Web-Based Project Management Solutions Revolutionize Enterprise Project Management: Managing Project Quality
Written by Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM
Quality management covers all of the processes and activities needed to define and achieve project quality. At its most basic level, quality management is about meeting the customers’ needs. Given this, no matter what type of project an Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) is responsible for, the technical specifications for the products and services to be delivered should be properly documented. Moreover, there should be a clear list of deliverables that defines the quality requirements for each of those deliverables.
Several common quality management processes apply to most types of projects: deliverables review and approval, managing non-compliance notices, managing Requests for Inspection, and managing Snag Lists at project handover. Furthermore, the process of managing the quality of the various project management processes could itself be covered under project quality management.
Project Management Process Quality Review
The EPMO is always looking to ensure that each project management process is implemented successfully and as planned. PMWeb offers a document template where the project management team can detail these project management processes, as well as add notes about the review process findings, what actions were recommended to resolve the issues reported in the findings, the date they were reported, and the date the resolutions were implemented.
Managing Project Deliverables
As mentioned earlier, each project should have a clear list of deliverables containing the technical specifications for each of the deliverables. Once the deliverables are produced and submitted, they must be reviewed and approved by the project owner. On many projects, the deliverables must be approved before payment for work completed can be made. In fact, many projects link progress invoices directly to project deliverables.
Accordingly, a deliverables submittal log must be created, along with the project’s execution schedule. This log will list all deliverables and provide as much as detail as possible about the specification section, work breakdown structure (WBS), phase, type, and other important attributes. Each deliverable also needs to be linked to the relevant project schedule activity, as this helps determine the date when a deliverable will be reviewed and approved.
Capturing the Big Data associated with the deliverables review and approval process allows the project team and EPMO to better understand how project quality management is performing. The dashboard below details the number of deliverables by specification section, along with how many of those deliverables are not yet submitted or under review and how many have been reviewed, approved, or rejected. Many other types of dashboards and reports can be created in PMWeb to help the EPMO make even quicker and more informed decisions.
Non-Conformance Report (NCR)
Oftentimes a project delivery team will note that the work performed is not in compliance with the project’s specifications or accepted best practices. In such cases, the authorized project team member needs to file a Non-Conformance Report (NCR), so the contractor or vendor can rectify the work. PMWeb’s custom form builder can create the NCR document template in a variety of different formats to address the specific type of project the organization is responsible for delivering.
Quality Compliance Checklists
Many times, EPMOs have their own periodic quality assurance reviews. To facilitate these reviews, checklists based on ISO 9001 or other quality assurance standards should be created, so the EPMO can score how the project’s activities are performing. In PMWeb, each checklist item is given a score between 1 and 5, with 1 representing no compliance and 5 representing full compliance. Each checklist item is also assigned a weight, so when the score is complete, the EPMO will have a weighted quality compliance for each project at the end of each period. This enables the EPMO to not only analyze quality compliance trends, but also have an enterprise scorecard to compare quality compliance across all projects an organization is responsible for.
The ISO 9001 checklist shown below is an example on how PMWeb can be used to create such a checklist.
Requests for Inspection
On engineering and construction projects, the contractors and vendors typically request the project owner inspect the completed work. The Request for Inspection document template is usually specifically designed to address the type of work that’s inspected and incorporates a checklist for this work. This checklist should be aligned with the technical specifications in the contract. PMWeb’s custom form builder can create these document templates, and since the inspection is usually done onsite, it’s recommended that the document templates are designed in a format that can be viewed on a mobile smart device like an iPad. The customer form builder also allows photos, videos, drawings, and other items to be attached to the inspection form.
Snag Lists, or Punch Lists, are commonly used on engineering and construction projects and are increasingly being used on other types of projects as well. The Snag List document template captures all of the work items a project owner is unwilling to accept as completed. From there, the contractor is given a specific time period to rectify these items, and part of the due progress invoice amount will be put on hold until this work is rectified and accepted by the project owner.
Although Snag Lists are typically used at the project handover and defects liability stages, they are increasingly being used during the completed project life cycle stages as well. However, instead of Snag lists, they are called Observation Logs. They are used so the contractor or vendor can be notified as early as possible if the work they complete is not acceptable. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive.
PMWeb’s out-of-the-box Snag List document template provides fields to capture the details of all work items that need to be rectified by the contractor or vendor. What’s more, it provides the location of the work to be rectified, who needs to perform the rectification and when, the amount to be withheld, the rectification status, etc.
The next article in this series will discuss how web-based project management solutions can enhance an EPMO’s ability to manage human resources.