Quality Management Starts With Understanding the Customer’s Expectations

Sunday, October 14, 2018, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

There are two main aspects of managing quality on a project. It all starts with understanding the customer’s expectations for quality. You then need to put a plan in place to meet the customer’s expectations.

You cannot formally manage quality on a project if you don’t know the customer’s expectations. The easiest way to understand expectations is simply to ask.

  • Quality requirements can be gathered at the same time you are gathering the rest of the functional and non-functional product requirements.

  • Quality requirements may not always be stated on their own. Often they need to be gathered through specific questions and inquiry.

  • It is hard to define product or service quality at a high-level because the term “quality” is vague and means different things to different people.

  • You must take the time to define the lower-level characteristics of quality for each specific service or deliverable.

Examples of quality characteristics include:

  1. Product quality

    The product is:

    • Reliable

    • Easy to use

    • Available when needed

    • Flexible for future needs

    • Intuitive / easy to understand

    • Minimally defective (doesn’t have to be perfect)

    • Responsive (good response time)

  2. Service quality

    The people are:

    • Responsive

    • Competent

    • Courteous

    • Credible

    • Knowledgeable of the customer

    • Reliable

These characteristics are still vague, but now you have some direction that you can use to probe further for more details.

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This column is © copyright to www.Method123.com and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.

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