“Maintain a focus on quality that produces deliverables that meet project objectives and align to the needs, uses, and acceptance requirements set forth by relevant stakeholders.” PMBOK, pg. 47
The vendor demo was turning bad real quick. The vendor built a beautiful website that was feature rich and visually appealing. Whether on a computer or phone, it looked great. The issue was, it was SLOW. I mean damn SLOW! Click a link and the spinning wheel would turn and turn. Painful.
When the product manager asked if the website was connecting to a test or production backend, they told us it was production. Frustrated, the product manager called out the slow performance to which the vendor responded “We met requirements. Speed expectations were not one of them.” Let’s just say the meeting went downhill from there!
A project is undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Requirements are tied to this unique outcome, and with those, come the expectation that the end result will work! This is where quality steps in.
Quality can be an abstract or a scientific conversation. For example, “Visually Stunning” as a website requirement is subjective. Whereas, a biotech project with a 95.5+% sample accuracy rate, is much more exact. That’s why when it comes to quality, ask for both qualifiable and quantifiable metrics the project will produce. Understand stakeholder objectives!
PMBOK points out a number of positive outcome quality creates. But, ultimately, I would lump all of them into the category of HAPPY STAKEHOLDERS! Good quality leads to happy people all the way around. Happy customers or client. Happy sponsor. Happy finance and operational people (less rework & cost, which makes finance smile!). Happy project manager and team when they don’t have to listen to complaining about something not working. Lots of happy people!!
Take time to understand quality requirements, both explicit and implicit, early in your project. Document quality requirements so your team understands and can build that into their work. Don’t be like our vendor who had a feature-rich website everyone would get frustrated using because of performance. Be sure to keep your stakeholders happy!
Project Management Institute. (2021). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK guide) (7th ed.). Project Management Institute.