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Project Management (a quick tutorial) - Quality Assurance / Quality Control

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Quality is judged by the customer, not the project manager or the project personnel.  Quality management includes three components:

  1. Quality Planning: identifying quality standards and the process to satisfy them
  2. Quality Assurance: the evaluation of overall project performance (providing confidence that the quality standards will be maintained)
  3. Quality Control:  monitoring specific quality performance and eliminating unsatisfactory performance

The cost of avoiding defects is almost always less than the cost of re-work.

Quality Planning

To achieve quality you must t identify the specific quality expectations of your customer and develop a proactive quality plan to meet each expectation.  

Quality must exist in each process and procedure:

  1. Quality planning
  2. Quality materials
  3. Quality labor performance
  4. Quality monitoring and control

Project quality planning is summarized in the Project Quality Plan.  The most important part of the quality plan is the quality assurance and quality control activities to be performed.

Quality is planned in, not inspected in.

Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC)

Quality Assurance (QA) is a set of activities designed to ensure that the project development process is adequate to ensure the project will meet its objects.  QA is process oriented.

Quality Control (QC) is a set of activities designed to evaluate the developed project work product.  QC is product oriented.

W Wiki:  Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance:  Two key principles characterize QA:

  1. ‘fit for purpose’ (the product should be suitable for the intended purpose) and
  2. ‘right first time’ (mistakes should be eliminated)”


W  Wiki:  Quality Control

Quality Control:  "Quality control emphasizes testing … to uncover defects…’


Every project must balance time, cost, and scope.  When budget and schedule are constrained, it is the project scope that must be reduced, not quality! And it is increasing scope, not quality, that increases project cost and/or time.   

Quality Assurance Tools

The tools used for Quality Assurance:

  1. Identify the applicable quality codes, standards and requirements
  2. Constraint analysis and process improvement tools (i.e. Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints)
  3. Defect reduction tools (i.e. process mapping, cause and effect diagrams, brainstorming, Pareto ranking)

Quality Control Tools

The tools used for Quality Control:

  1. quality reviews at every stage of project development
  2. identify, analyze and decrease defects
  3. checklists and inspection forms
Checklists and Inspection Forms

A checklist is a list of steps to be performed.  An inspection form identifies all critical to quality characteristics.


A metric is a measurement taken to assess performance.

What gets measured gets done.



The Quality Process

The quality process:

  1. Develop the quality plan to meet the customer’s expectations. 
  2. Use Quality Assurance to establish the appropriate level of quality. 
  3. Use Quality Control to validate that the quality has been achieved and the expectations have been satisfied. 
  4. Use metrics to identify quantity and quality of work performed 
  5. Analyze the primary defects and determine the root cause.  
  6. Remedy the root cause and track quality improvement.
  7. Strive to prevent defect reoccurrence.

Quality Management is initiated with quality assurance, supported by quality control.

A good quality program is a learning program, with continuous improvement and active defect reduction. 


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