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The PRINCE2® Approach to Quality Management

An item, person, process, service, or system is defined as high quality if it is able to demonstrate that it meets expectations, meets stated needs, or meets specified requirements. PRINCE2® recognizes products can also be people, processes, services, and/or systems, so quality is about the product’s ability to meet its needs. PRINCE2®’s quality philosophy is centered on the ‘product focus’ principle. It defines what the project will produce (the scope) and establishes the metrics against which it will be judged (the quality). The Business Case would be weak or invalid if there are disputes over acceptance, rework, or uncontrolled change. During the production phase of the project, the Quality theme focuses on continuously improving procedures – or example, looking for ways to make management of the project and its products more efficient or effective. Taking lessons learned and acting on them contributes to the PRINCE2® certification quality approach, as it facilitates continuous improvement.

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Quality:

· Considering Quality When Planning

There must be a plan for managing anything, including quality. Quality planning involves setting out the products needed for the project, along with the quality criteria for each product, the quality methods (including the amount of time and effort needed for quality control and product acceptance), and the quality responsibilities of all those involved.

· Quality control

As part of quality control, participants in the project use the following tactics and activities:

  1. Meet quality requirements (by performing quality inspections or testing, for example)
  2. Identification and elimination of causes of poor performance (for example, process improvements based on lessons learned)

· Assurance of Quality

An independent quality assurance team is a good practice. An assurance program ensures that management and direction of the project are appropriate for the project’s nature and that it conforms to management standards and policies relevant to the organization. As the responsibility of the corporate or program organization, quality assurance activities fall outside the scope of PRINCE2® certification. Quality assurance is the independent process of ensuring that quality planning and control are in place and that all the necessary processes are in place (rather than actually doing the planning and control, which are activities for the project management team).

· Quality Management Strategy

Initiating a project involves developing a Quality Management Strategy, which is reviewed and approved later by the Project Board. Project management team proposals that meet the customer’s quality and acceptance criteria can be viewed as an extension of the project approach. In the Quality Management Strategy, the participating organizations provide details about how their quality management systems will be applied to the project and confirm any quality standards, procedures, techniques and tools that will be used. The Quality Management Strategy for approval should also include details on how models and standards will be tailored. Moreover, the Quality Management Strategy defines how formality can be increased or decreased based upon the specific needs of the project when determining the quality plans and controls.

Conclusion

As part of quality management, quality assurance arrangements, including independent audits, should be outlined where these are required by the policies of the participant organizations. It is imperative to define (both within and outside the project management team) the key responsibilities for quality and to summarize the approach to Quality Assurance. Typically, the only measures which need to be documented where a quality management system has already been established, such as in a program, are those specific to this project. Change control is applied to the Quality Management Strategy throughout the project’s lifecycle.

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