Understand the Characteristics of Quality for Your Product

Sunday, April 7, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

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.

Your customer is not always going to explicitly state what quality means to them. You more likely will need to ask targeted questions to understand their quality expectations.

You would gather quality requirements at the same time you are gathering your deliverable requirements.

Examples of the underlying characteristics of quality are as follows.

Product Quality

The product is:

  • Reliable

  • Easy to use

  • Easy to maintain when completed

  • Available when needed

  • Flexible for future needs

  • Good value for dollars spent

  • Intuitive / easy to understand

  • Well documented

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

Service Quality

The people are:

  • Responsive

  • Competent

  • Accessible

  • Courteous

  • Good communicators

  • 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. Ultimately you need to ask enough questions that you can get the quality expectations into specific and measurable criteria. It that point you can measure your quality results to confirm you met quality expectations.

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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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