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Project failure statistics are pretty frightening. Recent statistics have shown that most large capital projects fail to live up to expectations, that 2/3rds of IT projects fail and 70% of new manufacturing plants are closed in their first decade and the list goes on….

Projects are often assessed on budgets and timeframes but if the project didn’t deliver on expectations is the project a success? We think not, project quality is wider than budget and timeframes and should further be measured on factors such as; outcome versus organisational needs, deliverables meeting required specifications and if the stakeholders were satisfied.

Ultimately quality management in a project is aimed ensuring project success and reducing the risk of project failure, be that due to technical defects or to poor stakeholder satisfaction.

To ensure quality is planned from the beginning and implemented throughout the project lifecycle, the production of a ‘Quality Management Plan’ is recommended.

Many organisations use project management methodologies that provide guidance as to the necessary content. AZ/NZS39095: Guide to Quality in Projects is also an excellent reference.

Project Managers should however select their quality management process appropriately to the size and scope of the project. The value of the effort and time needed to manage quality should not exceed the value that you expect to gain from the quality management process. This of course must be weighed up against the required level of stakeholder satisfaction.

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