How to Create a Quality Plan Template in Four Steps
March 9, 2011
Helpful guidelines for implementing the quality management process
Regardless of your project’s type, size and scope, it is critical to your success to create a high-performance quality plan template that includes all the tasks and activities required for setting up quality targets, assuring expected performance levels, controlling changes occurring in the project, and implementing the quality management process. Planning for project quality in advance allows you to understand possible problems and investigate root causes of those problems.
It’s nearly impossible to successfully implement improvement strategies in any project if there are no management procedures for developing quality vision and setting up quality expectations. In this article we will talk about creating a quality plan template for a project in a few steps, as follows below:
- Step 1. Set up Quality Expectations
- Step 2. Plan for Quality Assurance
- Step 3. Plan for Quality Control
- Step 4. Organize the Process for Managing Quality
Step 1. Set up Quality Expectations
The first step for creating a project quality plan template requires you to find out what the customer of your project expects to receive at the project’s end. The customer is the primary source of information on what the product should look like. Through communicating with the customer you need to define the expectations and set up quality targets. If you have the right understanding of the customer’s needs, you will greatly increase your chances of success.
Here is a small checklist to set up quality expectations through communicating with your customer:
- Request the customer on a list of quality requirements for the product to be produced and delivered upon project completion.
- Make a list of key deliverables which will satisfy the requirements.
- Set up quality criteria and standards for each of the stated deliverables.
- Define quality targets aligned with the expectations of your customer.
Step 2. Plan for Quality Assurance
For creating a successful project quality plan template, it is important to choose methods and tools for assuring expected quality levels during the project implementation process. You will need to make a quality assurance plan that aims at meeting the targets set.
You can try to do the following tasks for developing such a plan:
- Schedule quality reviews to be undertaken on a regular basis.
- Assign an independent person(s) who will conduct these reviews. This person will provide expert advice and also ensure compliance with the quality targets.
- Estimate the likelihood of deliverables actually meeting the quality expectations agreed and use quality management software to compare current quality levels against the approved criteria.
Step 3. Plan for Quality Control
You need to develop a plan that specifies a schedule and sequences of quality control activities. Such a plan should help you control the actual quality level of each deliverable agreed. It will set up procedures for investigating deliverables produced and identifying any deviations from the quality expectations agreed.
In your project quality plan template, you can include the following types of control reviews:
- Peer reviews
- Deliverable reviews
- Documentation reviews
- End-of-phase reviews
Step 4. Organize the Process for Managing Quality
Once you have developed the quality assurance plan and the quality control plan, your next step is to define the process for managing quality. This process is to ensure that each of the tasks listed in both plans are performed as expected, and in case of any deviations necessary responsive actions are taken.
In your project quality plan template you must define the key roles involved in managing the process:
There can be other roles to undertake the quality management process. The number and type of roles will depend on your project content and the customer’s quality expectations.