10 Reasons Why Quality is not Achieved in a Project

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

It’s easy to find excuses for not implementing quality processes within a project environment and 10 of the most common ones are listed below. But next time you are about to make one of these excuses (and, let’s face it, we all have from time-to-time) why not, instead, try to change whatever it is that is preventing you from focussing on quality.

It may not have an impact on your current project, or even your next project, but a continuous effort to improve quality in project management processes and procedures will eventually lead to more successful project outcomes. And that is just as true whether you are managing a complex construction project or an IT or small digital marketing project.

1.  I’m Too Busy

 Project managers tend to be overloaded just managing the budget and schedule and simply can’t cope with quality tasks. Quality-focussed activities should be built into the project plan right from the start to prevent this happening.

2. I Lack the Power to Implement Quality Initiatives

 Frequently project managers do not have the authority to make decisions and changes that will affect the quality of their procedures and the quality of their end-products.  

3.  Internal Politics get in the way

 Differences of opinion between the project team and the business departments involved in the project can cause disputes that affect quality. Seconding personnel from different departments to form part of the project team can help to minimise misunderstandings and disagreements.

4.  There is No Formal Quality Plan

A well-documented and well-communicated quality plan is necessary to ensure everyone involved in the project understands the importance of quality in the project processes and procedures and that they co-operate with quality initiatives.

5.  The Project Team Lacks Motivation

 A project team that lacks motivation, for whatever reason, will contribute to poor quality processes and ultimately a poor quality project outcome.

6.  Quality is a one-off activity

Improvements in quality are a continuous process that is regularly updated as lessons are learnt. Viewing it as an activity to be done and then forgotten about will never lead to high-quality processes and solutions.  

7.  My Company Focuses on Short-Term Benefits

 Organisations, and hence their project teams, are often driven to achieve results by a given date. When a deadline is looming quality is often the first issue to fall by the wayside.

8.    Lack of Commitment from Senior Management

 For quality to be an integral part of projects within any organisation there must be substantial commitment from senior management to ensure the time and resources are available and to drive the quality initiative forward.

9.    Lack of Customer Focus

 Customers, both internal and external, have different needs and expectations and these needs and expectations change over time so very project manager should make a concerted effort to re-appraise these for every project.

10.    No Clear Definition of Quality

The definition of quality within an organisation should be a collaborative effort between project and business teams to ensure the opinions and ideas of all concerned are incorporated into the definition.

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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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