3 Easy Ways to Improve Project Quality

January 22, 2016 by

I LOVE the word ‘quality’ and no prizes for guessing why. It’s the thing we are all striving to achieve on a daily basis in all aspects of our life, hence the term ‘quality of life’.


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When it comes to your projects, like in life, quality should be the main aim. If your projects are lackluster, then you’re not doing you or your project team justice.


3 Ways to Improve Project Quality

1. Define ‘quality’ clearly

‘Define quality clearly’ seems too simplistic really, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not! This can be a complex step and it requires you to answer the following questions in order to improve project quality:

  1. What definition of project quality are you going to use?
  2. What is going to define quality in your project?


What definition of project quality are you going to use?

There are so many different definitions of what project quality should be it’s often hard to pick just one. The solution? Try and choose the definition that matches your industry as closely as possible. For example, the Six Sigma school of thought defines quality as minimizing the numbers of defects or errors in a project. If you think it matches up to your projects, then you should use that particular definition.

What is going to define quality in your project?

This is going to be some sort of metric or qualitative result that indicates whether or not your project is successful. For example, if your project involves selling software licenses, then sales will more than likely be the metric you would use in this situation.


2. Ensure you are controlling quality

Let me paint you a picture: Project A versus Project B. Two identical projects.

Project A begins and there are some minor defects. These defects aren’t immediately addressed, in fact, they aren’t dealt with until the very end of the project.

As the project progresses, more defects creep into the fray! At the end of the project, they’ve all grown into bigger defects and have had a large (and negative) impact on the project.

Project B begins in the same way. A few defects rear their ugly head but instead of leaving them until the very end, they are dealt with straight away. Just like in Project A, this happens a few times throughout the project but they are always dealt with swiftly. They have little to no impact on the project.

The difference? Project B controlled quality throughout the project lifecycle and as result, produced a better project! The takeaway? Control quality in your project iteratively and you’ll see better results!


3. Set realistic timelines

Time constraints are the root cause of all stress in my opinion. Think about it, if you get given a new project and the deadline is 6 months away, it’s unlikely you’ll be too stressed out (depending on the size of the project of course!). As the project plods along and you get closer to deadline day, your stress levels will naturally increase as a result of diminishing time.

As you get closer to deadline day, you begin to rush your work. You stop paying attention to the little things and as a result, project quality decreases. The solution to this sad fact? Be more realistic with your timelines so that you’re not rushing your work. Or, push out the deadline, spend more time focusing on minute details of the project and increase quality as a result.


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Ruairi O'Donnellan

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