Sunday, August 3, 2008

Operational Definitions and Project Quality

Individuals working on a project should have an eye for detail, as it is an important aspect of quality. What kind of quality details do you keep in mind throughout a project?

Operational definitions focus on many kinds of details. Perhaps these include details you have also considered. Operational definitions describe what something is and how it is measured by the quality control process.

Operational definitions, sometimes referred to as metrics, are used to measure quality. They are quality assurance inputs that project management teams used to indicate the specifics about the quality of their projects.

For example, to define the testing process of a new pharmaceutical drug, the operational definition must describe the drug's composition, the type of study conducted, the variables tested, and the subjects used.

Defining how something is measured can be challenging, as there are many details to consider. To simplify this process, an operational definition answers the following three questions.

1. What is measured?
For example, A.L. Textiles manufactures a wide variety of textile products for industry and commerce. To be sure each material conforms to its intended purpose, the operational definition details the makeup of the textile and indicates how it is measured for quality.

2. How is it measured?
A.L. Textiles measures the durability of the medical uniform style AJ347. The product is 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton. It's available in adult sizes, small to extra large, and comes in colors white, gray/blue, and green.

3. When is it measured?
The durability of uniform style AJ347 is measured after initial manufacturing by washing the garment 300 times. The condition of the garment is recorded on a check sheet. In addition, the durability of the uniform is measured after any necessary product rework.

Remember, operational definitions are used to measure quality. They indicate the specifics about the quality of a project's product or service. In particular, they describe what something is, describe how it is measured, and describe when it is measured.

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