PROJECT QUALITY ASSESSMENT: WHAT IS IT AND WHO NEEDS IT?
This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 at 11:43 am
Reprise – We thought it would be useful to share some of our recommended practices for assessing the health of your project. You can also download a PDF version from our articles page. Comments welcome.
Lately, more firms are conducting Project Quality Assessments or Audits mainly because of Compliance requirements and pressure on corporate profits. I’m sure we can all think of a few others but it’s abundantly clear, there is greater focus on risk and expense management these days. Every dollar and minute counts, especially as we attempt to do more with less. Projects must contribute toward measurable growth and return on investment, especially information technology and indirect services spend. Public, regulated businesses, and non-profits are particularly keen to monitor and document projects to mitigate risk and ensure the business benefits case. As good governance becomes more visible, assessments and associated processes have become important tools for leadership and project managers.
So what is project quality assessment and who needs it? The short answer is; any organization with significant project investment needs some form of project quality reporting and independent review. A project quality assessment has several distinctive stages each with a specific purpose including milestones review, project management, and post implementation review.
Who should perform the assessment? It depends on the project and your company but they should be independent and unbiased. This can be a combination of internal and external subject matter experts. We recommend embedding a neutral, 3rd party assessments into the procurement process as a best practice.
However you choose to manage and assess ongoing projects, you must remain singularly focused on the intended outcomes, budget, and inherent risks set forth in the project framework including:
• Applicable “Lessons learned”
• Strategy best practices
• Project success criteria – milestones
• Embedded risk assessment, management, contingency planning
• Change management success criteria
• Customer service and performance measurement.
• Relationship improvement and management: Vendors, suppliers and contractors.
• Successful governance and compliance documentation
Engaging a project quality assessment team provides the appropriate assurances and visibility required in today’s highly competitive business climate and makes excellent financial and business sense.