Quality. Sounds simple, and yet is far more complex. The theme of quality in PRINCE2 defines how the level of quality is to be achieved and verified. It pertains to the project product, people, process, service and system. In short, the desired quality is achieved if the products created by the project fulfil the expectations of the business and enable the user to realise the expected benefits.
The role of the project manager in PRINCE2 project quality
The project manager has responsibilities for quality throughout the project. These include:
- Transforming abstract customer quality expectations into precise acceptance criteria
- Planning how project quality will be met, assessed and controlled
- Developing a quality management strategy
- Employing an appropriate quality review method
Producing precise quality acceptance criteria
Often, the customer will provide the project manager with imprecise expectations; for example, the need for a production line to produce more goods. This is a basis for thought, but such non-specific requests are no good for project management. The project manager must produce detailed criteria. In this example, this may include how many hours per day the production line works, how many people it employs, and how many units of the product per hour it is expected to produce.
Quality planning and control
The project manager must plan appropriate acceptance for the necessary project products, and the tasks for quality control. These tasks may need to be designated to others.
Quality control must meet two main aims:
- Ensure that required quality is met through tests, inspections and reviews
- Learn lessons to avoid unsatisfactory quality performance by improving processes
Developing a quality management strategy
The project manager is responsible for writing the Quality Management Strategy in the initiation phase of a PRINCE2 project. This will communicate the techniques and standards expected during the project, and define quality responsibilities and roles.
Quality Review methodology in PRINCE2
While there are several methods that can be used to inspect and review project and product quality, one of the PRINCE2 favoured methods is the PRINCE2 Quality Review Technique. In this technique there are four designated roles:
- The chair, who coordinates the review
- The reviewer, who assesses product quality against the defined quality criteria
- The presenter, who represents producers, coordinates and monitors post-review work, and ensures change requests are implemented
- The administrator, who supports the chair and documents action points from the quality review
The Quality Review Technique takes part in three stages:
- Review preparation, when reviewers assess the product quality against the quality criteria.
- Review meeting, when the results of all reviews are presented and problems discussed. The review meeting will come to one of three conclusions – that the product is:
- fit for purpose;
- conditionally complete; or
- Review follow-up, when the presenter organises actions needed, and the product is reassessed by the reviewers. Once approved, the chair can sign off the product, and the administrator report the results of the quality review to all project stakeholders.
In our next blog, we’ll examine the theme of plans in PRINCE2 projects. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us: