Ten QA Tips for Project Managers

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Quality Assurance is the process concerned with monitoring the quality of all aspects of a project so that the final product fulfils all requirements. So QA is performed before the product is finished – it is an essential part of project management and one of the factors that will determine whether the project is a success or not. It can be a separate role from that of project manager but very often QA is just another one of those hats that the project manager wears from time-to-time.

Note that Quality Control is concerned with the quality of the finished product so is focussed on whether a product meets the original specifications and any additional guidelines for a particular type of product – essentially whether it is fit for purpose.

But let’s just focus here on some tips about how to ensure your QA processes are adequate and that they will add benefit to your project rather than just be another bureaucratic procedure to be completed. Remember QA is not designed to keep the auditors happy but to help make the project a success.

 

  1. Get involved in the change management process to assess any quality issues with incorporating changes.
  2. Ensure that all changes to specifications are approved – a list of approvers should have been included in all original documentation
  3. Update project documentation with approved changes and distribute to all stakeholders using the communication plan to determine how and to whom the updates should be sent.
  4. Elicit feedback from stakeholders about the adequacy of the reporting from the project manager and/or team.
  5. Perform regular quality audits and document any potential quality problems.
  6. Where differences exist between what was expected and what was delivered or performed (from any task or process) try to determine and document the cause of the discrepancy.
  7. Manage the preparation of test environments and documentation of test cases.
  8. Ensure expected test results are fully documented.
  9. Ensure test results are reported to stakeholders and approved by them.
  10. Report all problems with test cases and test results to approvers and stakeholders.

 

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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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