The objective of quality assurance and management is to maximise the results from an initiative. Quality control is achieved by implementing, monitoring and recording the quality methods and responsibilities defined in the Quality Management Strategy.
Quality assurance should be carried out throughout the initiative to ensure standards are met. It begins with defining the quality standards and success criteria at the outset of the initiative and these will then become the quality criteria against which the initiative can be measured during assurance checks.
Quality management is the act of overseeing all activities to ensure that outputs and benefits are fit for purpose and meet stakeholder requirements.
It is an essential part of the change lifecycle to ensure success.
Quality can affect lots of different aspects in an initiative from testing, to scope, to benefits.
Quality Management Templates
The Quality Management flow chart below shows how all of the various Quality documents fit together, all of which can be found on the Delivering Results Website:
The Quality Management Strategy template describes the approach to quality for the initiative. It outlines the coordinated activities needed to ensure the deliverables meet agreed standards and are fit for purpose. The strategy outlines the quality expectations and acceptance criteria at an initiative level as agreed with interested parties. The processes, roles and responsibilities, tools, templates and products required throughout the initiative to ensure quality standards are being met are therefore described within the document.
This will not change greatly from initiative to initiative as this is an optimum quality standard to be used as a reference to complete the Quality Management Plan for each initiative.
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Quality Management Plan
A Quality Management Plan should be established at the beginning of an initiative and then updated throughout the lifecycle to ensure it remains up to date and in line with any changes to scope.
The Quality Plan sets out the who, where, what and when for quality assurance throughout the initiative lifecycle for a specific initiative and should draw on the overall Quality Management Strategy. The purpose of the quality plan is to ensure everyone involved in the initiative understands how quality will be measured and the timescales for these activities. Completion of this document will help focus activities to ensure the expected quality standards are being considered and adhered to from the start of the initiative.
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The Quality Log is a simple tool that can be used to track initiative deliverables to ensure they achieve the predefined quality assurance criteria prior to issue / completion / handover.
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Hints & Tips
- Start thinking about quality from the start of the initiative by defining success criteria i.e. what would 'good' look like? This is the quality criteria.
- Then consider how you are going to measure whether ‘good’ is being achieved and how this can be tested and who needs to be involved.
- This information is the start of the quality plan.
- Consider the templates below to provide additional quality assessments and assurance.