Quality in the context of project management is one of the most important parameters that is measured, monitored, and controlled. Quality in project management is usually associated with a significant description, definitions, or restrictions.
Quality in the economy and society
Quality has become a central topic of attention, discussion, research, and organizational activities in the field of manufacturing and services in the second half of the 20th century. The economic reasons for this are due to the maturation of markets and market relations, which leads to increased competition and consumer demands.
Quality becomes a factor for the success and survival of individual economic agents. At the same time, the political relevance of the topic is increased, insofar as the quality of public services affects the competitiveness of citizens and organizations. It also plays a significant role in the competition between countries for attracting investments and enhancing their authority and influence internationally.
Tolerance of substandard products and services is also considered to be destructive and wasteful of human abilities and talents and, ultimately, an obstacle to the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness.
The economic need and related policy initiatives give a strong impetus to considerable scientific and organizational work on the development of theories, standards, practices, and quality management systems. In both theoretical and practical terms, several broad areas are emerging in which the understanding of the essence of quality has its specificity.
Quality of products and services
In the field of business activities, quality is a decisive factor in the way in which economic operators function, on the one hand, and in the tendency of customers to choose one or the other product on the other. Much of the concepts and definitions that economic science deals with this topic are the product of reputable professionals, sometimes referred to as "quality gurus."
Such gurus are noted, for example, by Philip Crosby, William Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, Kaoru Ishikawa. A possible approach to thinking about the quality of a product is to require it to conform to a predefined definition.
Such a definition can be derived from things like the product specification, customer expectations, the expected use of the product, or the whole set of needs that the product is trying to meet and satisfy. At the same time, modern concepts also take into account the fact that the definitions themselves evolve and change, which should be taken into account when organizing the process of planning, production, sales, and feedback from consumers.
Some of the main methods in business quality management are the implementation of statistical process control, total quality management, the Zero Defects concept, the Six Sigma strategy, and various standards-based systems such as the ISO 9000 series.
Quality in Project Management
Quality is an issue to be considered from the planning stage to the completion of the infrastructure project. Quality has been associated with the project since the beginning of its identification and development. A project can be said to be sustainable when it continues to provide benefits to users for a long period after its completion.
There are many examples of the failure of infrastructure projects to deliver significant benefits since, in most cases, a large number of factors that are important for success are not considered. Factors related to the quality of an infrastructure project are those that have a significant impact on the sustainability of the benefits generated by the projects.
The long-term sustainability of the benefits of infrastructure projects depends on many factors. The nature and relative importance of these factors depend on the specific characteristics of the infrastructure project. The more important factors for the success of infrastructure projects are the following:
Purpose and tasks of the project
Purpose and tasks of the project - a proper formulation and understanding of the objectives of the infrastructure project are the basis for its successful planning and implementation.
Understanding the criteria for evaluation of goals and achievement is an essential prerequisite for good coordination of efforts and the establishment of an organizational structure. Already at the stage of project identification, the objectives should be defined and explained to the parties to the project.
Project planning - transforming the goals, objectives, and criteria into a functioning plan is the link between project development and implementation. A detailed plan that covers all aspects of the project - technical, financial, organizational, and control - is the basis for its implementation. Planning is a dynamic and continuous process that combines changing goals and intentions into one outcome.
Economic and financial feasibility
Economic and financial feasibility - the infrastructure project must be financially and economically sound. It must be practically feasible. The value of the services or charges must be acceptable to consumers. From the outset, all parties to a project must be convinced that the project will be successful throughout its life cycle.
The feasibility study should show the financial and economic viability of the project in various ways, making it a stable source of revenue throughout its lifetime. Finally, the financial and economic feasibility indicates whether the incremental benefits of the project outweigh the costs and make it a viable long-term investment.
Government support - it is linked to the state policy and strategy for infrastructure development and the commitment of the Government to create a favorable investment climate. A secure legal framework, an effective regulatory mechanism, a sound administrative framework, and supportive measures are at the heart of government support.
Technical and personnel issues
Technical and personnel issues - the technologies used in the implementation of the project must be appropriate and reliable. The project contractor must have managerial and technical experience and a team to fulfill the contractual obligations. The project's organizational structure, well-motivated team, and excellent communication between project participants are key factors for its success.
Socio-cultural issues - the influence of local socio-cultural norms and attitudes must be taken into account. Preventing gender segregation and any discrimination based on other grounds is very important to the success of the project. Equal access for all users to the services and benefits generated by the project should be promoted.
Environmental protection - the implementation of the project should ensure that the use of the infrastructure and its services do not damage the environment and contribute to the long-term benefits.
Legal structure - a stable legal structure, as well as the effective implementation of the regulatory framework, is a key factor in the success of infrastructure projects. Ensuring a secure regulatory framework involves the preparation and adoption of regulations and rules for the construction, development, and operation of infrastructure.
The legal framework of infrastructure projects contracts is of great importance for the success of infrastructure design. The preparation and integration of the terms of the agreements between the parties to the project are very important for its success.
Choosing a strategy for the award and implementation of projects is an important part of government policy. Adherence to the principles of objectivity and transparency of procedures is an important factor for the success of different projects.
Institutional capacity - Institutions providing the administrative framework have a broad range of competencies. It is their responsibility to prepare proposals for changes to the regulatory framework governing infrastructure development, the development of rules for coordinating the activities of all administrative units and the procedures for their relations, the provision of administrative services for infrastructure projects.
The ability and commitment of the organizational structures to provide projects is an important factor for their successful completion.
Monitoring and control system
Monitoring and control system - the continuous flow of information on the actual implementation of an infrastructure project is a mechanism to counteract uncertainty. Comparing the current situation with the project plans helps to identify deviations and prevent problems. Since uncertainty is the most common problem, developing backup plans and problem-solving procedures is a successful preventative step.
The factors above affecting the success of the infrastructure project are not sufficient and comprehensive. The individual character of the different projects determines the unique set of factors.
Many different techniques and concepts are related to improving the quality of products or services. These include:
- Statistical control of processes.
- Zero Defects is step 7 of "Philip Crosby's 14 Step Quality Improvement Process". Zero Defects is Step 7 of the 14 Steps to Improve Process Quality.
- Six sigma.
- Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the United States - Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
- Quality circles.
- Total quality management.
- Theory of constraints.
- Quality management systems, such as ISO 9000 - Quality Management Systems (ISO 9000).
- Continuous improvement.
There is one characteristic of the modern understanding of quality that is universal. In the past, we have tried to improve the quality, mainly by reducing the cost defects of increased costs, increased lead time, and a longer production cycle. It was not permissible to think of achieving fewer defects with lower costs, in shorter terms and production cycles.
Modern quality assurance techniques
When modern quality assurance techniques were applied correctly, the idea was that all aspects of quality, including customer satisfaction and fewer defects, shorter lead times, and overall cost, had to be improved in value. And if one of these aspects is not improved, it must remain stable, constant, and diminish in value. The modern understanding of quality has the characteristic that it creates I-based benefits, not OR-based ones.
The most progressive quality point of view
The most progressive quality point of view is that it is entirely customer or end-user-based and is based on an assessment of customer experience with the product or service. Customer experience is the totality of all points of contact that customers have with a product or service and is, by definition, a combination of all of them. For example, every time someone buys a product, they are impressed based on how it is sold, how it is delivered, how it is made, what support they receive later, etc.
Public-sector infrastructure project management. Definition of a project
Projects in the context of infrastructure are an operational tool for the development of different regions, spheres, and sectors.
Nature of public programs and projects
The similarity between public projects and programs is that they have the object of change.
Project life cycle
A project life cycle is the sequence of phases that a project goes through from its initiation to its closure.
Contents of the proposal for project funding
Many infrastructure projects are funded by state or financial institutions. We will describe the most common sections needed to describe the details needed to apply for project funding.
Established project management models offer a system of knowledge about the logical process of project development. It starts with an analysis of the environment in which the project will take place.
Stakeholders are various individuals, both within and outside the organization, who are interested in the project or may be concerned at some point.
Problem analysis and goal analysis for infrastructure projects
The identification of the project implies the existence of obstacles to development in the relevant field, which can be successfully overcome through the development and implementation of the project.
Project Logic Model (Logical framework approach)
The project development process is carried out following the logic modeling approach.
Resources and Activities Planning
Resource planning is a process that may help with finding the resources for the project. To identifying resources, planning activities should identify exactly when each resource is required.
Factors affecting the quality of the project
Quality has become a central topic of attention, discussion, research and organizational activities in the field of manufacturing and services in the second half of the 20th century.
- Previous article Assessment and evaluation of public sector infrastructure projects
- Next article Resources and Activities Planning