Saturday, July 19, 2008

Outputs of Project Quality Planning

The project quality planning process results in a number of outputs, in the form of actual documents or documented items. Operational definitions, checklists, and inputs to other processes are three important outputs of the quality planning process. Details about these three outputs are provided below.

1. Operational definition
An operational definition, also called a metric in some application areas, is a description of what something is and how it is measured by the quality control process. Operational definitions are quality planning outputs project management teams can use to indicate the specifics about the quality of their projects.

For example, an operational definition that describes meeting schedule deadlines must also include details such as start and finish times for every activity.

2. Checklists
Quality planning, and any other activity involving steps to a process, use checklists. Checklists are structured tools for confirming that all steps to a process have been performed. They can be specific to particular activities and industries. Checklists are not always complicated. They can be as simple as a brief list phrased, "Do this!"

Checklists are important for quality planning because they help you verify a project's quality. You can use information from quality planning inputs, as well as quality planning tools and techniques, to develop the checklists for a project.

Some organizations have standardized checklists that ensure frequently performed activities are carried out with consistency. Alternatively, sometimes checklists are purchased from commercial service providers or professional associations.

3. Inputs to other processes
Sometimes the process of quality planning detects a need for activity in another project management area. These quality planning outputs are usually not anticipated at the onset of a project. These unanticipated outputs are called inputs to other processes.

In summary, inputs to quality planning, as well as quality planning tools and techniques, result in a number of outputs. These quality planning outputs help management teams stay focused on the quality details of a project.

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