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Q 1. Describe the benefits of quality in project performance [10 Marks]

Customers know it when they see it. Suppliers promise that their goods and services embody it. Both views are often missing, a clear, upfront definition of what quality is, and this leads to confusion and frustration when trying to determine just how to deliver it.

Project managers probably feel this most atypical. A customer may demand quality and an organization may promise to deliver quality, but a project manager is the one who has to do it. Failure can have devastating immediate and long-term consequences for both the project manager and the project organization.
Given its importance to project outcomes, quality ought to be a problem long ago solved. It is not. Projects continue to be plagued by imprecise quality goals and arcane quality methods most suited for a shop floor, all of this condemning the project to less-than-satisfactory results or worse. There is a better way. From a product manufacturing or service delivery point of view, quality is, to a great degree, a problem solved.
Quality tools and techniques have been developed and refined over the past 100 years to the level that they are now a matter of science, not art. Applying these proven ways to project management should be a simple matter of transference, but that is the problem. Projects come in many stripes and colors. A project undertaken by a national professional association to create a new technical manual has little relation to the modified quality tools of manufacturing, except in the final steps of producing the book itself, and that task is usually contracted to a source outside the project team.
Several definitions of quality already exist. Joseph M. Juran states that quality has two meanings that are critically important to its management. Quality means “features of products which meet customer needs and thereby provide customer satisfaction.” Quality improvement related to features usually costs more.
Quality also means freedom from deficiencies.” These deficiencies are errors that require rework (doing something over again) or result in failures after a product has been delivered to a customer. Such failures may result in claims, customer dissatisfaction, or dire consequences to the user. Quality improvement related to deficiencies usually costs less.
Juran’s view considers products, defects, and customers.
Juran also makes a distinction between “Big Q” and “Little Q.”
The concept of Big Q is a more recent development, arising in the 1980s, and is more system-wide in its approach. It takes a broader view of quality that encompasses the goals of the enterprise and all its products. It is usually embraced by quality managers and senior managers within the organization.
Little Q is more limited in scope, often focused on individual products or customers.
This view is usually embraced by those in technical or staff functions.

The Project Management Institute defines quality as “the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill requirements.” This definition is taken directly from ISO 9000:2000, which is defined by the International Organization for Standardization.
The ISO 9000-series standards are a group of international consensus standards that address quality management. ISO 9000:2000 is a brief introductory standard that covers fundamentals and vocabulary. This definition is most complete because it is so general.
The set of inherent characteristics may be of a product, processes, or system. One important aspect of quality does not come out in any of these definitions. Quality is “counter entropic”; it is not the natural order of things. Entropy, from the Second Law of Thermodynamics, says that things naturally move from a state of organization to a state of disorganization. Drop a handful of mixed coins on the floor and the result is not an array lined up in rows by type. The result is a bunch of coins spread randomly across the floor. So it is with quality. However it is defined, quality is not a naturally occurring event. It is a result of hard, deliberate work that begins with planning, includes consideration of contributing elements, applies disciplined processes and tools, and never, ever ends. Achieving quality in project implementation is not a matter of luck or coincidence; it is a matter of management.

The benefits of quality in project performance are many.
First, a quality project and product will yield customer satisfaction. If you meet or exceed requirements and expectations, customers will not only accept the results without challenge or ill feeling, but may come back to you for additional work when the need arises. They may well become that oh-so important unpaid sales representative and generate additional work from new customers through referrals. A satisfied customer may perceive greater value than originally anticipated, which goes beyond customer satisfaction to customer delight.
Reduced costs are another benefit. Quality processes can reduce waste, improve efficiency, and improve supplies, all things that mean the project may cost less than planned. As costs go down, profits may go up (depending on the pricing arrangement in the contract on which the project is based) or reduced costs may mean more sales to an existing customer within existing profit margins.
Cost of quality measurement system is a decision support system in an organization to assist management in initiating and supporting significant improvement programmers.
The system allows managers to view components of total cost, and ratio of cost to the value of products. This is important for identifying areas for improvement and value addition for customers. Aim of cost quality measurement is to ensure prevention of any kind of defects in the process of manufacturing and operations.
Finally, better products, better project performance, and lower costs translate directly into increased competitiveness in an ever-more-global marketplace. The essence of a quality is: improve quality, reduce costs, improve productivity, capture the market, stay in business, and provide more jobs.

Benefits of Quality Efforts the Project Manager can productively plan and control system development projects. Potential disasters can be turned into successes. New projects can be launched with confidence of the high likelihood of success - delivering systems which meet requirements on schedule and within budget.


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