic within project management. The topic of interest for this chapter is quality assurance and its relationship project management. By defining quality and situating the concept within the frame of project management, the authors’ scope and understanding of project completion will be improved.
Definitions Of Quality
While the importance of quality is now generally recognized, there is no single generally accepted definition of “quality”. Some of the definitions provided by Pyzdek (1996) are as follows:
Transcendent definition: “Quality cannot be defined, you know what it is”. (Persig 1974, p. 213)
User-based definition: “Quality consists of the ability to satisfy wants”. (Edwards 1968, p. 37) “Quality is fitness for use”. (Juran 1974m, p. 2-2)
Manufacturing-based definition: “Quality is the degree to which a specific product conforms to a design or specification”. (Gilmore 1974, p. 16)
Value-based definition: “Quality is the degree of excellence at an acceptable price and the control of variability at an acceptable cost”. (Broh 1982, p. 3)
In addition, Besterfield (2001) quantifies the definition of quality as follows:Q = P/EWhereQ
The ISO 9000 definition of quality is provided by Kerzner (2006) as “the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs” (p. 834)
Nine different dimensions of quality are described by Garvin (1988). They are:
Performance: Primary operating characteristic of a product.
Features: Secondary characteristics of a product.
Conformance: The extent to which physical and performance characteristics of a product meet specifications.
Reliability: Consistency of performance over time.
Durability: Useful life of a product.
Serviceability: Resolution of problems and complaints, competence, and ease of repair.
Response: Human-to-human interface.
Aesthetics: Sensory characteristics of a product.
Perceived quality: Past performance and other intangibles.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Control Chart: A chart with upper and lower control limits on which values of some statistical measure for a series of samples or subgroups are plotted.
ISO 9000 Series Standards: A set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system.
Total Quality Management (TQM): It is a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction. TQM is based on the participation of all members of an organization in improving processes, products, services, and the culture they work in.
Continuous Improvement: The ongoing improvement of products, services, or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements.
Quality Management (QM): The application of a quality management system in managing a process to achieve maximum customer satisfaction at the lowest overall cost to the organization while continuing to improve the process.
Pareto Chart: A graphical tool for ranking causes from most significant to least significant.
Cause-and-Effect Diagram: A tool for analyzing process dispersion.
QS 9000: A quality standard utilized by the automotive industry to ensure the quality of its and its supplier’s components, subsystems, and finished products.
Process Control: Using statistical process control to measure and regulate a process.
Quality: A subjective term for which each person has his or her own definition. In technical usage, quality can have two meanings: (1) the characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs and (2) a product or service free of deficiencies.