Managing project quality refers to ensuring that every step followed in implementing a project so that it meets the exact needs of customers and clients. The person who is in charge of all the works and heads the team that ensures this happens is called the Project Manager. The duties of the same include; determining quality requirements, implementing quality control, overseeing assurance process, and conducting review and evaluation to improve quality of similar projects in the future. The last role points out to innovation and invention in disguise. It can refer to the construction of simple structures like water reservoirs or complex ones like a shopping mall. Before one can be appointed a project manager, to assure developers or stakeholders of a top grade project, there are skills they must possess and are:
Reading: A competence project manager should be able to fully understand the meaning of textual information obtained from various measurements done at the site or laid down in the project plan. He or she must also be able to translate this information into the requirements of the projects which they are handling.
Writing: An aspiring manager should be able to put in record findings and items of information required to make the project a success. The same records must be neat so that anyone to whom information contained in it can read. They must also be able to record results of quality assessments accurately in a manner that conforms to the organizations modes of operations.
Oral communication: He or she must have excellent verbal communication skills as well as non-verbal cues that bring out their message. Moreover, they must also be active listeners who pay attention to get the correct perspectives of the others. Active listening is especially beneficial during board meetings.
Numeracy: The manager must be able to interpret numeric information and use them to fast-track the progress of the project towards attaining measure them against the organization's goals. They must also be able to deduce the quantitative meanings of information.
Pilot the world of work: A good project manager must walk the talk, by being the leader in identifying organizations code of conduct, methodology, and also stick to company standards at all times.
Cooperate with others: Project management is not a one-man job. It brings together people from different fields of study and with different personalities. This kind requires skills of interactions just like one would in a family, for without unity of direction, it would be impossible to have a standard output as per the companys policies. Therefore, the manager must be able to communicate with each member of the team appropriately and identify with different work contexts almost simultaneously. He must also be a team player to reinforce the need for a harmonious input that assures top-notch output.
Get the work done: Project management is often a complex work. It requires a high level of organization. A good manager knows just how to schedule for activities allocating each the ideal timeframe that sees the whole project getting completed within the fixed deadlines. At the end of it all, the manager must play the role of an analyst by reflecting on the whole process, noting down possible improvements for future reference. He or she must then polish all the information recorded, and disseminate it digitally to all stakeholders effectively.
Project management is like overseeing a surgical procedure. Therefore, it is necessary to lay down steps of operation before work can commence, putting in mind the expectations of the patient, getting out alive safe and sound. This is to avoid complications that would result in wastage of time and consequently loss of life; every second count. In the same way, a project manager must act as a head surgeon. He or she must be proactive and put a good team together, assigning each of them a defined job description within which they must strictly operate. They should also consider the customers expectations and ambitions- having value for their money in the end. Time is also of the essence here, and deadlines must be met. Some projects are so timely that any delays would mean a loss of money, or what financial experts would refer to as a financial death.
The concept of improvement does not apply to brand new projects of the future but also the very same on completed. Maintenance practices and schedules must be put in place by the manager to make sure that the project exists in perpetuity. Take, for instance, the footbridges. These are complex structures that must constantly be improved because their total breakdown would mean huge losses regarding time and money spent in the process of repairing them.
Discussing project quality management without emphasizing why it is needed would render the whole discussion void. While there is the paperwork aspect, there is also the aspect of considering the stakeholder's requirements. The project team must work hand in hand with the stakeholders, precisely those who fund it, and the beneficiaries to see quality through their eyes. The maintenance team put up with the manager needs to continually work to ensure that the project meets the requirements of its stakeholders.
There are four critical steps that project management must address, and all of these revolve around quality- meeting the needs of the customer. These are the definition of quality, quality assurance, quality control, and improvements in quality. Given that quality has prominence in project management, it is essential to discuss the attributes, measures, and methods that make a finished project worth considering of quality. It can be explained merely regarding say a project whose result is a product. These are;
1. Functionality: The product should perform the function for which it is produced.
2. Performance: The product should fulfill its intended purpose to the optimum without breakdowns.
3. Reliability: Under normal circumstances, the product should operate without any failures.
4. Timeliness: Complete the production process of the product within the set deadlines set to perform in solving problems for which it gets developed.
5. Relevance: The product should meet the actual needs of the targeted beneficiaries as well as meet the expectations of the stakeholders.
6. Suitability: The product has to be fit for its designed functions, appropriate, and accurate.
7. Completeness: The product should include all of the desired parts.
8. Consistency: There must be uniformity in the way the product offers services to the beneficiaries.
Therefore, if a product of a project exhibits all those attributes, the project itself is considered of quality. Nevertheless, there are three critical processes that every project manager should perform. These include:
Plan quality refers to a documented list of the requirements of a project to meet desired of the beneficiaries. It also includes a step by step illustration of determining whether a project is on the course and meets desired expectations or not. In case it does not, necessary corrective measures must be taken. This plan includes the numeracy, that is computing numbers, marking the checklist against performance observed and worked out, and the process whereby the manager of improves the weak areas.
Perform Quality Assurance:
The project should also be reviewed to see that it meets the standards of quality. The checklist prepared for the above kind of planning and project audit is used to perform quality assurance.
Perform Quality Control:
Quality control confirms that the end product of a project meets the needs of the beneficiaries. The rating systems like of restaurants apply in this process. Quality management in totality makes sure that the designs and plans used while implementing a project are effective and efficient as regards the goals and the performance of the project. A manager does not perform quality management at the very end of the project. It is a day to day activity during implementation. It is not about measuring and then correcting but is about preventing and avoiding a defect. Quality and grade must not be confused. The two are different, and one cannot be used in place of the other. While a product of quality means a product with no defects, a product of high grade is that with additional features. So, it is possible to have a high quality that is also of lowly graded and vice versa.
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