Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) activities happen throughout the project. Remember QA is a management process that is prevention-driven, while QC is a project manager process that is inspection-driven. Now all of this is really good on paper and theory, but in the real world it comes down to the one person that matters most in any project: the customer.
Throughout the project the customer must participate in scope verification. Scope verification is the same process of QC: inspection. However, the difference is that QC is done before the customer, and scope verification is done with the customer. QC wants to keep mistakes out of the customers’ hands, while scope verification allows the customer to say things like, “Yep, looks good.” Or “I don’t know what I’m looking at, but I believe you.” Or, “You’re standing too close and your breath smells like onions.”
Project deliverables need to be inspected throughout the project – not just at the project’s end. As projects move through phases, at major milestones, and finally at project completion scope verification must be performed to ensure that work is of quality and the project is in alignment with the customer’s vision.
Quality, like it or not, must be planned, must be inspected, and then must meet the customer’s objectives.
Joseph Phillips is the author of five books on project management and is a, PMI Project Management Professional, a CompTIA certified Project Professional, and a Certified Technical Trainer. For more information about Project Management Training, please visit Project Seminars.