How high are your quality standards in project management?
Do you set them yourself? Do you depend on external standards?
If you want your business to stand out, you have to maintain a certain level of quality of products and services.
While it is often easy to follow external quality requirements, such as those established by ISO standards, it is more difficult to develop your internal quality system and always stick to it.
But what will highlight your position among the competition is precisely the quality level you maintain internally for your team. We are going to talk more about that in this blog about examples of quality standards in project management.
What Are Quality Standards in Project Management?
Quality Standards in Project Management (PM) refer to the documentation that proscribes the requirements, guidelines, and specifications for delivering consistent quality across the projects from initiation through all phases until completion.
The role of quality standards is to ensure that a factual product or a service is up to what is specified. Any quality output is fit for its purpose, delivers on expectations, was made following best practices, and meets the needs of its users.
For example, a landing page that is up to a certain quality standard contains all required elements, generates leads, loads quickly, and helps the audience solve the problem.
The 4 Elements of Quality Standards
Quality is an essential element of all project phases. To ensure your business always performs well, your PM practices should focus on the four key components of QS:
- Quality Planning (QP): QP is a methodology for establishing goals for quality standards for a service that has not existed before or for a new project. As a rule of thumb, this is done by the Project Manager.
- Quality Control (QC): QC is a system for testing whether an output (product or service) measures to the specifications.
- Quality Assurance (QA): QA is the continuous inspection process to ensure that what was planned is happening across the project without risks and issues.
- Quality Improvement (QI): QI is a framework to systematically improve outcomes, reduce variations in quality, and achieve predictable results.
Quality standards are not always legally binding. However, they are industry guidelines and universally accepted as unwritten rules for maintaining quality in project management.
Examples of Quality Standards in Project Management
Well-known official examples of quality standards in project management are those under the cap of ISO 21500, including project, programme, and portfolio management. The basic ISO 21500 defines joint guidelines, while each subsequent QS focuses on specific quality aspects, including vocabulary, earned value, and work breakdown.
Meeting official ISO standards guarantees obtaining certain licenses, associations, and memberships. But it doesn’t guarantee business growth. To accomplish that goal, you need internal standards for project management. How do you work out those?
How to Create Internal Quality Standards
Internal quality standards are your USP, your rulebook, and your values at the same time. They are what distinguishes you from everyone else’s USP.
The main task is not to insist on creating quality standards quickly, but on taking the first step. Defining internal quality standards is about doing the right things right through evolution to future-proof your business.
The technical process of creating quality standards in project management includes defining:
- Work items: what to do
- Work deliverables: how to do it
You need a quality standard for every task. Combining all tasks in a workflow ensures you meet quality standards in all three stages of the work process – preparation and planning, execution, and delivery.
Templates and checklists with defined standards for work tasks make it easy for everyone on your team to follow the process and produce quality work deliverables.
QS for Expert Tasks and Team Tasks
It can be a breeze to understand quality for your narrow expertise field. If you are the expert, you know exactly what to do.
“But how do I create quality standards for a task I don’t know anything about?” is a common nagging question for business owners because, naturally, no one is a know-it-all.
Although it is a challenge to set up standards for areas out of your expertise, it is not impossible.
- If you already have an expert on your team that can provide the knowledge for the required quality standards, just ask them. For example: “What are the steps to deliver this marketing strategy?” You may not get all the answers immediately, but you will start creating items in the workflow process for all three stages.
- Use an example of an already created item by someone on your team.
Don’t shy away from additional questions and make continuous improvements.
Benefits of Setting High-Quality Standards in PM
Having high team quality standards defines the process for your team step-by-step and brings tangible benefits across the board:
- Reduce failure and risks
- Increase operational efficiency
- Raises profitability per service delivery and profitability per offer
- Enhance client satisfaction
Before creating quality, you need to have your offers defined as part of your business strategy.
Learn more about how to create high-quality offers with productized services.
Quality Control and Quality Assurance with Work Separation and Delegation
Expert people who think creatively may work poorly with structured thinking that generates workflow processes.
However, that doesn’t mean they cannot establish quality standards. The task of the Project Manager or the Business Owner is to extract the knowledge from unstructured processes and create internal quality standards based on that knowledge to delegate to experts.
Team Roles for QS Execution
After defining tasks and skills in the workflow process, project management requires setting up roles and people responsible for process execution. To ensure you are up to the standard in all stages, you need at least three types of roles:
- Team Lead is the team member responsible for the quality of the results.
- Process Owner is the team member responsible for the quality of the process by ensuring that every step aligns with the workflow quality.
- Delivery Team is responsible for the quality of delivery.
Having defined roles in project management helps the team in meeting KPIs because everyone owns their role for specific KPIs.
Overall, team members keep each other accountable and support each other to follow through with high-quality work and keep clients happy.
These are not the only examples of quality standards in Project Management you can create but can provide a framework to start evolving your process right now.
If you want to build a quality standard for your entire team with structures, workflows, and clear roles to combine quality and flexibility not only in project management, click the link below and sign up for the free training: