PRINCE2 quality control
This forms a small but significant part within quality management, and consists of checking that the products being created by the project meet their quality criteria as described within their product descriptions.
The way in which such quality criteria is checked is by carrying out the quality methods contained within the product description of that product.
Quality control is not just a single step, but rather a series of steps:
First, the quality check is carried out on the product, and such a check would be highly dependent upon the nature of the product itself. It might be some form of measurement or test or even a visual inspection.
Once each check has passed, a quality record must be kept to provide evidence that the product has indeed been reviewed. The quality record is normally filed within the project support area of your organization.
The next step once the product has passed its quality checks, is approval. This entails the official signing off of the product by the person or individuals defined within the quality responsibilities section of the product description.
An approval record should be kept to provide evidence of this signing off, and again project support will file the approval records.
The final step occurs when the product is ready to be delivered to the final customer, and the client must accept them.
Acceptance is where the final outputs or products of the project are handed over to the customer and their operational area. Such an area is called ‘business as usual’ and consists of the group who will operate and maintain the product.
This Handover signifies that ownership of the product has passed from the project management team to the relevant operational group as described above.
The project product description will describe who is responsible for providing the acceptance is under the acceptance responsibilities section, it describes how they will do this under the acceptance method section, and what measurable characteristics the products needs to comply with so that they are seen to be acceptable via the acceptance criteria.
Yet again, accept and records are kept to provide evidence of these acceptances and are normally filed by project support.
PRINCE2 Quality Control – The quality register
The quality register is created during the initiating a project process by the project manager, and is used to track all of the quality checks carried out on the projects products.
The sections within the quality register should include the following:
- Quality identifier
- Product identifiers
- Product titles
- Roles and responsibilities
- Planned date of quality check
- Planned date of sign-off of quality check
- Actual date of quality check
- Actual date of sign-off of quality check
- Quality records
The sequence of using the quality register will normally occur during the stages of a PRINCE2 project.
The project manager plan as the next stage and includes the products that will be built and quality check within that stage.
The project manager will be assisted in stage planning by the team managers, (this may need to be the specialist team themselves, particularly if the team manager responsibility is falls to the project manager) and the senior suppliers that are responsible within that stage.
The next stage plan will include the product descriptions as well as the activities along with their quality checks to produce the products. This planning work is done within the managing a stage boundary process.
Once that the stage plan has been created the project manager reviews the plan to find all of the quality activities. For every single quality check activity identified, the project manager creates a corresponding entry in the quality register.
For the above reason the quality register only shows planned details at this point in time.
The quality register Structure
The typical structure for a single product within the quality register would include the following information:
- Quality identifier. This would be a unique alphanumeric number for this check
- Product identifiers. This identification is taken from the products product description
- Product titles. This is a meaningful name given to the product or products
- Method. This is the quality method as specified within the product description and could take any form such as measuring it, weighing it, or checking it in some way
- Roles and responsibilities. This names the people as specified within the stage plan for this particular quality activity. These roles and responsibilities would include those responsible for creating the products, reviewing its, and for signing off after the quality check.
- Planned date of quality check. Here the project manager refers to the stage plan and writes in the date for which the quality checks have been planned within the schedule.
- Planned date of sign-off of quality check. The project manager refers to the stage plan and writes in the date when the quality check is scheduled to be signed off.
After the stage plan has been authorized the project manager will then manage and control the work of that stage using the controlling a stage process.
Work cannot start until the project manager has authorized such work to first create the product and then quality checked it against its product description.
The project manager will therefore issue a work package to the relevant team or team manager and they are then responsible for agreeing it and ensuring that product creation occurs within the boundaries laid down.
The work of product creation and quality checking occurs within the managing product delivery process and is the responsibility of the team manager or the specialist team themselves.
Once the quality checks have been carried out, the quality register is updated with the results. The work package contains information on who should update the quality register with the results.
If a product failed its quality check and has to be resubmitted for a new quality check after some sort of remedial work is being done, a new entry in the quality register is created that refers to this resubmitted quality check.
PRINCE2 Quality methods
The purpose of quality methods is to check whether or not products conform to their quality criteria, and as such each quality method is described within the relevant product description.
There are two types of quality methods:
In process methods
These check the quality during the actual creation of the product and may include interim checks during the build. They may involve a special way of building a product such that it ensures that quality criteria will be conformed to.
These are checks done to the product after it has been finished. These can occur in two ways; testing, which is where an objective criterion is measured to indicate whether the product meets its quality check criteria, and quality inspection, which is where some form of judgment needs to be reached.