What is IT Project Quality Plan?
The execution of a project comprises several sub-processes with internal deliverables. These deliverables should adhere to the quality standards and requirements of the client. Therefore, these deliverables are checked for quality at various levels before they are delivered to the client.
For this, a plan or list of guidelines must be followed throughout the project’s lifetime. To address this requirement, a document named ‘Project Quality Plan’ is developed by the project team. It is necessary for all team members, the project manager, and other stakeholders to adhere to this quality plan throughout the project for maintaining the quality of the project.
Table of Content
- 1 What is IT Project Quality Plan?
- 2 Components of Project Quality Plan
- 3 Quality Philosophies and Principles for Project Quality Plan
- 4 Quality Standards and Metrics
- 5 Change Control and Configuration Management
- 6 Project Quality Management Phases
- 7 Project Quality Tools and Techniques
- 8 Quality Planning
- 8.1 Process Flow Chart- Project Quality Planning
- 8.2 Quality Planning Tools and Techniques
- 8.3 Quality Planning Outputs
- 9 Project Quality Assurance
- 10 Project Quality Control
- 11 Basic Information on Six Sigma
- 12 Six Sigma and Statistics
- 13 Six Sigma and Project Management
- 14 Trend Analysis
- 15 Cost of Quality
Components of Project Quality Plan
The components of a project quality plan depend on the nature of the project and the processes required to carry out that project. Some common components of a project quality plan are listed.
- Responsibility of Management
- Document Management and Control
- Requirements Scope
- Design Control
- Development control and Rigor
- Testing and quality assurance
- Risk and mitigation
- Quality Audit
- Defect Management
Quality Philosophies and Principles for Project Quality Plan
Before the development of the quality plan, its purpose, requirement, and overall direction must be identified. The focus areas for the project quality plan are as follows:
- Customer Satisfaction
- Prevention, Not Inspection
- Improve the Process to Improve the Product
- Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility
- Fact-based Management
Customer satisfaction is the basis of quality management. Customers may be internal or external. Internal customers are project stakeholders whereas external customers are the project sponsor or clients for whom the project is carried out. Between the two, external customers primarily influence the quality plan.
Prevention, Not Inspection
According to Deming, one cannot inspect for quality in the built-up product. It is either built into it or not. He assumed four cost components for quality: prevention, inspection, internal failure, and external failure. Prevention costs refer to costs incurred on preventing errors, defects, faults, etc.
Inspection costs include costs for the evaluation and audit of the project for confirming the quality and the standards followed in an organization. Internal failure costs refer to costs of fixing and reworking issues identified during the product development stage. External failure costs refer to the cost of fixing and reworking after the product has already been developed.
Improve the Process to Improve the Product
A project comprises many sub-processes. Therefore, improving the quality, standard, speed, and time of these sub-processes will improve the quality of the entire project. All processes of the project must be controlled appropriately to ensure the quality of the project.
Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility
Quality parameters depend on time and resources. It is not the duty of the project manager only to improve the quality or adhere to quality standards. It should be the duty of all project team members to adhere to the quality plan. The management should also provide opportunities for each team member to play an active role in ensuring quality.
The quality plan to be followed in the project tenure must be based on facts and figures. The data relating to the plan must be collected and analyzed accurately and managed in such a way that it can be shown to the stakeholders whenever required.
Quality Standards and Metrics
Quality standards determine specifications and criteria that should be followed in a project. Standards must be meaningful, should have a scope, and should be relevant to the project. They can be set concerning a project’s usability, reliability, security, performance, etc. Wherein the MOV represents the overall goal of the project in terms of the value that the project can bring to the organization.
MOV serves as the basis for defining the project’s scope and requirements. The project scope defines high-level project deliverables as well as basic features and functionalities of the project.
Based on features and functionalities, project standards can be defined in terms of reliability, usability, performance, conformance, maintenance, etc. Thereafter, quality attributes and dimensions for each of the project’s requirements, features, and functionalities are determined. These attributes and dimensions are further translated into metrics.
Metrics provide operational definitions for quality management and control by identifying defects. A defect refers to an instance of non-conformance with the project or product standard.
Change Control and Configuration Management
Change is inevitable in every aspect of business that can neither be ignored nor stopped. In a project life cycle, change can occur at any stage of a project. In a project, change can be formal or informal. As the deliverables get ready, changes can be incorporated informally till the project reaches a state of completeness.
However, informal changes are not permitted when the project is ready to be delivered. This is because changes at the last hour of project delivery can lead to changes in the initial plan and delivery dates. On the other hand, a formal change is a proposed change that is assessed thoroughly. Based on the assessment, the decision to incorporate or reject the change is made. This decision is documented to provide a sense of stability to the project.
Configuration management is a tool of project quality management that is most commonly used by organizations for controlling and managing changes in project documents and software products. Configuration management tools help in maintaining an environment wherein a project team can access previous versions of documents and files.
In this way, configuration management helps to maintain the reliability of the project and product deliverables throughout the project life cycle. In a nutshell, it attempts to answer the following questions:
- What changes were made?
- Who made the changes?
- Why were the changes made?
- When were the changes made?
The past documents may be compared with the current ones to identify new changes made. It assigns the team members a specific section of the document so that they can identify the change without any difficulty. The documents can be checked from the data repository to maintain control. Configuration management involves certain policies that restrict anyone to access documents and files without permission.
Project Quality Management Phases
Phases of project quality management are Quality Planning, Quality assurance, and Quality Control. Each of them is associated with Input, Tools Techniques, and Output. Input means the details required for quality planning, quality assurance, and quality control. Similarly, tools and techniques are used during each phase, and finally the results as output. The Phases of Project Quality Management are described below:
What is Quality Planning?
Quality Planning is identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy them. It implies the ability to anticipate situations and prepare actions to bring about the desired outcome. It is important to prevent defects by:
- Selecting proper materials.
- Training and indoctrinating people in quality.
- Planning a process that ensures the appropriate outcome.
According to ISO 9000:2000, the definition of Quality Planning is the “art of quality management focused on setting quality objectives and specifying necessary operational processes and related resources to fulfill quality objectives.” A Quality Plan is a document specifying which procedures and associated resources shall be applied by when and by whom to a specific project, product, process, or contract.
Project Quality Plan can be defined as a set of activities planned at the beginning of the project that helps achieve Quality in the Project being executed. The Purpose of the Project Quality Plan is to define these activities/tasks that intend to deliver products while focusing on achieving customer quality expectations. These activities/tasks are defined based on the quality standards set by the organization delivering the product.
Project Quality Plan identifies which Quality Standards are relevant to the project and determines how they can be satisfied. It includes the implementation of Quality Events (peer reviews, checklist execution) by using various templates, standards, and checklists available within the organization. Project Quality Plan should be written to provide project management with easy access to quality requirements and should have ready availability of the Procedures and standards.
Project Quality Plan is a team process that depends as much on communicating information as it does on planning. Based on this awareness, project managers can prepare plans and actions to counter any weaknesses or deficiencies in the project execution, thus Ensuring that all quality standards are met effectively.
The following list provides the various elements that should be included in a detailed Project Quality Plan:
- Management Responsibility: Describes the quality responsibilities of all stakeholders. Documented
- Quality Management System: This refers to the existing Quality Procedures that have been standardized and used within the organization.
- Design Control: This specifies the procedures for Design Review, Sign-Off, Design Changes, and Design Waivers of requirements.
- Document Control: This defines the process to control Project Documents at each Project Phase.
- Purchasing: This defines Quality Control and Quality Requirements for sub-contracting any part / whole part of the project.
- Inspection Testing: This details the plans for Acceptance Testing and Integration Testing.
- Non- Conformance: This defines the procedures to handle any type of nonconformance work. The procedures include defining responsibilities, defining conditions, and the availability of required documentation in such cases.
- Corrective Actions: This describes the procedures for taking Corrective Actions for the problems encountered during project execution.
- Quality Records: This describes the procedures for maintaining the Quality Records (variance reports, executed checklists, etc) during project execution as well as after the project completion.
- Quality Audits: An internal audit should be planned and implemented during each phase of the project.
- Training: This should specify any training requirements for the project team.
NDT Testing quality plan for piping work of a fertilizer plant is developed for different services such as water service lines welding joints are planned for 5-10% joints to be tested, while ammonia and other chemicals service lines welding joints are planned for 100% joints to be tested.
What is Quality Assurance?
Quality assurance is evaluating the overall project performance regularly to provide confidence that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards. Activities of the project quality assurance department include quality mapping, quality improvement, quality audit, and reliability.
It also includes activities such as quality advice & expertise; training of personnel in project quality, provisions of appraisal methods for suppliers, processes, and finished products/services analysis of project execution complaints, project warranty claims, and service liability cases. A quality audit is a structured review of specific quality management activities that help identify lessons learned that could improve performance on current or future projects.
NDT Testing quality plan for piping work of a fertilizer plant which is developed for different services is to be strictly followed. Also during the review/verification of NDT Testing films, .it should be verified by a competent and skilled person for correct decisions. Like if there is a small repair in the welding joint then it should be marked adequately and repaired properly by a qualified welder. (Welders are qualified as per QAP –Quality Assurance Plan- procedures).
What is Quality Control?
Quality Control is the monitoring of specific project results to determine if they comply with the relevant quality standards and identify ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance. Project Quality control dept. is mainly work on the output review.
NDT Testing quality plan for piping work of a fertilizer plant is executed for different services. (Like utility –Nitrogen, air, water, ammonia, and urea). The Project Quality Control process would review percentage defects and provide necessary corrective measures for improvement in the piping welding process or else training for the welders as per the analysis. A revision in the Project Quality plan is developed to reduce the percentage detects and better quality in the process.
Project Quality Tools and Techniques
The main outputs of quality control are Acceptance of decisions, (b) Rework, and (c) Process adjustments. To carry out quality control process tools and techniques are used. The following are the tools and techniques:
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsely) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology that focuses on eliminating defects in a product or service. The goal of Six Sigma is to have a product or service operate at near-perfection (99.9996 percent) at each occurrence. The five principles of Six Sigma define, measure, analyze, improve, and control.
Control charts, also known as Shewhart charts (after Walter A. Shewhart) or process-behavior charts, in statistical process control are tools used to determine if a manufacturing or business process is in a state of statistical control. A control chart consists of:
- points representing a statistic (e.g., a mean, range, proportion) of measurements of a quality characteristic in samples taken from the process at different times [the data]
- A center line is drawn at the value of the mean of the statistic
- The standard error (e.g., standard deviation) of the statistic is also calculated using all the samples concerning Upper and lower control limits (sometimes called “natural process limits”) indicate the threshold at which the process output is considered statistically ‘unlikely’ and drawn typically at three standard errors from the center line.
Non Destructive Testing
Nondestructive testing or Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is a wide group of analysis techniques used in science and industry to evaluate the properties of a material, component, or system without causing damage. Common NDT methods include Ultrasonic, magnetic-particle, liquid penetrant, radiographic, remote visual inspection (RVI), etc.
Quality Planning is the first phase of Project Quality Management. It is a very crucial stage of the project in which quality standards are finalized based on the requirement.
For the water treatment plant project the necessary quality checks and their standards are different from the Petroleum plant project quality checks and standards, definitely quality standards and checks in the petroleum plant will be very strict and no inspection stages carried out would be more with high standards. It is also a key facilitating process during the Project planning stage and it is simultaneously being worked on.
Process Flow Chart- Project Quality Planning
Below is the process flow chart for project quality planning which starts from inputs, followed by the use of tools and techniques and this will provide the results as output.
Quality Planning Inputs
- Quality Policy
It is a guide for everyone in the organization as to how they should provide project outputs and services to the stakeholders/customer. The overall intentions and direction of an organization concerning quality, as formally expressed by the top management of the organization. The management team is responsible for dissipating the quality policy to all project stakeholders through appropriate information channels.
- Quality Policy of Reliance Industries Limited
“We at RIL are committed to total customer satisfaction in terms of quality and services for the entire range of our products. Our continued commitment to excellence and innovative efforts helps us to stay ahead as the market leader.” By Mukesh D. Ambani. It means all project team members during project execution stay with total customer satisfaction: internal and external, as well as during the production of a product and services provided to end users in the market.
The scope statement is a key input to quality planning because it documents major project deliverables as well as project objectives which serve to define important stakeholder requirements. The meaning of the above is to prepare a complete manual and documents for the quality standards as well as quality requirements for inspection and other quality checks for verification.
Involves the following stages for defining the scope statement for quality checks and inspection in the quality planning documents concerning:
- Stage -1 Inspection: Checking of primer thickness 10 to 20 % of all pipes.
- Stage -2 Inspection: Wrapping and Coating material inspection with specification and brand.
- Stage-3 Inspection: Digging depth adequacy and bottom sand leveling and supporting
- Stage-4 Inspection: Adhesion test: An adhesion test shall be made to determine the proper bond between the wrapping and coating on the primed pipe.
- Stage -5 Inspection: Hydro test and flushing of pipeline and final boxed up for use.
- Stage -6 Inspection: Filling of sand and compacting of sand.
All formats for documentation and the level of the signatory are being decided. These stage-wise inspections are as per standard practice, however, any addition or deletion in these stage inspections is based on the management’s discretion.
Standards and Regulations
The project management quality team or consultant provides the complete details and procedure of inspection and tests to be carried out during execution based on the scope defined for each system. This also covers details of the test equipment used and the range of inspection and test criteria/standards values or attributes. Example: Quality planning scope statement for underground fire water piping work.
- Stage -1 Inspection: Checking of primer thickness 10 to 20 % of all pipes.
All the C.S. (Carbon steel) pipes were adequately sandblasted and a primer of zinc phosphate based was done with a coating thickness from 150 to 200 microns. It is to be inspected randomly 10 to 20 % of the length of the pipes ( on each pipe) by a competent quality engineer and reports are to be documented in the standards format as prescribed by the project quality department.
- Stage -2 Inspection: Wrapping and Coating material inspection with specification and brand. This is the material after the primer is wrapped and coated. Specification of wrapping and coating ( Bitumen) to be prepared based on guidelines by quality dept. or by an engineering consultant. It should be used with a standard format and be signed by a competent quality engineer from the owner’s side.
- Stage -3 Inspection: Digging depth adequacy and bottom sand leveling and supporting. The depth to be indicated in the document or the drawing is normally one meter below as top of the pipe to be kept (as standard) and leveling means the entire length of the dig area should be leveled and sandbags are provided as support to the pipe/sometimes saddle support of pipe materials/wood materials are also used along with sandbags. This is also to be recorded in the standard format (maybe the same for stages 1 to 3).
- Stage-4 Inspection (Adhesion test): An adhesion test shall be made to determine the proper bond between the wrapping and coating on the primed pipe. This is to be carried out with equipment named a holiday tester which will give a spark at the loose bonding while it is moved on the wrapped pipe. The repair procedure for the loose wrapping and coating is to be marked. To be tested after repair by agency / assigned contractor.
- Stage -5 Inspection: Hydro test and flushing of pipeline and final boxed up for use. The entire length of the pipeline is to be tested normally 1.5 to 2 times the designed pressure of service. Then water flushing is done to clean the line from mud or sand and then it is boxed up with valves and instruments. Format to be developed for the same for document record.
- Stage -6 Inspection: Filling of sand and compacting of sand. After the line is boxed up the sand filling and compacting are to be done by a contractor and to be checked by the quality engineer/site supervisor. The format for the same is indicated in the hydro test report.
Other Process Outputs
In addition to the scope statement and product description, processes in other knowledge areas may produce outputs that should be considered as part of the quality planning For Example procurement planning outputs may identify contractor quality requirements that should be reflected in the overall Quality Management Plan. Also, the documents other than the site are to be finalized for documentation and requirement of documents required from manufacturers and suppliers to be prepared.
Pump suppliers for fertilizer plants should also supply the documents for the Erection and commissioning procedure of the pump. Maintenance Manual of pump along with a recommendation of maintenance parts for -2 years of operation and sectional drawings with materials details of components. Any necessary guideline for alarming limits of the pump when it is in operation.
Quality Planning Tools and Techniques
Benefit / Cost Analysis
It is the project quality management team from the owner’s side or engineering consultant, that should consider quality checks and inspection for the entire project in such a way that the cost associated with the inspection should not be high and time-consuming but at the same time, critical inspections should not be left during planning irrespective of the time of inspection or cost.
The benefits from the quality planning are to be studied in such a way if any repair does not attend in the underground fire water line ( found during inspection) would leak in leakage after some time and the cost associated with attending to it at a later stage would be very expensive and time-consuming. Hence Quality planning process must consider benefit/cost tradeoffs and analyze for primary benefits like less work, higher productivity, lower costs, and increased stakeholder satisfaction. The Cost associated with project quality management during planning is to be assessed for activity and system criticality wise.
Benchmarking involves comparing actual or planned project practices to those of other projects to generate ideas to: generate ideas for improvement, and provide a standard for measurement of performance.
A flowchart is a formalized graphic representation of a logic sequence, work or manufacturing process, organization chart, or similar formalized structure. The purpose of a flow chart is to provide people with a common language or reference point when dealing with a project or process. The flowcharting techniques in quality management generally include
- System or process flow charts
- Cause & Effect Diagrams
- System or process flow charts How to Use the Tool Most flow charts are made up of three main types of symbols:
- Elongated circles, signify the start or end of a process.
- Rectangles, which show instructions or actions
- Diamonds, which show decisions that must be made Within each symbol,
- Elongated circles, signify the start or end of a process.
Cause and Effect Diagram
The cause-and-effect diagram, also called “fishbone” or the “Ishikawa diagram” (named after its inventor), permits the identification and organization of a list of factors thought to cause a problem or affect variation in a desired outcome. The cause-and-effect diagram is essentially a pictorial display of a list. Each diagram has a large arrow pointing to the name of the problem or issue. The branches of the large arrow represent the main categories of potential causes. Smaller branches, representing sub-categories (can be a list of items) are then drawn off of each major branch.
The Fishbone Diagram can also be used as a Root Cause Analysis Tool. A combination of the Affinity Diagram and the Cause and Effect allows the generation of ideas, in a brainstorming fashion, then the clustering of the ideas around the “Bones.” These main categories (“Bones”) may be customized to fit the process under study, however, typical categories of major causes used with the cause-and-effect diagram are:
The following large arrow can be considered: Equipment, Methods, Materials, People, Environment/Measurements/Procedures, People, Provisions (Supplies), Procedures, Place, and Patrons (Patients).
The branch arrow of each category can be considered based on site conditions
Each branch is checked for the cause and finally, it can be traced which is the most feasible cause of the problem it is rectified and improvement is recorded for the next project fire water piping erection.
Quality Planning Outputs
Quality Management Plan
The quality management plan should describe how a project management team will implement its quality policy and quality standards. Also, the plan should define the organizational structure, roles, and responsibilities & resources needed for the implementation of quality management. The Quality Plan should address Quality Control of the project, Quality Assurance & Quality Improvement of the project.
These are terms and definitions related to quality and inspection to be executed at the site and document terms.
- Class of Inspection
It is basically while defining quality inspection there is a class of inspection that is decided .these classes of inspection normally categorized into three major classes in which subgroups are defined. This inspection class is based on the type of materials and service of fluid.
- Qualifications of inspectors /Engineers
This is defined as NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) level- II certifications from ASNT (American society for nondestructive testing) to be passed and experience level will be defined under management policy.
A checklist is a structured tool used to verify that a set of required steps or requirements have been performed. Many organizations have standard checklists to ensure the consistency of frequently performed activities.
Summary Check List for Fertilizer urea plant piping-Quality Execution
Project Start Date:
Quality check list date
Project End Date:
|No.||Item/Comments||Yes||No||Planned Completion Date||Planned Effort (hours)||Actual Completion Date||Actual Effort (hours)|
|1||Piping inspection scope finalized|
|2||Piping inspection schedule finalized|
|3||Major Deliverables defined (Deliverables Plan)|
|4||Work Breakdown Structure completed|
|5||Resources are finalized –piping inspection|
|6||Major Milestones defined|
|7||Master Integrated Schedule completed|
|8||Product and Services Requirements defined|
|9||Organization Plan completed|
|10||Performance, Evaluation and Test Plan completed|
|11||Change Control Plan completed|
|12||Problem Tracking Plan completed|
|13||Documentation Plan completed|
|14||Communication Plan completed|
|15||Legal and Regulatory Requirements Plan completed|
|16||Risk Management Plan completed|
|17||Reliability, Availability, Usability Plan completed|
|18||Preliminary Support Plan completed|
Project Quality Assurance
Quality assurance encompasses all the planned and systematic activity implemented in a quality system to provide confidence that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards. Quality assurance is provided by a Quality Assurance dept. Quality assurance can be INTERNAL ( from the project management team to the performing organization). Quality assurance can be EXTERNAL (provided to the customer and other parties actively involved in the work of the project.
Quality Assurance Flow Chart
Quality Assurance Input
Quality management plan as previously described. Results of quality control measurements which are records of quality control testing and measurement in a format of comparison or analysis. Operational definitions as previously described in the output of the Quality Planning.
Tools & Techniques for Quality Assurance
Quality Planning tools and techniques may be timely carried out randomly. They may be carried out by properly trained Internal-auditors or by third parties such as quality systems registration agencies. which can be used for quality assurance as well as Quality Audits which are structured reviews of other quality management activities.
Project Quality Control
Quality control involves monitoring specific project results to determine if they comply with relevant standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory results. Project results mentioned include both PRODUCT results such as deliverables and MANAGEMENT results such as cost and schedule performance.
Quality control is often performed by a quality control department. The project management team should have a working knowledge of statistical quality control, especially sampling, and probability to help evaluate and control outputs.
The project manager should be aware of the following among other subjects:
- Prevention ( keeping errors out of the process)
- Inspection (keeping errors out of the customer’s hand)
- Attribute sampling (for conformity of results)
- Variable sampling (where the results are rated on a continuous scale that measures the degree of conformity or nonconformity
- Special cause ( unusual events)
- Random causes ( normal process variations)
- Tolerances ( where results should fall within a defined tolerance range
- Control limits ( the process is in control if it falls within these defined limits)
Inputs -Quality control
- Work results: including both product results and process results
- The quality management plan
- Operational definitions
Tools & Techniques for Quality Control
Inspection includes activities such as measuring, examining, and testing is undertaken to determine whether results conform to requirements. Inspection can be carried out on the level of a single activity or a final product. Inspection can be called reviews, product reviews, audits, and walk-throughs.
These charts are graphical representations that display the result of a process over time and are used to determine if the process is “in control”. Control charts are most often used to monitor repetitive activity in production but can also be used to monitor cost and schedule variances. The main use of control charts is to prevent defects, rather than to detect or reject them. Quality control charts allow you to determine whether a process is in control or out of control.
When a process is in control, any variations in the results of the process are created by random events; processes that are in control do not need to be adjusted. When a process is out of control, variations in the results of the process are caused by non-random events; you need to identify the causes of those non-random events and adjust the process to correct or eliminate them.
Involves identifying the vital few contributors that account for the most quality problems in a system. Also called the 80-20 rule, meaning that 80 percent of problems are often due to 20 percent of the causes. Pareto diagrams are histograms, or column charts representing a frequency distribution, that help identify and prioritize problem areas.
is “a comprehensive and flexible system for achieving, sustaining, and maximizing business success. Six Sigma is uniquely driven by a close understanding of customer needs, disciplined use of facts, data, and statistical analysis, and diligent attention to managing, improving, and reinventing business processes.” It requires an organization-wide commitment.
The training follows the “Belt” system. Six Sigma organizations have the ability and willingness to adopt contrary objectives, such as reducing errors and getting things done faster. It is an operating philosophy that is customer focused and strives to drive out waste, raise levels of quality, and improve financial performance at breakthrough levels.
Basic Information on Six Sigma
The target for perfection is the achievement of no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. The principles can apply to a wide variety of processes. Six Sigma projects normally follow a five-phase improvement process called DMAIC. DMAIC is a systematic, closed-loop process for continuous improvement that is scientific and fact-based.
DMAIC stands for: Define: Define the problem/opportunity, process, and customer requirements. Measure: Define measures, then collect, compile, and display data. Analyze: Scrutinize process details to find improvement opportunities. Improve: Generate solutions and ideas for improving the problem. Control: Track and verify the stability of the improvements and the predictability of the solution.
Six Sigma and Statistics
The term sigma means standard deviation. Standard deviation measures how much variation exists in a distribution of data. Standard deviation is a key factor in determining the acceptable number of defective units found in a population. Six Sigma projects strive for no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities, yet this number is confusing to many statisticians.
Six Sigma and Project Management
The training for Six Sigma includes many project management concepts, tools, and techniques. For example, Six Sigma projects often use business cases, project charters, schedules, budgets, and so on. Six Sigma projects are done in teams; the project manager is often called the team leader, and the sponsor is called the champion.
Trend analysis involves the use of mathematical techniques to forecast future outcomes based on historical results it is often used to monitor. Technical performance – how many defects have been identified and how many remain uncorrected? Cost and schedule performance – how many activities in a certain period were completed with significant variances.
Outputs for Quality Control
Completed Checklists, which become a part of a project record when they are used. Process Adjustments, which involve immediate corrective or preventive action as a result of quality control measurements. In some cases, the adjustment may need to be handled according to procedures for overall change control.
- Quality Improvement: It is learning from the tools and techniques for improvement in the process of quality management.
- Acceptance Decision: It is the criteria for the range of acceptance for the inspection results.
- Rework: Based on the results from the tools and techniques and inspection at the site, necessary rework is to be done to maintain the six sigma range of quality.
- Process Adjustment: It is a necessary change in the class of inspection based on the results.
Cost of Quality
The cost of quality is the cost of conformance plus the cost of non-conformance. Conformance means delivering products that meet requirements and fitness for use. Cost of nonconformance means taking responsibility for failures or not meeting quality expectations.
Elements of Cost of Quality
- Prevention cost: Cost of planning and executing a project so it is error-free or within an acceptable error range.
- Appraisal cost: Cost of evaluating processes and their outputs to ensure quality.
- Internal failure cost: Cost incurred to correct an identified defect before the customer receives the product.
- External failure cost: Cost that relates to all errors not detected and corrected before delivery to the customer.
- Measurement and test equipment costs: Capital cost of equipment used to perform prevention and appraisal activities.
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