Quality Factors in Project Management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Quality management

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.

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  1. Summary

    Quality is crucial in project management and is closely monitored and controlled. It is often defined and restricted in various ways.

    Quality has become a crucial topic in manufacturing and services due to increased competition and consumer demands. It is now a factor for the success and survival of economic agents and affects public services' competitiveness. Quality also plays a significant role in international competition between countries.

    Low-quality products

    Tolerating low-quality products and services is harmful and hinders the pursuit of happiness. To meet economic needs, efforts are being made to develop theories, standards, and quality management systems. The understanding of quality is evolving in various areas.

    Quality is important in business as it affects both how economic operators function and customer choice. "Quality gurus" such as Philip Crosby, William Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, and Kaoru Ishikawa have contributed to the understanding of quality. Defining quality can be based on product specification, customer expectations, expected use, and needs. Modern concepts recognize that definitions evolve and change. Business quality management methods include statistical process control, total quality management, Zero Defects, Six Sigma, and ISO 9000.

    From planning to the completion

    Quality is important from planning to the completion of infrastructure projects. Sustainable projects provide long-term benefits to users. Many projects fail to deliver benefits due to not considering important factors, including quality. Quality impacts the sustainability of project benefits.

    Infrastructure project success depends on various factors that vary based on the project's characteristics. The following are the most crucial factors for the long-term sustainability of the project's benefits.

    Project's purpose and tasks

    The project's purpose and tasks must be properly defined for successful planning and implementation. Knowing how to evaluate goals is crucial for coordinating efforts and establishing an organizational structure. Objectives should be defined early on and communicated to all parties involved.

    Project planning is the connection between project development and implementation. A comprehensive plan covering technical, financial, organizational, and control aspects is essential for successful implementation. Planning is a dynamic process that combines changing goals and intentions into one outcome.

    Financial and economic expediency

    The infrastructure project must be financially and economically feasible, with services or charges acceptable to consumers. All parties involved should believe in its long-term success. The feasibility study should demonstrate its stable revenue source and whether the benefits outweigh the costs for a viable investment.

    Govt. support is linked to state policy & strategy for infrastructure development & commitment to creating a favorable investment climate. A secure legal framework, effective regulatory mechanism, sound administrative framework, & supportive measures are at the heart of govt. support.

    Technology and personnel issues

    Tech and staff concerns - right and dependable tech must be used. The project contractor must have the know-how and a team to meet obligations. The project's structure, motivated team, and good communication are vital for success.

    A stable legal structure and effective implementation of regulations are crucial for successful infrastructure projects. Regulations and rules must be prepared and adopted for construction, development, and operation. The legal framework of contracts is also important, and terms must be integrated between parties. Choosing a strategy for project award and implementation is part of government policy, and adherence to objectivity and transparency is key to success.

    Proposing changes to infrastructure development regulations

    Institutions with varied competencies are responsible for proposing changes to infrastructure development regulations, coordinating administrative units, and providing services for infrastructure projects. Organizational structures' ability and commitment are crucial for successful project completion.

    Monitoring and controlling an infrastructure project using continuous information flow helps to identify deviations and prevent problems. Developing backup plans and problem-solving procedures is a successful preventative step against uncertainty.

    Statistical process control, Zero Defects, Six Sigma, the Malcolm Baldrige

    There are various methods and ideas for enhancing product or service quality, including statistical process control, Zero Defects, Six Sigma, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, quality circles, total quality management, theory of constraints, ISO 9000, and continuous improvement. The modern approach to quality emphasizes achieving fewer defects with lower costs, shorter terms, and production cycles, rather than simply reducing the cost of defects.

    In the past, improving quality meant reducing cost defects, but now we aim to achieve fewer defects with lower costs and shorter production cycles.

    Modern quality assurance aims to improve all aspects of quality, such as customer satisfaction, fewer defects, shorter lead times, and overall cost. If one aspect does not improve, it must remain stable or diminish in value. Quality now creates individual benefits, not alternative ones.

    The best quality approach is customer-based and assesses their experience with the product or service. Customer experience includes all points of contact and impressions from buying, delivery, making, and support.

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